The elected leader of the Meskwaki tribe is challenging the leader of a rival faction that’s seeking to run the tribe’s financial affairs, and its casino. Alex Walker, chairman of the Meskwaki’s elected tribal council, held a news conference yesterday afternoon. Walker is not seeking reelection when the tribe holds its elections October 21st, and he’s challenging Homer Bear — chair of a rival council appointed by the hereditary leader of the tribe — to do the same. Walker’s faction hired a security firm to try to seize control of the casino’s financial offices yesterday, but were thwarted by security forces hired by their tribal rivals. Walker says his group cares about the people on the settlement and their neighbors in Tama County, and they’d like to get the casino reopened as quickly as possible so folks can go back to work. Walker accuses the Homer Bear group as being the only impediment to that goal. Eric Woolson, a spokesman for Walker and the rest of the elected council, says the group yesterday decided “enough was enough.”Woolson says there’s no guarantee the Homer Bear group will step aside if they lose the election on October 21st. The Meskwaki tribe loses three-million dollars every week the casino’s closed, and it’s been closed since May.
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