RAPID CITY, S.D. — After years of legal battles, the U.S. Department of Interior has announced it will not appeal a federal court decision and proceed to erect a national monument to Native Americans honoring their casino-owning culture.
“This was a long time coming,” said Sioux Nation president Nathanial Puffy Cloud, whose tribe has been fighting with the federal government for 10 years to recognize Native Americans’ historic role in expanding gambling.
“I don’t know why this had to be so difficult,” Puffy Cloud continued. “It’s not like we were asking for a handout or anything. Just a little recognition is all from the White man, who, of course, fought us but has no problem spending his money with us.
“We’re glad it’s finally coming. Now, hopefully, the Interior Department will pick up our legal expenses too. They really cut into our profits,” he added, winking.
It wasn’t clear when the department would break ground on the new monument, which is expected to feature Lakota war leader Crazy Horse galloping atop a one-arm bandit with a jackpot of “7-7-7” on the dial and a slew of $1 coins pouring out.
“It’s going to be spiritually moving,” Puffy Cloud remarked.