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Feds allow Nooksack Tribe to reopen Northwood Casino

LYNDEN, Wash. – The Nooksack Tribe has reopened its casino north of Bellingham.

The Bellingham Herald reported the Nooksack Northwood Casino near Lynden reopened Saturday with limited operations after a June closure ordered by the National Indian Gaming Commission.

The gaming commission cited “numerous violations” of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, including that tribal gaming “must be conducted by federally recognized leadership.”

The current tribal council isn’t recognized as a legitimate governing body by the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The commission’s order was a blow in an ongoing legal battle over the tribe’s decision in November 2016 to remove 289 people from the Nooksack membership rolls because, the tribal council said, those people didn’t have strong enough blood ties to the tribe.

A commission spokeswoman said Monday the tribal chairman and the commission had reached a settlement, but details weren’t immediately available.


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