Perceptions of the Process: Indian Gaming as it Affects Federal Tribal Acknowledgment Law and Practices

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This paper places federal acknowledgment practices within a context of expanding Indian gaming. It argues that gaming has changed the discourses around tribal acknowledgment in the general public, at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and in inter- and intra-tribal politics. Ethnographic and archival research show that, while gaming has proven to be a highly effective development strategy, it has also given rise to backlash against, and suspicion towards, Indian groups seeking recognition of their tribal status. The intersection of acknowledgment practices with public perceptions about Indian gaming has resulted in an increased politicization of the administrative process for federal recognition.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2005

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