The recent announcement that the Manitoba government will allow 300 more slots at the South Beach Casino in exchange for the casino going non-smoking. It was probably the only leverage the government had on the native run facility.
The casino on Highway 59 just south of the beaches of Lake Winnipeg is modeled on South Beach Florida replete with a fake palm tree out front. Why couldn't they do something with an actual aboriginal theme? The building is an eyesore with a huge parking lot. Their website is not much better.
At the moment, they are expanding to include a hotel and a conference center. The expansions will now have to include room for 300 slot machines.
Confusingly, the profits from the casino will be shared with 13 northern First Nations who do not have the benefit of living on a major highway near Winnipeg. The details of the deal remain somewhat of a mystery. It is unknown why some reserves were included and why some were not.
In other aboriginal news, former Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations and now head of Grand Rapids First Nation is opposed to a national park called Manitoba Lowlands National Park.
Mercredi says that a park would not protect hunting, trapping and fishing rights of natives.
Some people on the reserve seemed to welcome the idea of a new park when interviewed on the CBC.
Perhaps they will turf Mercredi if the best he can do is oppose an idea rather than offering something more concrete for his people.
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