Saturday, November 06, 2004

The Indian legacy

The world owes so much to the tribal Indians of America.

Nearly half the world's leading food crops can be traced to plants first domesticated by American Indians. The cornucopia of nutritous plants include potatoes, peanuts, manioc (tapioca) , beans, tomatoes, sunflowers and yams. Maize was far the most significant, now grown on every continent except Antartica.
Their strains of domesticated corn and potatoes helped reduce hunger and disease in Europe. Indians also introduced the cultivation and use of tobacco.

With the UK planning to introduce gambling soon, if it's modelled after the most successful Indian casinos the Mashantucket Pequot Foxwoods complex in Conneticut, which boasts the world's biggest casino, there's no worries.
377 casinos support 400,000 jobs and generate 15 billion dollars annually compared to all Nevada's casinos combined 9.5 billion dollars. In 1988 Congress passed a bill allowing tribes to offer gambling under certain conditions.

Revenue from the Miccosukkee's bingo , video , gambling and lotto operation near the Everglades pays for tribal members' health care, education and housing. It also helps finance the tribe's legal push for a government funded restoration of the wetlands. The controversial multi-billion dollar project is designed to return natural water flow and reduce pollution over the next 30 years.

Off to buy a lottery ticket.


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