Alabama
6:21 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Interior Dept. Affirms Poarch Land Federal Status

Brewton, AL – The U.S. Department of the Interior has affirmed the federal status of Alabama Indian land where highly successful casinos are located after Escambia County officials raised questions about the land.

Acting Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Donald Laverdure confirmed in a letter that the Poarch Band Creek of Indian land remains under federal jurisdiction. In April, Escambia County Commission Chairman David Stokes wrote a letter to the Interior Department asking whether the land should still fall under federal rules after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the department's approval of new land for a Rhode Island tribe in a 2009 case.

Lavendure's letter says the Poarch ``enjoy all rights and privileges associated with having its reservation held in trust by the United States under federal law.''

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)