Chairwoman Laurie Boivin delivers State of the Tribes Address

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MADISON (WITI) — Native American leaders from across Wisconsin gathered at the state capitol on Thursday, February 13th for the annual State of the Tribes Address.

Newly elected Menominee Indian Tribal Chairwoman Laurie Boivin delivered the address before a joint session of the Wisconsin Legislature.

In her speech, Boivin touched on the indian gaming issue, but did not speak directly about the proposed Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at the former Dairyland race track. The Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk tribes have repeatedly opposed the Kenosha project.

"She didn't touch on the Kenosha casino, which is probably the largest issue that I hear about in my district," said Republican Representative Samantha Kerkman of Kenosha. "But I'm looking forward to meeting her personally and discussing the issue with her."

A group of Kenosha leaders argues the economic benefits from a casino in Kenosha would outweigh any losses for a single tribe. Still, there’s a lack of consensus among all the tribes on the proposed $800 million project.

Democratic Representative Evan Goyke of Milwaukee is opposed to the casino saying, "we've made our case about the harm that it would have on Milwaukee and my community and we're ready for a decision."

Governor Scott Walker says he’s weighing both sides as he gets closer to a decision -- which was supposed to be made last October.