Coquille Indian Tribe takes issue with Oregon Lottery's 'Lewis a - KPTV - FOX 12

Coquille Indian Tribe takes issue with Oregon Lottery's 'Lewis and Clark' ads

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The Coquille Indian Tribe has called for the Oregon Lottery to withdraw its "Lewis and Clark" advertising campaign.

In a release Tuesday, the tribe described the commercials as, "insulting and hypocritical."

Coquille Chairperson Brenda Meade sent a letter to Oregon Lottery Director Jack Roberts saying the ads show the famed explorers discovering "native" video lottery terminals amid Oregon's natural splendor, only with no native people.

"But this fictional Oregon is a land without Indians – an empty wilderness, ripe for economic exploitation, with no competition from indigenous people," the letter states.

Meade wrote that the vision is "troubling" when viewed alongside Gov. Kate Brown's opposition to the Coquille Indian Tribe's proposed casino in Medford.

"In short, the State of Oregon is seeking to block economic opportunities for Indians while promoting expansion of its own video lottery gaming. Your ad campaign's distorted vision of Oregon history adds insult to injury," the letter states.

"Double standards are nothing new to Indian people, but that doesn't make them right," Meade said.

The tribe's proposal is for a Class II casino, meaning it would only offer video terminals, similar to Oregon Lottery machines. A statement from the tribe said the casino would help provide services to its membership, including education, health care and meals for senior citizens.

An Oregon Lottery spokesperson said the agency had no comment on the tribe's letter.

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