Ponca Tribe of Nebraska holds groundbreaking ceremony at the site of future gaming facility
Ceremony held with Tribal elders, members and staff in attendance
(Carter Lake, Iowa) – The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska today held a ceremonial groundbreaking on their sovereign land where construction of a gaming facility is underway. With Tribal members, elders and staff present, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Chairman Larry Wright, Jr. presided over the event, which was also attended by Carter Lake Mayor Ron Cumberledge.
“Today’s ceremonial groundbreaking on our land is the culmination of over a decade of work by members and our Tribe’s staff. Our mission was always about more than building a gaming facility; it was about protecting our Tribe’s sacred right to develop our land for the purpose of better serving our membership and the Carter Lake community,” said Chairman Wright. “In the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing more details of the project with the community.”
As a symbol of the collective effort of Tribal members to protect their right to build on their sovereign land, Chairman Wright invited all Tribal members, as well as current and former staff, to join in turning the site’s ground.
In 2007, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) ruled the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska could develop its sovereign land for a gaming facility. After a ruling called for the NIGC to reconsider the issue, the Commission in 2017 ruled for a second time in the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska’s favor – this time with the formal concurrence of the top legal official from the United States Department of the Interior, which manages the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
“This project brings new life to land that has not seen development in my lifetime,” said Mayor Cumberledge. “When I decided to run for office, my main goal was to develop vacant ground that sits idle around our town. I welcome the Ponca casino project and the Ponca people to our community.”
The Tribe will release more details regarding the gaming facility’s construction phases, estimated opening date and other pertinent details at a later date.
The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska has 4,100 enrolled members, with nearly than half residing in the states of Iowa and Nebraska.
Photos from the groundbreaking ceremony of the event can be found here. All photos can be attributed to the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska.