Cowlitz Tribe Prevails! Again!

On Monday, April 3, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denies certiorari petition thus ending appeal by Cowlitz opponents!

April 3, 2017:

Media Statement:  U.S. Supreme Court Denies Certiorari Petition

We are delighted to learn of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to deny hearing an appeal by the card rooms in La Center.  This is a triumphant moment for The Cowlitz Indian Tribe because it marks the end of a 160-year journey back to our homeland, and the beginning of a new journey, where centuries of Cowlitz Tribal heritage and traditions will unite and thrive, here, on our own reservation. The Cowlitz, The Forever People, are forever home.

We would like to thank Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for his continued support. He has continued to carry the torch in defense of our lands -- an effort that has now carried through three presidential administrations. We will continue our commitment to be good partners and good neighbors. Now, in leading large-scale, privately-funded investments in economic growth, the Tribe looks forward to delivering on our commitments to our 4,100 members, employees and the community where we live and work.

Already the Tribe has significantly contributed to the improvement of local infrastructure: The Tribe has just completed construction of – and on Tuesday evening will open – a $32MM fully-funded replacement of the Exit 16 interchange along I-5 at NW LaCenter Road. This project, which was completed on-budget and in record time, is a tribal investment to facilitate the growth ilani will bring to the area’s businesses and to enable La Center to accommodate planned development on both sides of the freeway. 

In addition, the City of La Center approved an agreement for The Tribe to fully fund the design and construction of a $5MM sewer line from the La Center waste water treatment plant to the I-5 junction, which will enable further economic development at the interchange. 

The Creation of more than 1,200 jobs: ilani, which is on the verge of opening, is bringing more than 1,200 new jobs to SW Washington and dozens of small business opportunities. Already, hundreds have been hired and trained. The entire Vancouver/Portland metropolitan area is already benefitting from ilani’s $40MM in annual spending on local goods and services. And when we open the facility this Spring, 2 percent of the net revenues from the facility will be invested back into arts and educations programs throughout our local community.

Our Commitment to the local community: The Cowlitz Tribe remains committed to partnering with the entire community to bring economic and job growth, environmental sustainability, and long-term transportation improvement to the greater Vancouver/Portland metropolitan area.

William Iyall
Chairman, Cowlitz Tribe