P.O. BOX 1663
BEMIDJI, Minnesota 56619-1663

Press Release
April 4, 2005
Contact: Frank Bibeau

Leech Lake Casino Referendum Petition Carriers are Motivated

For Public Petition Sign-up and Protest in Cass Lake Tuesday, April 5th

Last Saturday, April 2, 2005, new and seasoned petition carriers met to finalize plans to meet the 20% Leech Lake resident eligible voter requirement for official action on the Petition for referendum for the State-Reservation Casino. The referendum question to the Leech Lake voters asks “Should the Leech Lake Reservation enter into an agreement with the State of Minnesota to build a metro-area casino?”

Several hours after the meeting Saturday Deb Geving called in to report that she had filled up all her blank petitions and needed more saying “I got another 35 signatures and I need more blank petitions.” Geving went on to add that she had been in contact with WCCO News Channel and that they were interested in covering our Tuesday planned protest.” The protest/press conference/petition drive will be in the front parking lot of the Leech Lake Reservation Business Committee (LLRBC) headquarters on Tuesday, April 5th starting 10:00 a.m. The Tuesday event is a public petition drive-in sign-up and protest in front of the RBC, on the north side of U.S. Highway 2 in Cass Lake, east of the junction with Minnesota Highway 371.

One Petition carriers concern is that “now they [LLRBC] want us to go hundreds of millions of dollars more in debt, while we are over $50 Million in debt and not explain why and how the benefits to Leech Lake outweigh the social and cultural costs to all the tribes affected” said Wally Storbakken adding “that’s why the RBC had me arrested for trespass last Friday, because I give the people information I can find and ask questions.” Last Friday, Storbakken, a Leech Lake Band member was arrested at the Palace Casino--15 minutes east of Bemidji, Minnesota, outside Cass Lake—by Leech Lake Tribal Police before he could attend the publicly held Quarterly Meeting before the membership.

The next Leech Lake Petition Carriers meeting will be this Saturday, April 9, 2005, at 2:00 P.M., at the Ball Club Community Center.

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For other information including documents the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Constitution, which contains Article XIII [Bill of] Rights of Members, please visit our web page.