New Mexico tribes seek unity as state Legislature prepares to consider new gambling compact

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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — Native American leaders from a handful of tribes are seeking support for a new gambling compact negotiated with Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration.

The proposed agreement comes after years of discussions. It will require the approval of the state Legislature and the U.S. Interior Department.

The proposal would cover gambling operations by the Jicarilla Apache, the Mescalero Apache, the pueblos of Acoma and Jemez and the Navajo Nation. The current compact expires later this year.

Jicarilla Apache officials say leaders from more than a dozen tribes met Thursday in Albuquerque to discuss the proposal, which includes new revenue sharing percentages.

The general counsel for the Jicarilla Apache, Dion Killsback, says the tribes need to be unified and at the very least should not stand in the way of the agreement.

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