WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published July 22, 2013, 04:19 PM

Lake Region residents plan to boycott Spirit Lake Casino

Some people in the Lake Region say they plan to boycott the Spirit Lake Casino amid continuing controversy and confusion inside the tribal government. But others who are fighting for change in the tribal government think a boycott is a bad idea.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

Some people in the Lake Region say they plan to boycott the Spirit Lake Casino amid continuing controversy and confusion inside the tribal government. But others who are fighting for change in the tribal government think a boycott is a bad idea.

The person in charge of the boycott is a long-time critic of the reservation. She says she hopes the boycott will persuade tribal leaders to become more accountable with what's happening on the reservation. Jesse Ramey Gillem has been advocating for improved child welfare on the reservation for years. She says the latest round of controversy about the tribal chairman's seat shows the tribe is no closer to solving any of its problems. She says she hopes a hit to the casino's finances would cause some change. But tribal members who have been working for change, like Erich Longie, say the boycott is a bad idea. He says tribal members who do boycott the casino would only be harming themselves.

Longie says tribal members have already shown their anger towards tribal leadership through efforts to remove Roger Yankton from office via a petition. He says the casino helps provide jobs and fund programs on the reservation, and it wouldn't make sense to boycott it, even if tribal members have a problem with tribal leadership.

Tags: