Pokagon Band of Potawatomi received a certificate of self-regulation by the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), the United States independent federal regulatory agency within the Department of the Interior. The certification was awarded at the commission’s annual citizen meet which was organized at the Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College.
With this certification, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi becomes the fifth indigenous tribe to get an NIGC self-regulation certificate.
With the self-regulation status, the tribe can operate with greater flexibility with relaxed interference of NIGC in its operations. The provision comes from the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).
The self-regulation certificates are issued to tribes which have consistently demonstrated that they have been operating in compliance with the IGRA rules and regulations. It also requires them to adhere to the tribe’s laws.
NIGC Chairman Jonodev Chaudhuri, “I commend the Tribe for being able to achieve self-regulation status under IGRA. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi has worked hard to reach this status and continues to demonstrate self-sufficiency and self-determination, key principles outlined in IGRA. The Tribe ensures that its operations will continue to benefit its citizens and communities for years to come.”
Chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Matthew Wesaw, was happy with the new certification and welcoming the achievement on behalf of the tribe he said: “We are honored to be the first tribe in Michigan and Indiana to receive a Certificate of Self-Regulation from the National Indian Gaming Commission. This achievement emphasizes the Pokagon Band’s dedication and commitment to regulatory excellence and the preservation of our Tribal sovereignty. I want to thank the Pokagon Band Gaming Commission for their continued diligence and determination that not only made self-regulation possible but also ensures that our gaming operations are conducted honestly and free from unlawful conduct and corruptive elements.”
NIGC Associate Commissioner and the Director of the Office of Self-Regulation E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, present at the annual citizen meet said, “Achieving self-regulation is the result of a rigorous process that examines a tribe’s capacity to protect its sole propriety interests. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi worked hand-in-hand with NIGC officials to demonstrate that it met the necessary requirements outlined in IGRA. I am grateful to all the individuals who contributed to the review process and congratulate the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi on their self-regulation status.”