Friends of the Gun Lake Indians
Friends of the Gun Lake Indians (FOGLI) is a grassroots organization that was founded in 2001 by a few people in the Wayland area who felt that the Gun Lake Tribe wasn’t getting a fair shake. In November 2000 the Tribe attempted to establish dialogue with the local community regarding its plans for a casino. The Tribe hosted a meeting at the Wayland High School gymnasium. Sadly, the Tribe was met with hostility and racial insults by local casino protesters who formed Michigan Gambling Opposition (MichGO). The founding members of FOGLI agreed that something had to be done.
Out of desire to be good neighbors and to promote fair treatment for the Tribe, Judy Bott and Marcia Halloran contacted the Tribe to express support for the proposed casino. The result was the formation of FOGLI - with the help of other local residents, including Kathy Bowerman, Elise DeYoung, Jerry Luyk, Bob Wagner and Terry Whitley.
FOGLI grew to over 10,000 members who supported fairness for the Gun Lake Tribe and thousands of good-paying jobs and economic growth for the community. FOGLI worked to help educate lawmakers and the media about the benefits Indian gaming has provided to many other communities throughout Michigan.
From 1993 through February 2008 Indian casinos shared over $186 million with local governments and over $241 million with the state government. Indian gaming has created over 25,000 total jobs in Michigan with a total annual payroll of over $680 million.
FOGLI hosted rallies that drew upwards of 3,000 people and participated in a two-day career interest fair in 2005 that drew over 4,000 people.
As proven by unbiased survey research polls, a solid majority of West Michigan residents supported the Gun Lake Casino and FOGLI is reflective of that support.
The Gun Lake Tribe, Gun Lake Casino and all of it's Citizens and staff members will be forever grateful to FOGLI and the support they've shown us throughout the years. We truly wouldn't be where we are today without them!
YES TRIBE! YES JOBS! YES CASINO!