OKLAHOMA CITY — Federal officials have approved an Indian tribe’s request to put more than 100 acres of land into trust to pave the way for a 42,000-square-foot casino in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke joined Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday for a signing ceremony for the approval of the Shawnee Tribe’s application. Zinke said in a statement making “tribal sovereignty meaningful” is a priority.

Some have complained the Shawnee Tribe has no historical ties to the proposed site of Golden Mesa Casino near Guymon, 366 miles west of tribal headquarters in Miami (MY-AM’-uh), Oklahoma.

Historically, the government has required Oklahoma-based tribes to build casinos within their tribal jurisdictions. Congress in 2000 restored the Shawnee Tribe’s federal recognition and allowed it to secure property outside lands assigned to other Oklahoma-based tribes.

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