The warring councils which both claim the right to run the Meskwaki Casino near Tama may soon meet with the federal officials who’ve closed down the casino. Senator Charles Grassley has been acting as a broker to get a deal with the feds that would reopen the facility. To that end, Grassley’s gotten the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs to agree to meet with representatives from both tribal councils. However, only one of the two groups has agreed to the meeting in Washington. The Sac and Fox Tribal council headed by Homer Bear — the council that just won an election held on the Meskwaki settlement — has agreed to attend the meeting in Washington. Grassley is asking the Department of the Interior to reconsider its decision to close the casino — while at the same time asking the tribe to consider holding another election. A spokesman for the tribal council that has not agreed to the meeting says the matter needs to be settled through the courts rather than through political channels, and to participate in the meeting would violate a court-ordered mediation agreement that will hopefully end the dispute.
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