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Tribal Sovereignty: A Case Study of Casino Gaming by the Poarch Band Creek Indians in Alabama

@ Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

Alston, Therese


DissertationDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)Political ScienceThis case study examined casino gaming by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI) in Alabama within the context of tribal sovereignty. It critiqued tribal developments over a five-year period beginning in 2009 with the opening of their first multi-million dollar casino and hotel. No previous studies on gaming or tribal sovereignty for this tribe existed. There were only a few studies on this dual topic for other Indian tribes but none of which utilized a political science theoretical approach. The study found that tribal sovereignty existed since American Indian tribes existed. Sovereignty was strong during the treaty-making period. Thereafter, tribal authority and self-determination of Indian tribes became limited as it was redefined by federal policies, Congressional actions and Supreme Court decisions. When treaty-making ended, the political history for Indian tribes became a narrative of termination, relocation and assimilation. The Poarch Band of Cree Indians were a small group that remained poor and obscure after the Indian removal period. Casino gaming has given them an economic and political resurgence. The early legal interpretation of tribes' political status was that of "domestic dependent nations" which continues to influence federal Indian policy today and thus the parameters of tribal sovereignty as well. While the level of federal dependency for some gaming tribes has been reduced, tribes are not fully self-sufficient. Similar to other industries, casino gaming is impacted by supply, demand and increased competition and thus long-term permanent gains cannot be predicted. For the Poarch Band Creeks, gaming...
Created Date:
2018 05 21
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Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

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Digital Library of Georgia