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DECEMBER 2015 | $7.95

Gary Davis Tribal Leaders think Beyond Gaming


Cottingham & Butler Tribal Insurance has provided over $100,000,000 in savings to tribal partners over the last 10 years. The Tribal Insurance Experts Cottingham & Butler is a national insurance brokerage firm that delivers risk management and employee benefit services to tribal nations and businesses of all industries and size. From our founding in 1887, Cottingham & Butler has grown to become one of the largest and most well-respected, privately held insurance brokers in the world. Our deep knowledge, breadth of services, and indisputable results have earned us the status of being a valued partner to the tribes we serve.

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W O R L D W I D E˚

Greenberg Traurig’s American Indian Law Practice Group is a multidisciplinary legal and governmental affairs team. We strive to provide wide-ranging legal representation for litigation, transactional, and public policy matters concerning Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

Our Proven Track Record The GT American Indian Law Practice Group is equipped to provide a wide range of legal services to our clients. We deliver targeted legal and public policy counsel to Tribal governments, associated business enterprises and other entities, and to companies, governments, and non-profit organizations working with Tribes or investing in related commercial opportunities. GT’s practice encompasses the full diversity of Tribes as self-governing sovereigns engaged in wide-ranging business endeavors nationally and internationally, embracing virtually the entire range of litigation and transactional matters. Jennifer H. Weddle (co-chair)

Loretta A. Tuell

Harriet McConnell




Troy A. Eid (co-chair)

Heather Dawn Thompson

Robert S. Thompson IV




Robert S. Thompson III

Maranda S. Compton

Laura E. Jones





T R A U R I G ,







W W W . G T L A W . C O M

Greenberg Traurig is a service mark and trade name of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Greenberg Traurig, P.A. ©2015 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved. °These numbers are subject to fluctuation. 26520


Editors Letter


Former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell


Tribal Leaders Think Beyond Gaming


Ethics in Tribal Business Transactions


Creating Sustainability For Native Artists


In The News


The Pokagon


Advertising Information “Thunderbird Arrives” Wool Blanket. Photo by Devin Gong




Meet the TBJ W

Editor-in-Chief Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation)



elcome to the premiere issue of the Tribal Business Journal. This issue is a sneak peek at a new monthly publication that will premier in March 2016 by Tribal Media Holdings. Tribal Media Holdings has teamed with Lifestyle Media Group, which already publishes 12 titles under the Life and Lifestyle names in southern Florida. Why this journal and why now? TBJ is the culmination of years of planning for a long needed, desired concept by tribal representatives for a publication that deals with economic development in Indian Country. Economic development in Indian Country today is really about two worlds merging so that sovereign tribal nations can take control of their future and destinies. With that in mind, the architects of the TBJ have instrumentally acquired a strong leadership team as well as an established advisory board that consists of economic development professionals and experts in Indian Country. The various sections of the TBJ have been developed to ensure cutting-edge and comprehensive reporting of best business practices for strong economic development in Indian Country. The TBJ will be distributed monthly to every tribal economic development department throughout the U.S. to provide critical business information as tribal economies grow and prosper. Each issue will present informative stories that will celebrate business success in Indian Country. As a means to achieve this ambitious goal, the TBJ editorial staff will reach out to tribal nations throughout Indian Country to tell our own stories. Telling our own stories is critical in contemporary times as we continue to retain our tribal sovereignty while growing tribal economies throughout Indian Country. I am honored and humbled to have been

chosen to serve as editor of the TBJ. Five years ago this coming February, I began Native News Online that provides daily American Indian and Alaska Native news, which is now one of the leading daily American Indian publication read by thousands. I am proud the Native News Online has joined TBJ to provide both Indian Country and Indian leadership with unparalleled news and information. I welcome your feedback. Please email me at or call me at 616-299-7542.

Levi Rickert


COME TOGETHER. More than gaming, this is about WINNING. As the longest running gaming trade show in history, the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention delivers the insight and strategies you need to navigate the gaming industry landscape to success. It also gives you so much more. It focuses on how Nations can build their communities through successful business diversification. Meet the industry leaders, access the cutting-edge trends and learn how to win in your market.





COPY EDITOR Sherri Balefsky

Creative CREATIVE DIRECTOR Melanie Smit ART DIRECTOR Frank Papandrea


Angela Caraway-Carlton, Ryan D. Dreveskracht, Elyssa Schwartz, Richard Shellene, Monica Whitepigeon (Potawatomi)

Photographers Downtown Photo/Fort Lauderdale, Dreamfocus Photography, Larry Wood

Market Managers KENNTEH KANDEL


Editorial Advisory Board Barry Brandon

Terri Fitzpatrick

Dr. Katherine Spilde

(Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians),

NAFSA (Native American Financial Services

Ph.D., San Diego State University,

Chief Operating Officer at Boji Group

Association), Executive Director, Federal Native American Law and Policy, and Named of Counsel

Chair, Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming

Kip Ritchie (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi), CEO, Greenfire

Ben Nighthorse Campbell

Management Services, LLC

(Northern Cheyenne) former US Senator

Heather Dawn Thompson (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe), Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Practice Group Attorney

Gov. George Rivera

Gary Davis (Cherokee) president of National Center for American

(Pojoaque Pueblo), Artist & Former Governor

Karrie Wichtman (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians),

Indian Economic Development

Rosette Law, Managing Partner


TBJ Magazine 3511 W. COMMERCIAL BLVD., SUITE 200, FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA 33309 954.377.9470 | FAX 954.617.9418 | WWW.SFBWMAG.COM ©2015 TBJ magazine is published by Lifestyle Media Group, all rights reserved. TBJ is a monthly advertising magazine. All contents are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without written consent from the publisher. The advertiser is solely responsible for ad content and holds publisher harmless from any error.



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Former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell on Economic Development in Indian Country


ormer Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a tribal citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, attended the National Congress of American Indians 72nd Annual Convention in San Diego in late October, 2015. Though he has been out of the U.S. Senate for over a decade, his presence at

the convention was appreciated. >




Visitors visit Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Mountain Rock Art Bracelet from Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s Nighthorse Jewelry collection available onlne at



He left the Senate ten years ago, after he found himself lying on an emergency room gurney at a Washington, D.C. hospital. Campbell was relieved to know the chest pains he was experiencing were stress related and not from a heart attack that he feared. Hearing the news, he then wondered why he was putting in 14-hour days. He decided it was time to retire and go home to his beloved state of Colorado where he had served well in Congress. He went back to Colorado and started Ben Nighthorse Consultants, which provides consultation on public policy. Having served three terms in the House of Representatives and three terms in the Senate, Campbell’s vast knowledge of the legislative process on Capitol Hill may be unparalleled in Indian Country. Campbell enjoys attending the National Congress of American Indians functions so he can keep abreast of the current issues and concerns facing Indian Country. He often finds the information

useful in his consulting business. From 1993 to 2005, in an interview in San Diego, Campbell talked about his new role as the co-chair of a fundraising committee, along with Chickasaw Nation Lt. Governor Jefferson Keel, that will raise money for the National Native American Veterans Memorial that will be constructed on the National Mall, adjacent to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D. C. Campbell is a Korean War veteran and proud of the contributions Native Americans have made to the military services throughout American history and believes they deserve their own memorial. Being co-chair of the fundraising committee is no easy task because Congress approved the National Native American Veterans Memorial in December 2013 with no money appropriated for the construction of the project. Next year, the National Museum of the American Indian will conduct


Sketch of tattoo art, portrait of american indian head


tribal consultations nationwide to solicit ideas on how the memorial should be constructed. The project should be completed to have its dedication sometime in 2019. “The total project will be about $70 million, but I know we can raise it,” said Campbell. “I know where to go get the money. I did it before when I was in Congress and helped raise money for the National Museum of the American Indian. Back then, I had a special coin made that we sold and we raised a lot of money from it.” Campbell then discussed economic development in Indian Country. “The population of Indian Country is growing faster than Congress is increasing its funding in Indian Country,” Campbell said. “The disparity means the money is way behind. Tribes will have to discover ways to grow their tribal economies.” “I helped write the 1988 Indian

Gaming Regulatory Act that was meant to be a means for economic development for Indian Country. It has been successful, but, in recent years, we have seen a leveling off of gaming revenue. Tribes now need to find ways to diversify their tribal economies and casinos will not work for all tribes.” Campbell was speaking about the stagnation that took place within the $28 billion gaming in Indian Country during the Great Recession that negatively impacted all gaming, not only Indian gaming. “Some tribes have had success in mining, manufacturing and tourism. It really depends on where tribes are located. Manufacturing will not work on every reservation. Look at Pine Ridge, the infrastructure is not in place to have large manufacturing there. Unemployment is 75 percent there. So they have to find other ways to build their economy. I always tell tribes to use

what you got.” He reflected on the success the Mississippi Choctaw when Philip Martin was tribal chairman, who helped the tribe to develop manufacturing that included automotive parts and greeting cards. “Tribes should not be shy about making money from American Indian art. Look at the success of the Santa Fe Indian Market. It brings in millions for a week every August,” stated Campbell. Campbell is an award-winning artisan and became a millionaire from designing and making American Indian jewelry, which included rings, bracelets, earrings, pendants and belt buckles. Campbell continues to collaborate and brainstorm with veterans for new ideas on how to raise the money need ed for the National Native American Veterans Memorial. Creative solutions are possible and necessary to the success of economic development in Indian Country. ♦ • DECEMBER 2015




Beyond Tribal Leaders Think



xpanding tribal economies is a challenge tribal leaders face on an on-going basis. It would

appear to be an easy task. Some ideas come from up and coming entrepreneurs, who think they have the best-thing-since-sliced-bread concept that will make them rich if they get the right seed money from tribes. Some may come with shifts in governmental policies, such as when the U.S. Department of Justice released a memorandum to allow growing and distribution of marijuana on tribal lands. >

In pursuit to build their tribal economies, tribal leaders understand that they cannot possibly chase every idea. Tribal Business Journal asked Gary Davis,

president of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, to name the three top business opportunities today in Indian Country. “I think it is important for Indian Country to be innovative. I think Indian Country has to think about what happens if gaming is gone. We have to look at what may be cutting-edge opportunities in Indian Country,” stated Davis. Davis then named his three areas that should be explored by tribal leaders: marijuana, mining and online lending. “Marijuana is an option because of the Justice Department memorandum. Mining should be explored because, done right, it can change a whole tribal community. And, online lending connects remote tribes with the rest of the country,” said Davis.



MARIJUANA After the release in late 2014 of a U.S. Justice Department memorandum that set forth guidelines, which will allow American Indian tribes to put in motion the ability to grow and sell marijuana on tribal lands legally, several tribes have explored the possibility of expanding into the business. The Justice Department memorandum, dated October 28, 2014, stated U.S. attorneys will review tribal marijuana policies on a case-by-case basis and that prosecutors retain the right to enforce federal law. “Each U.S. attorney will assess the threats and circumstances in his or her district, and consult closely with tribal partners and the Justice Department when significant issues or enforcement decisions arise in this area,” the memorandum reads. It is still a federal crime to possess marijuana in the United States. However, with a number of states that have legalized recreational marijuana usage, the Justice Department issued a statement similar to its previous one in October 2013 to states where marijuana usage has become legal. Even with some unanswered questions, some tribes have pursued establishing marijuana business enterprises, which may include cannabis and hemp operations. Since the release of the Justice Department’s memorandum, several tribes have begun exploring ways to grow and distribute marijuana. Perhaps the largest endeavor has been by the Santee Sioux, a South Dakota tribe that is planning to open the first marijuana resort in the United States. Announced on September 30, 2015, the resort will open on December 31, 2015, in time to attract New Year’s Eve partiers. The Tribe already owns and operates a casino resort and 240-head buffalo ranch. The Santee Sioux was negatively impacted by the economic recession and has been exploring ways to diversify its tribal economy. The Santee Sioux resort will have a bar with a club-type atmosphere, live music and an area for patrons to light up right inside a converted


Gary Davis travels the country touting the Native Edge, which was introduced this past summer to connect Native business community with non-Natives who seek to do business in Indian Country. 10,000-square-foot bowling alley that is located close to the Tribe’s casino and hotel. Marijuana usage is illegal in South Dakota, but the Tribe hopes the Justice Department’s memorandum will be enough to attract large crowds to its marijuana resort. The resort will allow its guests over 21 years old to smoke marijuana openly. The Tribe has engaged with Monarch America, a Denver-based consulting firm, to teach its staff the basics of safely growing and storing marijuana. If not properly grown and stored correctly, marijuana is susceptible to mildew and mold. “‘This is not a fly-by-night operation,’’ said Jonathan Hunt, Monarch’s vice president and chief grower. “[Tribal leaders] want to show the state how clean, how efficient, how proficient, safe and secure this is as an operation. We are not looking to do anything shady.’’ The Tribe projects to make $2 million a month in profits.

RED DOG MINE Last year, Davis visited the Red Dog Mine near Kotzebue, Alaska and wonders why the media has not done a good job of showcasing this Native Alaskan-owned company. Red Dog Mine is situated in the DeLong Mountains on the western Brooks Range where a vast deposit of zinc, lead and silver lies. The mine has been in operation since 1989. Red Dog is the world’s second largest producer of zinc concentrate. Owned by the Inupiat people of Northwest Alaska, the Red Dog Mine is operated by the tribe’s NANA Regional Corporation, Inc. (NANA) with an operating agreement with Teck Alaska Incorporated, a U.S. subsidiary of Teck Resources Limited, a diversified mining company headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. True to its core Native values to protect Mother Earth, Red Dog operates under the most stringent and highest environmental standards. Red Dog has gone through ISO 14001:2004 certification process, which means the mine’s environmental • DECEMBER 2015


management system prevents pollution, adheres to environmental protection and is constantly looking for ways to foster improvements in environmental performance. Red Dog Mine operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week. During 2014 the mine brought in $2.4 billion in revenue and is the only taxpayer in the Northwest Arctic Borough in Alaska. Product from the mine is transported to Teck’s facilities in British Columbia, Canada and sold to customers as far away as Asia and Europe. Due to arctic frigid conditions, the product is stored in a port facility in Alaska’s largest building and can only be shipped to customers during a 100-day window from July to October each year. Since Red Dog became operational in 1989, Teck Alaska has paid millions of royalties to NANA and provided jobs to 1,100 shareholders. As a good corporate neighbor, NANA invests annually in education, youth, health and cultural organizations in nearby communities where its labor force lives.



INTERNET: THE GREAT EQUALIZER With the advent of the Internet, new opportunities have arisen for industries in general through e-commerce. Several tribal business development corporations discovered online installment lending as a means to enter the Internet commerce and see it as a profitable business venture that yields nice returns on the initial investments while providing loans to underserved consumers nationwide. Lending is as old as gambling. Several tribes in Indian Country have entered the e-commerce market hoping to yield nice returns on the investment. Online lending is not without controversy though. When the Lac du Flambeau tribal leadership considered a proposal to start internet lending, some council members responded with concerns over the morality of high fees, taking advantage of people in need. Others asked the question, “And didn’t we have the same concerns about gaming?” “Native American tribes located on remote reservations have historically struggled to identify economic development opportunities, which in turn limits the basic services and resources they can provide for their people,” said Davis. “The rise of e-commerce could be the answer to providing long term economic sustainability to tribes and their members who have long faced economic challenges.” The most successful tribes have established economic development departments that are separate from their tribal councils with the premise that the separation of tribal governance is different than running tribal business enterprises. Like many tribes, when the Lac du Flambeau Tribal Council formed the LDF Business Development Corporation (BDC), there was no funding for this new business. The tribal administrator found just enough funding to hire a director, Brent McFarland. “I asked what my budget was. ‘None!’ was the answer I got. ‘That’s your job, go find some money and start businesses.’” So McFarland did just that and soon identified Pay Day lending as a potential opportunity for the tribe. After 18 months learning the industry and


Based in Wisconsin, LDF Construction specializes in serving Indian Country through employing tribal members and building the highest quality construction. interviewing potential partners, the LDF BDC brought a plan to the Lac du Flambeau Tribal Council. Soon after there was enough revenue to begin hiring additional staff to build out the LDF Business Development Corporation. “This is just the beginning, there are vast opportunities for tribes to create internet-based businesses,” says Melissa Doud, also an LDF tribal member and manager for the LDF BDC lending businesses. “But what makes us most successful is our ability to move at the speed of business.” The LDF BDC is modeled on a study done by the Harvard Project on American Economic Development (Harvard Project) housed within the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University that showed when tribal councils separated tribal business enterprises from the tribal governance—or political arm of tribes—tribal businesses thrived. The LDF Tribal Council created a separate entity, overseen by a business savvy board of directors to guide the executive team. No tribal council members sit on that board, and all directors must have at least 10 years’ experience as business owners, on an

executive level or management in business. “We’ve just started,” state Doud. “In three short years we did this. But in the next three years we’ll be 10 times bigger because our goal is to exceed what gaming provides to the general fund.” “Alternative financial services like those created by Native American tribes provide an essential service for under-banked consumers across the country whose needs are not being met by anyone else,” said Former Chairman of the FDIC Bill Isaac. “The marketplace is ready for innovative solutions for those families without adequate access to the traditional banking system and Tribally-owned businesses are stepping in to help fill the gap.” Currently, there are 11 American Indian tribes that provide lending online. Towards Tribal Economy Diversification There are many business opportunities as tribes move beyond gaming. Although mining, marijuana and online e-commerce provide three options to expand tribal economies, there are other industries worth exploring for tribes, such as travel, publishing, agriculture and energy, among others. Due diligence is always highly recommended prior to making a move to diversify tribal economies. ♦ • DECEMBER 2015





Ethics in Tribal Business Transactions BY RYAN D. DREVESKRACHT

As non-Indian businesses enter what is very likely to remain an extremely active period for contract negotiation with tribal governments and enterprises, it is crucial that non-Indian businesses and their attorneys have a ďŹ rm grasp on their understanding of the nuances of both federal Indian law.



s non-Indian businesses enter what is very likely to remain an extremely active period for contract negotiation with tribal governments and enterprises, it is crucial that non-Indian businesses and their attorneys have a firm grasp on their understanding of the nuances of both federal Indian law. The Seminole Tribe of Florida’s $965 million acquisition of the multinational Hard Rock business conglomerate in 2007 perhaps epitomizes the union between Indian Country and corporate America. The Hard Rock deal, the largest tribal deal to date, has not been litigated. These attorneys’ solid understanding of the principles of federal Indian law has created the model for Indian/non-Indian business relations. This article involves just the opposite. Here, we discuss instances in which non-Indian businesses and their lawyers’ unfamiliarity with the fundamental principles of Indian law have caused significant hardship to non-Indian businesses.

CASE STUDY: CONTOUR SPA AT THE HARD ROCK INC. V. SEMINOLE TRIBE OF FLORIDA In Contour Spa at the Hard Rock Inc. v. Seminole Tribe of Florida (S.D. Fla. 2011), a contractual dispute arose between the Seminole Tribe and Contour Spa, a spa facility located inside of the tribe’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Assuming that a lease negotiated by the parties was valid, Contour invested over $1.5 million in designing and building its spa. In June 2007, however, the tribe disclosed to Contour that the Department of Interior secretary had not approved the lease. In March 2010, the tribe declared the lease void and locked out the spa owner and its employees. Contour immediately filed suit, alleging that the language in the lease explicitly waived sovereign immunity as to certain lawsuits that Contour might bring. The tribe argued that because the lease was never approved, any sovereign immunity waiver found within that contract was void ab initio. The district court found the tribe’s argument compelling: “When Indian tribes do enter the commercial realm... [secretarial approval is] “a condition precedent to the validity of such a lease.” Because “tribal governments retain sovereign immunity even when they operate commercial enterprises, both on and off reservations,” the tribe could not be sued in federal court – end of story. Had Contour made certain that the secretary of the interior had approved the lease before investing over $2 million in the project – as is par-for-the-course due diligence in any tribal lease – the entire dispute could have been argued on the merits. However, because of Contour’s inattention to the fundamental principles of federal Indian law, the dispute didn’t even get that far.





A FAIR WARNING The law that develops from disputes – even if resulting in a “win” for the tribal litigant – will eventually take their toll on Indian Country. Unfortunately, numerous courts have already “expressed reluctance to recognize tribal sovereign immunity,” and the Supreme Court has suggested that “[t]here are reasons to doubt the wisdom of perpetuating the doctrine.” A possible solution is that tribes, in appropriate instances, ensure that their non-Indian business partners have engaged attorneys who are familiar with the fundamental principles of Indian law. Although this strategy may seem counterintuitive, a tribal party should pause during a deal to consider the old adage that “bad facts make for bad law,” while also accepting that commercial disputes are inevitable. The tribal party should also consider that it is increasingly appropriate to litigate these disputes on the merits, rather than bank on seeking a quick dismissal on Indian jurisdictional grounds. There is great potential that courts will force an exception to a sovereigntybased affirmative defense – and that the exception could swallow the rule. This proverb is particularly true for commercially successful tribes, where the perception of big-business/smallentrepreneur inequality is even more likely to drive bad results in the courts. With success comes responsibility. For the sake of all that Indian Country has obtained in this era of self-determination, tribal businesses now have an obligation to appreciate and nullify the danger that non-Indian businesses and their attorneys inadvertently pose to tribal sovereignty. Indeed, the days of tribal lawyers playing “hide the ball” in business deals between tribal and nontribal parties might need to be a thing of the past. Instead, taking preemptive steps to safeguard nonIndian businesses from themselves is not only good business, it is the defense necessary to deter the erosion of those fundamental principles of Indian law that have allowed Indian Country to flourish into the present day. ♦♦ • DECEMBER 2015


A wholly owned enterprise of the Lac du Flambeau Tribe

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Our most recent commercial project is Gookomis Endaad (Your Grandmother’s House) which is a 20 bed Residential Treatment Center located on Lake Pokegama within the Lac du Flambeau Reservation boundaries. The facility was built entirely by our 100% Tribal work force. 14284 Hwy 70W - Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538 (715) 388-0500 24




Eighth Eighth Generation Generation Aims to Aims to Create Sustainability Create Sustainability For Native Artists For Native Artists BY MONICA WHITEPIGEON

Eighth Generation derives from the vision of Louie Gong (Nooksak/Chinese/French/Scottish) to create a Native-owned artistic company, focusing on designer products and community service projects.







Launched Fall of 2015, the new line of wool blankets - with the distinctive flair of Pacific Northwest Indians art - from Eighth Generation. Photo by Devin Gong

In honor of the previous seven generations, Eighth Generation aims to incorporate the perspectives and pop culture influences of the new generation as they explore statements about identities. Gong admits in part in choosing the name for his company, when spoken “eight” in Cantonese sounds the same as “prosperity.” Gong is an educator, activist, and entrepreneur with deep seeded roots in his mixed heritage and innovative business practices. He has worked at the University of Washington and the Muckleshoot Tribal College assisting low-income, first generation students and is a former Child and Family Therapist. At age 33 and with no artistic training, Gong took his skills in marketing, leadership, public speaking, and project management to develop a business that goes beyond just art. In 2008, he began mixing Coastal Salish art with other elements and icons of his diverse heritage, particularly through designing personalized shoes. With the success and high demand for his custom design shoes, in 2012 Gong launched Mockups, a DIY art toy for youth and artists. The idea was to make personalized shoes more accessible and allow the owner to express their self as creatively as possible. It became apparent that the mockups could be used as educational tools to help students feel more comfortable in expressing themselves and being able to create something unique. During the same year, he also partnered with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in “Design Yourself: I AM NMAI,” which showcased mockups workshops and an exhibition. Even though custom shoes and mockups helped Eighth Generation to grow, the business was still a one-man operation. “I recognized right away that just doing the custom shoes that everybody was interested in… was not a good pathway to sustainability,” said Gong at • DECEMBER 2015



Customers can order all the wonderful products on Eighth Generation website and have them delivered directly to your door.

the 2015 NIEA Convention in Portland. “I think a lot of our artists find themselves in the same boat. They keep saying yes to commission work, instead of saying no and focusing on things that are going to lead to long-term sustainability.” In 2013, Eighth Generation continued to expand and produce Salish style phone cases and home décor. Paul Frank Industries approached Gong, along with three other indigenous artists, to collaborate after the company’s blunder of hosting a Native-themed fashion party with glow in the dark war paint and neon headdresses. After this outcry from Indian Country, the following year Paul Frank Industries launched a limited edition line of



products such as tote bags, pillows and blankets designed by Gong as well as other accessories by jeweler Autumn Dawn Gomez (Comanche/Taos Pueblo/ Navajo) graphic designer Dustin Martin (Navajo) and sunglasses designer Candace Halcro (Plains Cree/Métis.) As part of a new initiative by Eighth Generation, the Inspired Natives Project launched in May 2014. It’s purpose was to develop both educational and business practices for Native artists. More often than not, mainstream searches for Native products will pull up “Native-inspired” art that perpetuates misconceptions of indigenous patterns and represents missed opportunities for talented artists in Indian Country. With this initiative,

Gong pushes for Inspired Natives to become the frontrunners in providing alternative solutions for indigenous themed fashion, décor, accessories, etc. “By collaborating with select arts entrepreneurs to manufacture products under the Eighth Generation brand, we hope to expand regional appeal of the Eighth Generation brand while simultaneously increasing the capacity of the arts entrepreneurs and educating the public about the tangible costs of cultural appropriation,” according to Eighth Generation’s webpage. Native arts entrepreneurs have a large following and strong web presence from around the country and are encouraged to participate and work in-house at Eighth

Generation in Seattle, Washington. Over the course of a year, Inspired Natives has selected two artists Michelle Lowden, (Acoma Pueblo) and Sarah Agaton Howes (Anishinaabe) and sold their new designs on the website. “We’re not just licensing their art, when we license, they’re receiving the traditional artist fee and royalties on anything we sell, but the key component is capacity buildings,” claimed Gong. Recently in October 2015, Eighth Generation became the first Nativeowned company to offer wool blankets after a largely successful Indiegogo campaign. The fundraising covered the manufacturing and administrative budget associated with the first production of the

wool blankets. “The blanket project, for me, provokes discussion around cultural appropriation and the way that tribal communities and organizations can use their resources either to support Native artists and entrepreneurs or to undermine them,” said Gong. As an extension of Inspired Natives, five percent of the net profits from the blanket sales will contribute to a scholarship and continue to allow artists to have more opportunities to sell their products and learn good business practices. In partnership with the Evergreen State College Longhouse, this grant will be awarded annually beginning in 2016. ♦ • DECEMBER 2015



Native-Owned Company Enters Into Agreement to Provide Bison to the USDA The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has entered into an agreement with KivaSun Foods, owned by Navajo Notah Begay III, for over a half-million pounds of bison to be included on the Food Distribution Program Indian Reservations’ (FDPIR) product offering. The agreement means the USDA is moving toward providing healthier food to Indian reservations.



“My hope is that this agreement will lead to the USDA purchasing more and more traditional Native foods from Native sources to provide to Native communities. If this happens, it will be a significant step forward in addressing health disparities among Native Americans resulting from lack of access to healthy, affordable food,” said Begay, a four-time PGA Tour winner and current NBC golf analyst. For over ten years, the National Association on Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations (NAFDPIR), an organization whose primary mission is to provide foods and services for hunger

assistance and nutrition education to low income Native Americans, has pressed the Congress and USDA to purchase traditional Native foods for the Indian commodities program. KivaSun has been successfully providing bison, a healthy and culturally rich protein, in the commercial market through retail accounts such as Costco and Walmart and online at www. KivaSun is centered around age-old traditions of Respect for Land and Reverence for Food. The first shipment of bison will be made at the end of October 2015.


American Indian-owned Rush Trucking Joins American Trucking Associations ANDRA RUSH

Rush Trucking, an American Indian-owned trucking company, has joined the American Trucking Associations. Founded in 1984, Rush is owned by Chairman and CEO Andra Rush, who is Mohawk. Based in Wayne, Michigan, Rush started the company with a $5,000 loan from her parents and credit cards. It grew from one van and two pickup trucks to the 850-truck international fleet it is today. “I’m proud to represent a new voice as the first minority-owned freight transportation company on ATA’s board,” said Greg Humes, president of Rush Trucking. “Nothing in this country arrives anywhere without a truck. I’m looking forward to supporting policies and programs that protect and sustain the trucking

industry, which drives our economy, and help build a pipeline of talented drivers from diverse backgrounds.” Rush Trucking is an industry leader for costeffective truckload and milk run transportation solutions for local, overthe-road and just-intime operations. Today, the company transports goods across the U.S. and Canada with 850 tractors, 1,450 trailers, and 800 employees and associates for Fortune 100 companies, including Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota, and Tier 1 automotive suppliers. • DECEMBER 2015



Tribal Energy Summit Set Tekamuk Training and Events, a wholly-owned enterprise of the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians, will host its second Tribal Energy Summit November 16-17 at Sycuan Casino and Resort in El Cajon, California. The conference agenda includes presentations by experts in energy financing, structuring tribal energy deals, selling energy to utilities and negotiating power purchase agreements. Among presenters at the Tribal Energy Summit are Pilar Thomas, Of Counsel at Lewis Roca Rothberger LLP, and former Deputy Director of the Office of Indian Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy; Payton Batliner, Economic Development Specialist, U.S. Department of Interior Division of Energy and Mineral Development; Ted Roberts, Attorney, and Brad Mantz, Energy Contracts Originator, both from Sempra Energy; and Michelle Holiday, principal at Michelle Holiday & Associates, Washington


DC, a tribal energy development and government affairs consultant. The event also features a mini-expo with booths highlighting government and private sector energy programs and services. Exhibitors include San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E); Department of Interior Division of Energy and Mineral Development (DEMD); Klas Robinson QED, a leading provider of economic analyses and feasibility studies for Indian tribes; and Tekamuk Energy, a


Mesa Grande-owned energy company. The Mesa Grande Band is active in the energy marketplace. In 2014, MG2 Tribal Energy, a joint venture of the tribe and Minnesotabased Geronimo Energy, successfully executed a power purchase agreement with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) for 140 megawatts of wind energy. It was the largest wind energy purchase from a single source in federal government history. Tekamuk Energy also

provides residential solar installation services for homeowners in the San Diego area. Nine tribal members have become certified as solar installers under a joint effort with Grid Alternatives, a nonprofit solar installation organization providing services to low-income homeowners; and the California Indian Manpower Consortium (CIMC), a non-profit providing job training and employment opportunities for Native workers.



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of een one b s a h s n d dia s survive atomi In r w e a b t o m e P f m o l rn on Band The triba g . a s k e i o r d northe P u n t e a n h e t n c f a o g o i y tw ich he histor formally f the last estern M g o n w i h h e t c b u u t o o m s n in for y despite f people t survival i o t n y e d d o i b l a ctive their trib > n i a t as a colle e r e l rnment. ab e v e o r g e s w e t o h ta United S Indiana w e h t y b d edge acknowl



Four Winds Casino Resort, Hartford, MI Historically, the tribe has had strong leaders who have stepped up when needed. While all other Potawatomi bands were forced west, the Pokagon Band was allowed to remain in Michigan, thanks to strong negotiated rights provided by the Treaty of Chicago in 1833. The other Potawatomi bands were moved to Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma. As the Pokagon Band stayed behind on ancestral lands, its tribal leaders continued to hold council meetings and maintain relations with the state of Michigan – even without federal acknowledgment. Just after the Wheeler-Howard Act, also known as the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, which provided for tribes to re-establish tribal governments, the Pokagon Band petitioned the federal government for recognition, but was



Four Winds Casino Resort, Hartford, MI denied. Like other American Indians in the United States, many of the Pokagon Band’s members remained in extreme poverty from one generation to the next. They survived with menial jobs, if they had them, and poor housing conditions. The Pokagon Band’s leaders never lost hope, and in 1994, after many years of working with governmental officials, the tribe gained its official federal recognition through an act of Congress. The recognition allowed for federal funds to provide tribal members services such as health and housing, which helped to alleviate poverty levels. Just as important, federal recognition also allowed for Indian gaming, and thus the building of a casino. Tribal officials identified land in New Buffalo,


Four Winds Casino Resort Lake Michigan, MI

Michigan, to purchase and put into trust to build the Four Winds Casino, which opened in 2007. The casino is located about an hour and a half from downtown Chicago along I-94, a welltraveled interstate between Chicago and Detroit that follows the lower edge of Lake Michigan. If transplanted to Las Vegas, the casino’s gaming floor would be the second largest along the Strip. The Four Winds Casino allowed for economic development that could have only been imagined by the ancestors of the Pokagon Band. Within years of the casino’s opening, the tribe opened two additional Four Winds-brand casinos: one in Hartford, Michigan, and one in Dowagiac, Michigan, where the tribe is headquartered. The tribe is in the process of developing a fourth casino in South Bend, Indiana, near the University of Norte Dame, which is part of their ancestral lands. Gaming allowed the Pokagon Band to become

a self-governing tribal nation, which means that the tribe funds most of its services to its tribal members, who number over 5,000. Realizing gaming is only one aspect of economic development, the Pokagon Band Tribal Council set up Mno-Bmadsen, the tribe’s economic development board, in order to create a separation between tribal government and gaming. The Tribal Council appointed the first board, but now may only appoint candidates who are first nominated by the Mno-Bmadsen board. This creates a system of checks and balances in the board appointment process. The board of directors then has full and complete oversight of Mno-Bmadsen, its businesses and its employees. All assets under its authority are under its control, and it may make decisions with regard to them without seeking other tribal approvals. Mno-Bmadsen currently owns Seven Generations Architecture & Engineering, Seven Generations Construction, D.A. Dodd, AccuMold and the Bent Tree Market. Troy Clay is the tribe’s CEO, who was hired to run Mno-Bmadsen in March 2011. He projects within the next 10 years, Mno-Bmadsen will surpass $300 million in operations. “Gaming is great if it is successful, and thus provides financial resources for your tribe’s government operations, citizen services and tribal nationhood,” he says. “In our case, gaming also helps us in our experiences with running a business. The problem with gaming, when it is really successful, is that it can lead people with little business experience to believe that margins in business tend to be very high, which is not true.” Mno-Bmadsen has had to overcome the obstacle convincing its tribal citizens that other businesses unrelated to gaming are, in fact, worth the investment of the tribe’s financial and human capital. Federal recognition set in place the ability to for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians to establish its gaming operations, which allowed for diversification of the tribal economy. With its tremendous growth, the Pokagon Band has transformed from a tribe of simple survival to one of sustainability.♦


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“The 21st Century Voice for Business Investment and Profitable Economic Development Opportunities in Indian Country” • DECEMBER 2015



Never before has there been a better time for companies and organizations to engage in new economic development and diversification opportunities within Indian Country – 567 Native American tribes recognized by the U.S. Federal government as sovereign nations. The Tribal Business Journal (TBJ) will serve as the trusted business communication platform to build productive relationships and strategic partnerships between Indian Country leadership, Fortune 1000 companies, affiliated businesses, organizations, academia, and government agencies. TBJ offers an unprecedented, direct and effective way for businesses to be valuably connected and networked monthly with Native American Indian decision-makers, including tribal chiefs, presidents, leadership council members and parties of influence. A 21st Century Voice for Business Investment and Profitable Economic Development Opportunities in Indian Country



co ec

TBJ is the only tribally-owned printed monthly publication distributed to all Native American tribal leadership councils and decision-makers.

Results-oriented communication that impacts economic development and diversiďŹ cation in Indian Country

Executive Summary

The Tribal Business Journal (TBJ) is the only Tribally owned printed monthly publication distributed to every Native American tribal leadership council member and

What We Do

Create results-oriented communication

between Native American Indian tribal and Alaska Native village governments and freeenterprise commerce including Fortune 1000 companies.

decision-maker, as well as, all Business Development Corporations. Editorial will report on Indian Country economic development and diversiďŹ cation opportunities, leading-edge best practices, relevant business, governmental and social topics, innovative trends and emerging human-interest stories that impact 21st Century tribal economies. • DECEMBER 2015


Who Should Advertise In TBJ?

Become known and network within tribal leadership and decision-maker circles in the most personal, professional and trusted manner in media today.

Business enterprises in any of the categories listed below that wants to successfully engage in new business and economic development investment opportunities in Indian Country with direct access to key decision makers throughout the process. An unprecedented opportunity to be seen, build strong brand identity, and favorably network within tribal leadership and decision-maker circles in the most personal, professional and trusted manner in media today. Concurrently, producing a strong public goodwill image as a catalyst for innovative economic progress, job creation and growth. -

Investment Banking Financial & Insurance Services Legal Services & Law Firms Economic & Corporate Development Organizations

- Heavy Construction Management Companies - Transportation Infrastructure - Engineering Firms - Defense Contractors - Information Technology Infrastructure - Communications & Telecommunications - Information & Software Technologies - Emerging Technologies




Energy Infrastructure Mining Companies Oil & Gas Companies Renewable Energy Companies (Solar, Wind, Biomass‌)

- Agri-Business Sector Companies - Natural Resources Development (Water & Land) - Manufacturing Companies - Shipping & Distribution Companies -

Tourism & Hospitality Industry Health & Education Sectors Fish & Game Industry Retail, Arts & Entertainment

300,000 companies that will generate over $120B in gross revenues

Indian Country: A Major Economic Force In Indian Country there are some 200,000 companies that generate an estimated $30B in gross revenues. As new economic development and diversiďŹ cation opportunities expand 300,000 companies that generate over $120B in gross revenues are expected. Note: Canadian tribes, known as First Nations, have their own section. • DECEMBER 2015


Indian Country: Economic Overview North American tribal governments receive more than $30B in funding annually. Enormous opportunities lay ahead for non-Native business investment ventures that grow Indian Country economic development and diversification. A Recent snapshot of US government commitment to Indian Country: - $2.6B (Bureau of Indian Affairs) - 9 Million acres of tribal-owned land held in trust - $5.7B (Indian Health Services) - $19.4B (Federal, state and private grants)

Native American Indian gaming is a private enterprise with over 460 casinos operated by 242 tribes in 28 states that generate in excess of $28B in revenues.

Business Value To TBJ Advertising Partners TBJ will be distributed monthly to every prominent Indian Country decision-maker, tribal chiefs and presidents, business and governmental leadership council members, elected officials, business and economic development organizations, and more. Businesses will be seen and heard in Indian Country by an established publishing house providing well researched, high-quality and cutting-edge material that will impact new business investment and economic development and diversification opportunities.

Strategic Competitive Advantages Investment and business partnering with Native American Indian tribes (sovereign governments) and tribally owned corporations (sovereign corporations) will gain strategic competitive advantage. Here’s where: -


Federal, state, income and property tax exemptions Sovereign immunity Legal advantages under tribal laws rather than state laws Zoning exemptions and land use restrictions State permitting requirements and environmental regulations Federal tax credits Federal government contracting preferences Subsidized financing Minority business and Hub Zone status partnerships


Businesses will be seen and heard in Indian Country as never before!

Secondary Financial or Re-Investment Impact


- $110B (American economies) - 686,000 (new jobs) - $26.8B (wages) - $11B (federal, state and local tax revenue) - $1.4B (direct payments by tribes to federal, state and local governments)

- Tribal Business Opportunity Trends - Tribal Business Ethics & Best Practices - Entrepreneurial Spirit Profiles - Tribalnomics & Native Insights - Advertorials, Successful Corporate–Tribal Projects

TBJ Introductory “Partner” Advertising Rates AD SPACE 1 MONTH RATE FULL PAGE $12,795 HALF PAGE $8,995. QUARTER PAGE $6,575.

6 MONTH RATE $9,995. $6,975. $4,985.

FRONT COVER +50% (includes full-page ad) INSIDE FRONT COVER +20% INSIDE BACK COVER +15% BACK COVER +25

- Corporate–Indian Country Business Partners - Trade Association Partners 12 MONTH RATE $8,195 $5,785 $4,215

- Legislative Update & Business Impact - Corporate Diversity & Tribal Inclusion - Up & Coming Tribal Leaders - Arts & Entertainment - Technology • DECEMBER 2015



THE LIFESTYLE MEDIA GROUP | THE TRIBAL BUSINESS JOURNAL 3511 West Commercial Boulevard, Suite 200 | Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 | 954–377–9691 Chairman & Publisher Gary Press | Editor-In-Chief Levi Rickert | National Director Burt Bornstein



At Greenspoon Marder, it’s all about YOU. We are committed to providing sophisticated and distinctive client service through our cross-disciplinary Client Team approach. Our goal is to understand the challenges that YOU face and build collaborative relationships and craft creative solutions designed and executed with long-term strategic goals in mind. Since our inception in 1981, Greenspoon Marder is a full-service business law firm with the experience needed to understand your challenges and develop the

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strategies that YOU need. We serve Fortune 500, middle market public and private companies, start-ups, emerging businesses and entrepreneurs across Florida and the United States. • DECEMBER 2015 Aventura • Boca Raton • Fort Lauderdale • Miami • Naples • Orlando • Port St. Lucie • Tampa • West Palm Beach



TBJ Publication Sections ADVERTORIALS, SUCCESSFUL CORPORATE – Tribal Projects – Success breeds success. This section will feature corporations that want to advertise their success story that promotes economic development in Indian Country.

IN THE NEWS – This section highlights stories across multiple spheres of influence, social, professional, governmental, environmental, spiritual and so forth, happening in 21st Century Indian Country.

TRIBAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES & TRENDS – This section will discuss the current business opportunities available in Indian Country.

UP & COMING TRIBAL LEADERS – This section showcases young tribal members committed to making an impact and making a difference as it pertains to Indian Country economic development and diversification opportunities.

TRIBALNOMICS & NATIVE INSIGHTS – This section discusses various aspects of building tribal economies written from an academic viewpoint. It presents how American Indians conduct business in Indian Country and what challenges tribes face as they develop sustainable strategies. LEGISLATIVE UPDATES & BUSINESS IMPACT – This section provides updates on pending federal legislation on Capitol Hill that impact tribal economies. TRIBAL BUSINESS ETHICS & BEST PRACTICES – This section presents “best business practices” related to tribal business conduct, written by attorneys, human services directors, certified public accountants or others focused on how business is to be conducted fairly and legally in Indian Country. ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT PROFILES - This section presents profiles in up-and-coming American Indian entrepreneurs who have brought turned concepts into a real world success stories. CORPORATE DIVERSITY & TRIBAL INCLUSION – This section highlights how companies have created a corporate environment to include American Indians and Alaska Natives as integral to doing business with Diversity, Minorities and Indigenous Peoples.



ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT – This section will feature a wide assortment of Native artisans, including actors and filmmakers, and other creative disciplines in the arts and entertainment business. TRADE ASSOCIATION PARTNERS – This section will feature how national Native American Indian organizations and/or educational institutions offer assistance in the advancement of economic development and diversification initiatives within 21st Century Indian Country. CORPORATE–INDIAN COUNTRY BUSINESS PARTNERS – Many Native American Indian tribes have a variety of economic development arms working to grow and diversify their tribal economies. This section will highlight the progress and success of their endeavors. TECHNOLOGY – This section covers how all aspects of technology are impacting the 21st Century Indian Country economic development and diversification opportunities.

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