By The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Federal officials have approved an Indian tribe's request to put more than 100 acres of land into trust to pave the way for a 42,000-square-foot casino in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke joined Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday for a signing ceremony for the approval of the Shawnee Tribe's application. Zinke said in a statement-making "tribal sovereignty meaningful" is a priority.
Some have complained the Shawnee Tribe has no historical ties to the proposed site of Golden Mesa Casino near Guymon, 366 miles west of tribal headquarters in Miami (MY-AM'-uh), Oklahoma.
Historically, the government has required Oklahoma-based tribes to build casinos within their tribal jurisdictions. Congress in 2000 restored the Shawnee Tribe's federal recognition and allowed it to secure property outside lands assigned to other Oklahoma-based tribes.