Sherri-Lyn Hill, a tribe councillor who previously spoke in favor of establishing a casino on Six Nations land, has been elected as the Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River. After serving on the Six Nations band council for a year, Hill was elected on Saturday for a four-year term.
During her election campaign, Hill stated that among her top priorities was economic stability, which would help provide the tribe’s nearly 27,000 members with mental health and housing services. Hill added that potential revenues from a casino on Six Nations tribal land could form part of this economic development plan.
“Economic development is huge. If there’s one thing that we [learned] through COVID, it is sustaining ourselves, and we really need to work on sustaining ourselves, [potentially] through a casino,” Hill said during an Oct. 25 election debate.
Currently, Canadian provinces control gambling operations within their respective jurisdiction, and many tribes have signed agreements with provincial governments to allow gaming on tribal land. However, the Canadian Senate is now looking to amend the Canadian Criminal Code, allowing the First Nations to license, conduct, and manage operations on tribal land without the approval of provinces.
Chiefs Roy Whitney from the Tsuut’ina Nation, Bobby Cameron from the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, Aaron Young from the Chiniki First Nation, and Clifford Poucette of the Stoney Nakoda Nations joined bill backer Senator Scott Tannes in a press conference in support of the bill on June 20.