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First Nations renew call for revenue deal – The Province

by aanationtalk on November 12, 2012494 Views

Battle with province likely to escalate as Surrey casino plan progresses

By Sam Cooper, The Province November 11, 2012

B.C. First Nations chiefs say they plan to flaunt provincial authority and open unlicensed casinos because of the government’s steadfast refusal to share casino revenues on unceded aboriginal lands.

In a Nov. 9 letter to Premier Christy Clark, Grand Chief Joe Hall says B.C. is the only jurisdiction in Canada to “categorically exclude First Nations” from gambling revenue sharing.

B.C. aboriginal chiefs “will hold your government accountable for its unlawful and discriminatory practices with respect to gaming … and will be pursuing all opportunities to access direct benefits from gaming,” Hall’s stern letter says.

The letter was triggered by a proposal involving B.C. Lottery Corp. to build a $100-million gambling complex in South Surrey on land that is unceded aboriginal territory, according to the Semiahmoo First Nation.

“Untenured direct award licences have been issued and are currently being issued for gaming on the doorstep of several First Nation reserves, all without consultation and without accommodation,” says Hall’s letter to Clark.

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