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Gaming disputes damaging tribes

The Cherokee are not the only people that have fallen by the wayside in modern times, with many tribes in America losing their way in a maze of blinding greed and appalling disrespect for their fellow people as they support enrollment terminations and other actions against their own for monetary gain.

One of the worst offenders in the continuation of the myth that all American Indians are being hurt by the government in its efforts to place more oversight into the gaming on reservations is Harold Monteau [''Class II regulations: NIGC violates trust responsibility,'' Vol. 27, Iss. 24]. Mr. Monteau never mentions the fact that many of these gaming tribes have participated in culling their citizenship levels down to decimation levels while the ''survivors'' rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year at the expense of the others.

He also never mentions the fact that the Congress chose to not place any limits to the amount of money a tribe can donate to a political party or candidate, which has given the rich gaming tribes an enormous advantage to get their agendas pushed through our cash-happy political system. Congressional prostituting should be illegal.

The true victims of the gaming on reservations are the thousands of Natives who don't have a voice to speak for them because their message is being drowned out by the drumbeats of the tribes, bankers and politicians who are in constant motion around a pile of money, each of them trying to gouge out their piece of the pie, oblivious to the fact that it's damaging the Native spirit, it's damaging the Native reputations and it's outright destroying the Native way of life.

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The Cherokee aren't the only tribe that will vanish for turning their backs on their core beliefs. There are many that already have. In California, my ancestors wouldn't recognize their own descendants and would no doubt be ashamed to see what whores to the dollar they have become.

- Bryan Galt

Terminated member of the Chukchansi TribeClovis, Calif.