Submission Type

Presentation

Submission Title

Tribal Casino Labor Relations and the Future of Native Nation Sovereignty

Session Title

Session 1-2-C: Tribal Discussions

Location

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Start Date

28-5-2019 11:00 AM

End Date

28-5-2019 12:25 PM

Disciplines

Labor and Employment Law | Social and Cultural Anthropology

Abstract

This presentation investigates how the employment of non-Indians in tribal gaming blurs the line between public and private employment, with significant implications for tribal sovereignty. While tribes educate their employees about tribal sovereignty, interviews suggest some employees view their employer as a private corporation. This view is beginning to shape public policy. A series of recent court decisions (e.g. Soaring Eagle, Little River) reveal the legal standing of tribal gaming is now in flux. As these decisions and proposed legislation in Congress work their way through the political system, the future of tribal sovereignty hangs in the balance.

Implication Statement: Tribal casino labor relations may shape the future of tribal gaming and economic development.

Keywords

Tribal gaming, tribal sovereignty, labor relations

Author Bio

Theodor Gordon is the author of Cahuilla Nation Activism and the Tribal Casino Movement (2018, University of Nevada Press). He is an anthropology professor at the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, located near St. Cloud, Minnesota. He earned his PhD from the University of California, Riverside.

Funding Sources

This research was funded by the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming. The Sycuan Institute had no involvement in any aspect of this research.

Competing Interests

None

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May 28th, 11:00 AM May 28th, 12:25 PM

Tribal Casino Labor Relations and the Future of Native Nation Sovereignty

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

This presentation investigates how the employment of non-Indians in tribal gaming blurs the line between public and private employment, with significant implications for tribal sovereignty. While tribes educate their employees about tribal sovereignty, interviews suggest some employees view their employer as a private corporation. This view is beginning to shape public policy. A series of recent court decisions (e.g. Soaring Eagle, Little River) reveal the legal standing of tribal gaming is now in flux. As these decisions and proposed legislation in Congress work their way through the political system, the future of tribal sovereignty hangs in the balance.

Implication Statement: Tribal casino labor relations may shape the future of tribal gaming and economic development.