Over the door of the new Eastern Shawnee tribe’s casino is a shooting star and the name Indigo Sky Casino.
An unveiling ceremony of the new name and logo was held Wednesday morning and the announcement came from Eastern Shawnee tribal Chief Glenna Wallace.
“We considered that name for quite some time and we considered many alternatives,” Wallace said.
The new facility, which is located on Hwy. 60 near the Oklahoma border close to Seneca, Mo., will replace Bordertown Casino, which is located not far up the road.
“Bordertown has been very good to us,” Wallace said. “It told people we were right on the border of Missouri, and we’re still there, and we are conscious of the fact that over 70 percent of our business comes from that direction, from Missouri and from Arkansas.”
Wallace said they took into consideration that Oklahoma is known for its gaming, and has approximately 25 percent of all Indian casinos in the United States.
“So for those 70 percent who come to us from that direction we wanted people to know that as they cross that Missouri line and they enter into Oklahoma they are seeing the first Indian gaming facility in the state of Oklahoma,” she said.
“We wanted to be able to tell that from looking, so we wanted to put our mark, something that is associated with our tribe, and that has happened in the word Indigo Sky.”
Wallace said the new name incorporates symbols of the Eastern Shawnee heritage, which is also included in the tribe’s emblem.
“The animals that we have on our logo are the panther and the swan,” Wallace said.
The background of the logo is an indigo blue.
“We wanted to use that logo and incorporate aspects of that logo into this facility and we have done that,” she said.
A huge statue of a panther stands on a boulder that overlooks the fountain in front of the casino where three larger than life white swans, wings outstretched, appear to be landing on the indigo blue water.
“The panther, represents strength, the panther represents skill, the panther represents prowess, the panther represents being able to move, being aggressive, being assertive, being dominant -- and we believe as a tribe we try to live up to all of that,” Wallace said. “We are a strong tribe, we have indicated that strength and illustrated that strength in the purchasing of four different properties that were here in 2008.”
Wallace said since the tribe did not own these pieces of property, they had to put the property into trust.
“Oftentimes it takes 10 years or more to put property into trust, we worked with this day and night and we had all four pieces of property in trust in two years, which is a miracle within itself,” she said.
“So we believe that we are a strong tribe, that we are a dominant tribe and that we are aggressive and that we work with speed,” she said.
The swans, which sit atop the indigo blue waters in the fountain in front of the casino, represent the opposite of the panther.
“The panther is black, the swans are white. Opposite in traits as well, the swan is known as being gentle, serene, for being dignified – and we believe that we are that as well,” Wallace said.
“We always try to take the high road, we always try to conduct ourselves with dignity, and we always try to reflect that tranquility. So we took those elements of that logo and incorporated it into our fountain,” she said.
Wallace said other aspects of the casino show the heritage of the Eastern Shawnee coming from the woodlands.
“We are a woodlands tribe. We came from the woodlands, specifically the last hundred years before we were removed to Indian Territory we spent in Ohio,” she said.
Wallace said the heritage symbols will not be depicted in the casino, only in the hotel.
“We respect our culture and we have not placed that on the gaming side or the gaming floor,” she said.
As Wallace talked to about 50 business leaders and media the parking lot of the casino, with the fountain in the background, she explained the word Indigo Sky and why the tribe chose the name.
“It was the year 1768 that a young baby was born, he was a male baby and his name was Tecumseh. Tecumseh was born on a night when there was a display in the sky and there was a shooting star that went across, and that shooting star turned out to be the color of the green that was in a panther’s eye. So the child’s name was Tecumseh, which means panther in the sky.
“So when you connect our panther, and our swans, and Tecumseh together, then you see why we have chosen Indigo Sky as the name for our facility and you will also notice that crossing over that you will see that shooting star,” she said.
The hotel and casino, which has a September opening planned, has 117 rooms, and according to Wallace, the largest gaming floor in the area.
“We are extremely proud of the citizens that have supported us, of the community that have supported us,” Wallace concluded. “This is a name that is extremely important to us and a name that we are extremely proud of.”