Update on the Lansing Casino. Where is the $9 million?

March 17, 2023.  

Headlines appear as Click Bait in the journals and social media: The Ingham County Court Judge upholds the Judgment against the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians for the Lansing Casino Development Project Debt to JJL Development and Lansing Future Development II LL C.  

The truth about the Lansing Casino Development is covered up with a few dozen non-disclosure agreement excuses by all parties.  However, this contract appears to be another example of a bunch of greedy* guys on both sides taking advantage of what each thought was a loophole in federal regulations regarding American Indian Tribes.  It appears both sides believed they could manipulate the law and each other to enrich themselves.  The result is that Tribal Members are among those manipulated and left to pay the debt of a bad business deal which can best be described as co-signing a payday loan on steroids.    

We cannot find where any consideration was taken to protect Tribal Members Interest in the rulings by Judge Joyce Draganchuk. What we could find is a lot of bias against our Tribe because it appears her ego was bruised.      

We were loaned $9 million but Judge Joyce ordered to us to pay approximately $88 million plus legal fees based on a contract that should have been voided in my opinion because if there is no Lansing Casino where are the profits to share?  In addition the contract should have been voided because it is doubtful that the "Deal"  would not have been approved if explained in full prior to the Tribal Members voting to approve the project.  Did the Judge bother to consider that? No because both parties did not want to admit in court filings that it was a bad deal, because then both will have to admit they are as described above: Gaazhage*.  We want others to know that this "Miijadan Waabanda'* is not what our Tribe is about.  This is not how this project was "SOLD" to the Members.  I believe the Tribal Members are victims of this scam more than any others because it appears we were ripped off by both sides.   But this Judge appears to believe it is OK to BURDEN OUR CHILDREN with this Judgment.   

All we can hope for in future cases is that this judge's appearance of bias is remembered at election time and if this case is reviewed by the Michigan Supreme Court her bias is acknowledged by the Court.  

If the Tribe was provided a $9 million loan we need to pay it back.  No excuses.  We need to protect our credit rating for future expansion plans.

Our lesson is that opening a casino in Lansing is not or never will be a better investment than building our assets in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  

 We may be down a ruling or two, but we are not out.  

Bangan and Daniwin* 

Peace and Prosperity

Ojibwe People's Dictionary *   not claiming using the language correctly but look it up and  you will understand. 

** We state "I believe..In my opinion"  often because after all this is about attorneys and they don't like it when you tell your truth about their behavior.   We can't comment about next steps but below is a couple comets.