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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Fred Dakota, Native American playing pioneer, dies at 84

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Fred Dakota, whose storage on line casino in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula in 1983 was a milestone for Native American playing, has died at age 84.

Dakota, a former chief of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Group, died Monday at his residence in Baraga, in keeping with Reid Funeral Service. The trigger was not disclosed.


Tribal workplaces had been closed Friday, the day of the funeral, together with Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Group School. Ojibwa On line casino places in Baraga and Marquette had been closed for a lot of the afternoon.

“It was an honor and a privilege to face shoulder to shoulder with one of many biggest leaders in Indian nation,” tribal President Warren “Chris” Swartz Jr. mentioned. “Fred impacted not solely KBIC, however many tribal communities along with his management talents.”

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With a single blackjack desk, Dakota opened a on line casino in a two-stall storage in Baraga County on New 12 months’s Eve 1983. A shot of whiskey was 70 cents; higher stuff was 20 cents extra.

“We gave the federal government huge tracts of land in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota once we signed that treaty in 1854,” Dakota informed The New York Occasions in 1984. “And what did we get in return? We received the federal government to agree to not kill us. Effectively, now it’s time we received one thing extra. Playing goes to make a whole lot of Indians wealthy.”

The storage on line casino led to development of a bigger on line casino, however selections by federal courts shut it down. Dakota mentioned he could not afford extra appeals.


By 1987, the U.S. Supreme Courtroom used a California case to ease restrictions on playing on tribal land, a turning level for Native American casinos. A federal legislation a yr later allowed states to barter compacts with tribes.

A jury in 1997 convicted Dakota of accepting $127,000 in bribes from a New Jersey slot machine seller and evading taxes on the cash. He claimed the cash was an advance for a phone lottery sport. Dakota was sentenced to 30 months in federal jail.

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