Sources: Lacey M. Azbell, Research Specialist, College of the Muscogee Nation Dr. James King, Former President and Founder of CMN, CMN Current President Robert Bible Tim Harper, Tulsa Region Director

Community Impact: College of Muscogee Nation: Preserving the Past, Cultivating Futures

MVSKOKE ETVLWV NAKCOKV MVHAKV SVHLWECVT: Preserving the Past, Cultivating Futures

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation operates several casinos within its Eastern Oklahoma boundaries, including the River Spirit Casino in Tulsa and the One Fire Casino in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation capitol town of Okmulgee, Oklahoma. Tribal gaming revenue has made possible the development of the College of the Muscogee Nation/MVSKOKE ETVLWV NAKCOKV MVHAKV SVHLWECVT.

Through academic excellence and leadership, the College of the Muscogee Nation encourages personal growth, professional development, and life‐long learning. Of special significance to the development of the College is the Creek Treaty of 1866, in which Tribal leaders mandated a requirement for erecting buildings within Creek Country for educational purposes.

A significant number of Muscogee College students are first-generation college students. The College emphasizes native culture, values, language, and self-determination, and provides an inspirational learning environment for students (tribal and non-tribal alike) to be engaged as citizens of their tribal community and with the global society.

Muscogee Nation College is the only accredited and land granted institution of higher education in Oklahoma. Its $19 million (debt‐free) campus provides a $3.2 million economic stimulus to the region.

Education

For many Tribes, out of all the numerous benefits gaming revenue has provided, education stands at the top of the list. Gaming has made it possible for many to provide increased educational opportunities to students on and off of tribal lands including access to early childhood learning, summer youth and after-school programs, and the development of institutions of Higher Education.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act created the National Indian Gaming Commission to support tribal self-sufficiency and the integrity of Indian gaming.  The NIGC has developed four initiatives to support its mission including (1) To protect against anything that amounts to gamesmanship on the backs of tribes; (2) To stay ahead of the Technology Curve; (3) Rural outreach; and (4) To maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and with its tribal regulatory partners.  NIGC oversees the efficient regulation of 506 gaming establishments operated by 246 tribes across 29 states. The Commission’s dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the growing $32.4 billion Indian gaming industry. To learn more, visit www.nigc.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Sources: Rebecca Fell, Seminole Tribe of Florida and the NIGC Washington, D.C. Regional Office

Community Impact: Seminole Tribe of Florida Achieves Self-Sufficiency

High Stakes in Hollywood: Seminole Tribe of Florida Achieves Self-Sufficiency

Based in the Florida Everglades, the Seminole Tribe was one of the first federally recognized tribal pioneers of Indian Gaming in 1979 opening a high‐stakes bingo hall on the Hollywood Florida Seminole Reservation. Over the past several decades, the Seminole Tribe’s gaming has become one of the most successful and profitable gaming operations in the world. Today, the Seminole Tribe is the owner of a number of successful gaming operations including the Seminole Hard Rock Casino Hollywood and the Seminole Hard Rock Casino Tampa.

As the result of its gaming revenue, the Seminole Tribe can assist Tribal citizens to become self‐sufficient and pursue the education of their choice. Prior to gaming, the Seminole Tribe of Florida struggled to maintain a small number of programs and experienced extreme poverty and joblessness. Today, the Tribe has over 100 programs and is an example of a thriving self-governing community, helping its tribal citizens in every imaginable way. Governmental expenditures are used to support police and fire protection, emergency medical services, education, healthcare, housing, water treatment, economic development, and parks and recreation.

Self‐Determination

Tribal gaming enterprises provide their communities with the financial base necessary to fund social service programs and to support tribal self-determination and to revitalize Native communities. Gaming revenues are also used for infrastructure development such as building new roads, new sewer and water systems, housing and other developments. Gaming proceeds support community self‐empowerment and financial independence for tribes, reducing dependence on federal, state and local resources. In fact, Indian gaming revenue has been able to support local community infrastructure development as well as job creation.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act created the National Indian Gaming Commission to support tribal self-sufficiency and the integrity of Indian gaming.  The NIGC has developed four initiatives to support its mission including (1) To protect against anything that amounts to gamesmanship on the backs of tribes; (2) To stay ahead of the Technology Curve; (3) Rural outreach; and (4) To maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and with its tribal regulatory partners.  NIGC oversees the efficient regulation of 506 gaming establishments operated by 246 tribes across 29 states. The Commission’s dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the growing $32.4 billion Indian gaming industry. To learn more, visit www.nigc.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Region: NIGC St. Paul Regional Office Sources: Chief Frank Cloutier, Erik Rodriguez, Interim Public Relations Director Shawnna Ellis, Region Director

Community Impact: Saginaw Chippewa Give Back to the Community

A Collaborative Vision: Saginaw Chippewa Gives Back to the Community

A federally recognized tribe located in Michigan, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe is one of Isabella County’s largest employers. With revenue derived from gaming, the Tribe provides a variety of governmental services to its citizens, the reservation, and surrounding non-Indian communities—giving more than $64 million annually to local and state governments.

The Tribe provides funding for services including police and fire protection, social and health services, housing, and economic development that benefit all of Isabella County. Committing a semi‐annual 2% distribution from funds derived from its properties, the Tribe has contributed over $230 million to schools, local businesses, and other vital community programs since 2015.

These programs include PEAK Community Learning Centers, the Youth and Community Services unit of the Mount Pleasant Police Department, and the BAYANET task force, a community-led initiative. The Tribe recognizes these programs are important because they express the Tribe’s community values and support partnerships with their neighbors.

Community  Partnerships

Indian gaming is not about business – it is about strengthening communities. Many tribes and their gaming enterprises take pride in the community partnerships that are created through good neighbor relations. Tribal gaming supports hundreds of charitable organizations throughout the United States. Every year, tribal gaming dollars are directly awarded to local governments and non-profits to positively impact native and non-native communities.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act created the National Indian Gaming Commission to support tribal self-sufficiency and the integrity of Indian gaming.  The NIGC has developed four initiatives to support its mission including (1) To protect against anything that amounts to gamesmanship on the backs of tribes; (2) To stay ahead of the Technology Curve; (3) Rural outreach; and (4) To maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and with its tribal regulatory partners.  NIGC oversees the efficient regulation of 506 gaming establishments operated by 246 tribes across 29 states. The Commission’s dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the growing $32.4 billion Indian gaming industry. To learn more, visit www.nigc.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Verree Shaw, Director of Marketing, Choctaw Nation Director of Health Operations at Choctaw Nation Tim Harper, NIGC Regional Director Chief Gary Batton, Choctaw Nation, Todd Hallmark, CEO/Director of Health Operations, CN

Community Impact: Choctaw Nation: The First Tribe to Fund its Own Hospital

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is a federally recognized tribe with a jurisdictional area comprising twelve tribal districts in Oklahoma. In 1999, gaming revenue made it possible for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to become the first tribe to build its own hospital with its own funding. Today, the Choctaw Nation’s gaming revenue supports the health, safety, and welfare of rural communities throughout southeastern Oklahoma.

Located in Talihina, Oklahoma, the Choctaw Nation Healthcare Center is a 140,000 square foot health facility, which serves as the center, or hub, of health care services covering 10 ½ counties of southeastern Oklahoma. Choctaw Nation Health Services provide more than just hospital care. In addition to being a 44‐bed hospital, the Talihina facility includes Dental, Laboratory, X‐Ray, CT and MRI Scanning, Mammography, Ultrasound, Pharmacy, Primary Medical Care, Surgical Care, Emergent Care, Physical and Respiratory Therapy, Transportation, Women’s Health, Pediatrics, Podiatry, Telemedicine, and Ophthalmology. Also on campus is a Diabetic Wellness facility with a fitness center. Additional services located off-campus include Behavioral Health, Women’s and Men’s Substance Abuse facilities and Optometry. Gaming revenue enables Choctaw Nation Health Services to provide medical care through both inpatient services and over 540,000 outpatient visits annually.

Since the development of the Talihina Healthcare Center, the Choctaw Nation has added clinics throughout the Tribe’s geographic boundaries including facilities in Atoka, Broken Bow, Durant, Hugo, Idabel, McAlester, Poteau, and Stigler.

Health Care

Tribal gaming has given tribal governments a source of funding that has transformed healthcare throughout Indian Country. It is reported that over 17% of funding derived from gaming supports healthcare for Native communities. With gaming revenue, tribes are building their own hospitals staffed by Native American doctors and nurses. Many tribes have established health clinics, dialysis centers, and fitness centers to benefit the health of their communities.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act created the National Indian Gaming Commission to support tribal self-sufficiency and the integrity of Indian gaming.  The NIGC has developed four initiatives to support its mission including (1) To protect against anything that amounts to gamesmanship on the backs of tribes; (2) To stay ahead of the Technology Curve; (3) Rural outreach; and (4) To maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and with its tribal regulatory partners.  NIGC oversees the efficient regulation of 506 gaming establishments operated by 246 tribes across 29 states. The Commission’s dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the growing $32.4 billion Indian gaming industry. To learn more, visit www.nigc.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Hibulb Cultural Center Sources/References: Mark Phillips, Regional Director, Mary Jane Topash – Group Tours Specialist

Community Impact: Tulalip Tribes Realize Their Dream in Telling Their Own Story Theme: Cultural Preservation

The Tulalip Tribes, a federally recognized Indian tribe located on the Tulalip Reservation north of Everett and the Snohomish River, and west of Marysville in Washington, are the successors in interest to the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, and Skykomish Tribes and other tribes and bands who are a signatory to the Treaty of Point Elliott. Funding from gaming has enabled the Tulalip Tribes to build the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve.

The Hibulb Cultural Center’s mission is to revive, restore, protect, interpret, collect and enhance the history, traditional cultural values and spiritual beliefs of the Tulalip Tribes. For the Tulalip, the plan to develop a place to celebrate culture began sometime after their removal from their homelands in 1855.  For the first hundred and thirty-three years, the Tribes struggled to survive and maintain their language and traditional cultural ways. In their hearts the Tulalip Tribes remembered who they were; they saved their memories and the spirit of their culture and dreamed of a time when they could begin teaching and speaking their language and displaying their history for the next generations. This they have accomplished through the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve and the programs instituted there.

Today, tribes have resources made possible through gaming revenue to develop special places of community fellowship to educate and perpetuate their language and cultural ways. Gaming revenue has made a cultural revival possible throughout Indian Country with the emergence of tribal cultural centers, museums, and special gatherings. Gaming revenue has also allowed tribes to seek the return of their ancestors, funerary objects, cultural patrimony and sacred items from museums and collections throughout the United States as well as internationally.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act created the National Indian Gaming Commission to support tribal self-sufficiency and the integrity of Indian gaming.  The NIGC has developed four initiatives to support its mission including (1) To protect against anything that amounts to gamesmanship on the backs of tribes; (2) To stay ahead of the Technology Curve; (3) Rural outreach; and (4) To maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and with its tribal regulatory partners.  NIGC oversees the efficient regulation of 506 gaming establishments operated by 246 tribes across 29 states. The Commission’s dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the growing $32.4 billion Indian gaming industry. To learn more, visit www.nigc.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Humboldt State University and Schatz Energy Research Center graduate students Jake Rada and Pramod Singh on site at the solar array (photo credit Kellie Brown). Photo courtesy of Blue Lake Rancheria.

Community Impact: Blue Lake Rancheria Invests in Clean Energy Self-sufficiency

BLUE LAKE, Calif. – The success of the Blue Lake Casino and  Hotel has created  significant economic opportunities for the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe. Casino revenue has provided investment capital, allowing for diversification and development of the Tribe’s economy and contributes to improving the health and environment for the region’s population. The Tribe has partnered with the State of California, academia, the federal government, and industry to install a community-scale microgrid with solar photovoltaic (PV) power and advanced energy storage as its backbone. For day-to-day activities, the microgrid provides cleaner and far less expensive power -- but in emergencies, the Tribe can disconnect from the larger grid and generate emergency power for as long as needed.

"This project is an exemplary and successful collaboration between tribal, local, state and federal entities, assertively working toward clean energy initiatives," said Jana Ganion, Energy Director for the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe. "When the Tribe started working on climate issues, it had a primary goal of powering the Rancheria with renewable resources. With this project, we are over halfway there.”

The Tribe has added to its clean energy initiatives and has also established a food sovereignty program. The purpose of this program is to increase food security and replace shipped-in staples with locally grown products, ensuring there is enough nutritious food within the region to meet local needs, so tribal families may provide for their children. The program has reduced costs and improved the nutritional value  of food for the community.  In addition, the Tribe has an Office of Emergency Services, a certified tribal police force, and a wildland fire department to help ensure the ongoing safety of the tribal community and the surrounding region. Looking to the future, the Tribe is exploring a community water system, starting first with an emergency water treatment and storage venture.

As a result of the Tribal programs made possible by the success of their gaming operations, the Tribe is one of the largest employers in Humboldt County. Over the years, the Tribe’s gaming and other facilities have infused over $60 million into the local economy with direct and indirect economic impacts through employment and capital investments. The Tribe’s low-carbon, secure energy development, and energy efficiency work has increased the Tribe’s workforce by 10% and reduced costs of energy by $250,000 annually. In March of 2017, the Tribe surpassed $1.5 million in educational donations to the local school, student scholarships, and workforce development in the community.

The Blue Lake Rancheria consists of approximately 91 acres in far northwestern California, north of the City of Arcata, approximately five miles inland from the Pacific Coast. For more information on The Blue Lake Rancheria, visit http://bit.ly/2ssWWzb.  

 

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act created the National Indian Gaming Commission to support tribal self-sufficiency and the integrity of Indian gaming.  The NIGC has developed four initiatives to support its mission including (1) To protect against anything that amounts to gamesmanship on the backs of tribes; (2) To stay ahead of the Technology Curve; (3) Rural outreach; and (4) To maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and with its tribal regulatory partners.  NIGC oversees the efficient regulation of 499 gaming establishments operated by 244 tribes across 28 states. The Commission’s dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the growing $31.2 billion Indian gaming industry. To learn more, visit www.nigc.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Photo courtesy of Kyla Carneiro and the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians

Community Impact: Partnering with Local Governments for the Benefit of All

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Tribal gaming revenue has enabled the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi to take great strides in economic development as well as invest in invaluable cultural revitalization programs (see Community Impact: Keeping with tradition: Revitalization of culture and traditions). The Tribe’s investment in improving lives and increasing opportunities, however, is not limited to their own community. They have also reached out to their neighbors in the surrounding area, engaging with local governments to develop numerous multifaceted projects and programs aimed at improving the livelihoods of the entire community. In 2016, the Tribe entered into two voluntary agreements with the City of South Bend to collaborate on numerous municipal improvement projects, community programs and poverty reduction services in the coming years including expanding the city’s sewer and water system to a nearby Tribal Village and Four Winds Casino development, restoring a local creek, replacing and upgrading the Calvert Street Lift Station, contributing funding the YMCA Women’s Shelter, Boys and Girls Club, The Memorial Children’s Hospital and much more.

“These are historic agreements for the City of South Bend with the region’s original inhabitants that will infuse millions of dollars into the economy and create hundreds of new jobs,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg.  “It is extraordinary to reach an agreement that will not only support the economy, but also provide much needed funding for community projects, local organizations and our schools.  I would like to thank Chairman Warren, the Pokagon Tribal Council, and the Pokagon Gaming Authority Board of Directors for this generous agreement.”

For more information, please read their press release: Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the City of South Bend Announce Two Intergovernmental Agreements.

And visit their website: http://www.pokagonband-nsn.gov/

 

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act created the National Indian Gaming Commission to support tribal self-sufficiency and the integrity of Indian gaming.  The NIGC has developed four initiatives to support its mission including (1) To protect against anything that amounts to gamesmanship on the backs of tribes; (2) To stay ahead of the Technology Curve; (3) Rural outreach; and (4) To maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and with its tribal regulatory partners.  NIGC oversees the efficient regulation of 499 gaming establishments operated by 244 tribes across 28 states. The Commission’s dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the growing $31.2 billion Indian gaming industry. To learn more, visit www.nigc.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Community Impact: Ho-Chunk Nation community centers bring citizens together

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. – Community centers enhance the quality of life for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities by giving them access to affordable facilities and programs that bring families and neighbors together. The Ho-Chunk Nation is dedicated to fostering this strong community kinship. With revenues from its gaming operations, the nation has been able to build centers and offices for tribal community members. In the past year, the Ho-Chunk Nation held two ground breaking ceremonies, one for the Georgianna “Siga” Violet Whitewing-Funmaker Community Center and another for the Madison Branch Office, a mix use government office and community center. These new community buildings provide tribal members a location to gather, promoting community engagement, and allowing for the youth and elders to foster relationships to embrace cultures and traditions.

“Gaming has provided huge opportunities for our nation, giving us resources to help develop the infrastructure and programming necessary to increase our citizens’ quality of living and to address many of the disparities we see between our population and the population at large in areas such as education, health and employment,” stated Henning Garvin, Ho-Chunk Nation District 2 Representative

The Ho-Chunk Nation is not only dedicated to its citizens, but the nation is also committed to supporting its surrounding local communities. The Ho-Chunk Nation has donated its gaming revenue funds to numerous organizations and entities including local fire and rescue centers, local school districts, youth programs and public libraries.

The nation has recognized that its citizens are part of the greater surrounding community and benefit from numerous public resources.

“Gaming has also given us the ability to make direct donations and have major impacts by supporting initiatives that benefit the public health and well-being of all of our neighboring communities and to give back in appreciation for what we feel is a truly mutually beneficial relationship,” said Garvin.

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Students at the Rock’n the Rez Summer Camp participating in science experiments.

Photo courtesy of Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Students at the Rock’n the Rez Summer Camp participating in science experiments.

Community Impact: Education: The Key to the Future

PLUMMER, Idaho— Out of all the numerous benefits gaming revenue have brought the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, education stands at the top of the list.  The Coeur d’Alene Tribe, located in the Panhandle region of Idaho, takes great pride in knowing that it can provide increased educational opportunities to students on and off of their reservation.

Education is at the forefront of the tribe’s priorities, according to Chairman Chief Allan of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe, through its education department has created many programs to enrich its youth on the reservation, including its Early Childhood Learning Center, summer youth programs, and after school programs.  Recognizing that the youth are the key to the future, the tribe also offers scholarships for its tribal students that seek to further their education beyond high school.

“We recognize that education and the success of Idaho’s students is key to ensuring the continued success of our state,” said Allan. “Giving is something that has always been an important part of our culture and I can’t think of a more worthy cause than to invest in our children’s futures.”

The idea of a strong educational base for their tribe extends beyond the Coeur d’Alene reservation, for over two decades the tribal leadership of the Coeur d’Alene has been making donations throughout the state of Idaho and beyond.  Donations in 2015 will be approximately $1.1 million. Over the last 20 years, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe has donated more than $22 million to classrooms, schools and nonprofit organizations across Idaho and the inland Northwest.

“We are happy to be able to fulfill our promise to support education both on and off the reservation,” Allan added. 

 


The National Indian Gaming Commission is an independent federal regulatory agency, with the primary mission to work within the framework created by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act for the regulation of gaming activities conducted by tribes on Indian lands. The Commission works to maintain the integrity of the Indian gaming industry; promote tribal economic development, self-sufficiency and strong tribal governments; and to ensure that tribes are the primary beneficiaries of their gaming.

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Pokagon Band youth learning basswood fiber cordage at a cultural workshop.

Community Impact: Keeping with tradition: Revitalization of culture and traditions

DOWAGIAC, Mich. – At the core of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi culture, its people have relied on their Seven Grandfather teachings: wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility, and truth.  These values have helped lead the Pokagon Band in its pursuit of economic development, healthcare and the revitalization of its culture. With the aid of tribal gaming revenue funds, the Pokagon Band has been able to provide its citizens with vital services and programs.

In 2014, the Pokagon Band, with the aid of its gaming revenue, opened an integrated health care facility. In a statement, Pokagon Chairman John P. Warren said, “the completion of the Pokagon Health Center is a historic milestone for the Pokagon Band as we are now able to deliver high quality healthcare services to our citizens.”

The Pokagon Band has also focused on program funding for the revitalization of its culture and traditions. Workshops provide a wealth of cultural knowledge including creating bone needles and basswood fiber cordage, quilt making, and stitching moccasins. The continuation of these cultural workshops helps to ensure that the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi history and traditions are not lost.

 


The National Indian Gaming Commission is an independent federal regulatory agency, with the primary mission to work within the framework created by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act for the regulation of gaming activities conducted by tribes on Indian lands. The Commission works to maintain the integrity of the Indian gaming industry; promote tribal economic development, self-sufficiency and strong tribal governments; and to ensure that tribes are the primary beneficiaries of their gaming.

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