The chairwoman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa discussed her tribe’s long-standing dispute with the City of Duluth in a lengthy feature article appearing in the Sunday, November 3 edition of the Star Tribune. In a wide-ranging interview with the Minneapolis newspaper, Chairwoman Karen Diver explained that the 1984 profit-sharing agreement between the Fond du Lac Band and and the City of Duluth violated provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) that require tribes to have “sole proprietary interest” in their gaming operations. The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), which regulates Indian gaming, has upheld that view. A federal appellate court recently ruled that the tribe will not be required to make payments to the City going forward, but the status of withheld back payments is still in dispute.
The article noted that Diver is one of several women now holding the top elected positions in Minnesota tribal governments. The others include Chairwoman Carri Jones of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe; Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; and Erma Vizenor, Chairwoman of the White Earth Nation.