Red Lake Nation members vote "no" to alcohol sales at Seven Clans Casinos 975 to 839
RED LAKE -- Alcohol will not be allowed at Seven Clans Casinos. Band members cast their votes in a mandatory referendum vote this week, deciding if alcohol would be permitted on at the Seven Clans Casinos in Warroad and Thief River Falls. In a 975 to 839 vote, the majority, 53.75 percent, voted no.
The Red Lake Tribal Secretary's office released preliminary results tonight at 9:20 p.m. Official results will be certified Thursday at 10 a.m. by the general election board. Alcohol continues to be banned on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.
"It's been proving to be a heavily debated issue," said Charles Dolson, executive administrator to the Red Lake Tribal Council in an interview Wednesday afternoon. "The next step will be left to gaming. It will be on what limitations and restrictions will apply."
If results are certified as presented tonight, there will be no next step.
The Red Lake Tribal Council had community meetings in the Red Lake Reservation districts of Red Lake, Ponemah, Redby and Little Rock as well as talking with enrolled members in Minneapolis and Duluth prior to announcing the referendum vote. Absentee voting began on July 24. All members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians age 18 and older were permitted to cast a vote by absentee ballot or within the district where they reside on the Red Lake Reservation.
Dolson said the tribal council as a whole put the choice in the hands of the people. Wednesday's secret ballot vote follows an advisory vote conducted by the Red Lake Tribal Council in 1999. In July the secretary's office reported the properties would be voted on separately, however Wednesday night's vote was for both the Warroad and Thief River Falls casinos.
Red Lake: 184 yes, 322 no
Ponemah: 99 yes, 91 no
Redby: 126 yes, 191 no
Little Rock: 93 yes, 131 no
Absentee In Person: 64 yes, 84 no
Absentee Minneapolis: 31 yes, 32 no
Absentee By Mail: 242 yes, 124 no