NESPELEM, WA – The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation have formally submitted their application for the fee-to-trust transfer of tribal property in Pasco, WA – an initial step in the Tribes’ plan to open a casino on its land there.
The application was submitted to Bryan Mercier, Regional Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Portland, OR. The application and supporting information were developed over the past year by the Tribes’ attorneys and staff, who have been working on this project since late 2019. Submission of the application begins a 16-step federal process for the transfer of off-reservation tribal fee property to trust status. Because the land is intended for a gaming facility, additional processes are also required by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Department of the Interior (DOI).
“We are pleased to announce this important milestone in our efforts to enhance economic development for the Colville Tribes,” said Colville Business Council Chairman Jarred-Michael Erickson. “We are confident that a new, state-of-the-art gaming enterprise on Colville land in Pasco will provide additional resources to our tribal government to provide much-needed services to our tribal membership. The project will also bring new jobs to the Pasco area and increase tourism to the region. This will be a win-win for the Tribes and the Tri-Cities area.”
“The process of gaining approval for the fee-to-trust process will require significant time, effort, and coordination with Department staff, but we are confident of a positive outcome,” said Erickson.