The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Appealing Legal Decision.

January 16, 2023.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians announced Jan. 16 that it will seek relief from a Jan. 3, 2023, ruling from Ingham County Judge Joyce Draganchuk that would award $88 million in damages to the developers of the proposed casinos in Lansing and Romulus. The tribe’s gaming arm, Kewadin Casinos Gaming Authority, had partnered with the developers to construct the casinos. Plans for the two casinos have stalled due to unsuccessful attempts to gain approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior to bring the proposed casino land into trust, which is required to operate casinos outside of a tribe’s reservation.

"The Sault Tribe is deeply concerned with what it has discovered in reading the Court’s opinion,” Sault Tribe Chairman Austin Lowes said. “Our board has met with our legal counsel and is hopeful a new direction will lead to a better outcome."

The Sault Tribe Board of Directors continues to stand firm in its obligation to pursue economic opportunities to benefit its members.

The tribe’s next legal steps will be to motion for relief from the judgment in front of Judge Draganchuk, and further to appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals if that is necessary. The tribe will be represented by Daniel V. Barnett of Grewal Law PLLC for the remainder of this case after terminating its relationship with the Patterson Law Firm.