*UPDATE: This story was updated at 8:58 a.m. Aug. 11 to add a statement from KTT and clarify the identity of Jeremiah Hobia.
Jessica McBride/Managing Editor
Parcel ineligible for gaming, located in MCN jurisdiction
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — The National Indian Gaming Commission issued a letter to Kialegee Tribal Town King Jeremiah Hobia stating the parcel owned by Bim Stephen Bruner is not under the jurisdiction of KTT and not eligible for gaming for the tribe.
Mvskoke Media contacted KTT Aug. 10 and left a message for Hobia regarding the letter.
According to court documents filed by MCN Attorney General Kevin Dellinger, Hobia is the same individual running for Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council Tukvpvtce District Seat B.
View Mvskoke Media coverage: MCN files petition to remove Hobia from citizenship, Council candidacy.
The NIGC letter is dated June 21 and states, ‘Please be advised that at this time I am of the opinion that the Bruner Parcel is not Indian lands eligible for gaming for the Town… the BIA have recognized that the Bruner Parcel is within the former reservation of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation exercises exclusive jurisdiction over the Bruner Parcel.
‘Accordingly, while the parcel may be Indian lands for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, the Bruner Parcel is not eligible for gaming by the Kialegee Tribal Town.’
The letter also recommends that KTT not use the site for gaming, and states notice of violation, temporary closure and civil fines could occur if the site is used to continue pursuing gaming because it is a violation of NIGC and IGRA regulations.
The letter was also sent to MCN Gaming Commissioner Buddy York.
Attorney for KTT, Penny Coleman responded to Mvskoke Media in a written statement.
‘We believe that the Kialegee Tribal Town’s status as an independent sovereign nation with rights under the Creek treaties provides a strong argument that the Tribe shares jurisdiction and shares a reservation with the other three federally recognized Creek tribes. The NIGC’s letter of June 21, 2017, was issued without the benefit of having the comprehensive analysis and ethnohistorical report which we intend to submit on the Tribe’s behalf later this month.
‘While the Tribal Town was greatly disappointed to learn that NIGC Chairman Chaudhuri, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, declined to recuse himself despite his clear conflict of interest on this matter, we are optimistic that the Tribe’s position will prevail.’
Mvskoke Media contacted MCN Public Relations Aug. 10 for comment and did not receive a response as of publication.
Mvskoke Media will continue to update this story as it develops.