Gila River Indian Community Press Statement on Ninth Circuit Court Decision in Tohono O’odham Casino Lawsuit

April 1, 2016


On Mar. 28 the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of appeals ruled in favor of the Tohono O’odham Nation in a lawsuit filed by the State of Arizona, Gila River Indian Community and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community regarding the TON’s West Valley Casino.


Sacaton, AZ – A statement from Gila River Indian Community spokesman Manuel Johnson on today’s ruling by the 9th Circuit concerning the Tohono O’odham Glendale casino:


“The Gila River Indian Community believes that the core issues in this dispute still have not been addressed, and it will continue to explore all legal actions to ensure that the Tohono O’odham Nation is eventually held accountable for its actions. The decision today by the Ninth U.S. Circuit of Appeals is disappointing and reinforces the urgency for Congressional action because Tohono O’odham’s use of sovereign immunity continues to prevent claims fraud and misrepresentation from being adjudicated by the courts. Simply put, the Nation broke its promise to Arizona voters and to its sister tribes across the state by negotiating in bad faith and opening a casino off traditional reservation lands -- something Nation leaders for years assured one and all they would not do. As we explore our legal options, we again call on the U.S. Congress to take up the Keep The Promise Act, a measure meant to hold the Tohono O’odham to its promises.”