The Cherokee Nation has filed a request for a federal injunction to prevent the U.S. Department of the Interior from placing land of a rival tribe into trust — a move that would recognize the parcel as Indian land.
The petition filed Tuesday in Muskogee federal court claims the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians is operating an illegal casino on about 2 acres in Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation.
The Keetoowahs have until July 31 to either stop gaming or have the land placed into trust.
The Keetoowahs trace their history to Cherokees who settled in Indian Territory in the 1820s and have fought for decades over the Keetoowah Cherokee Casino.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs recently said it would proceed with the Keetoowahs' trust application.