The situation is different when Native American tribes operate the casinos, according to Katherine Spilde, senior research associate at the Kennedy School of Government, who grew up on the White Earth reservation in Minnesota, where her parents were teachers.After earning a doctorate in anthropology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, she moved to Washington, D.C., and worked for NGISC as a senior researcher and policy analyst.She
got to know tribal leaders from all over the country and found herself immersed in the political fray: "Some Las Vegas people, and others, were trying to misrepresent what Indian gaming was," she
recalls.She then spent two years with the National Indian Gaming Association, a nonprofit trade association that represents 168 tribes with gaming, before coming to the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development last fall.
"Indian gaming is separate from Las Vegas or Atlantic City," Spilde
, who has visited more than 90 reservations, says that tribal gaming "gives Indian people a chance to move back and live on the reservation.