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June 13, 2020

Vote for yourself next time

by leroywandahsega

My experience as a tribal politician began when I learned that being insecure in any race, will cost you the “win”.

The first time I decided to “run” for a leadership position in tribal government I ran against the current Chief of the Tribal Council and lost by one vote. My inexperience and sheer lack of understanding of competition cost me the chairmanship of the Tribal Gaming Board in 1991. A few people really teased me a lot but the following year I did vote for myself and managed to secure the postion year after year until the late 1990’s

Organizing any business after business has already started is a challenge in any industry, the gaming industry presents many challenges as the inventory is cash.

When our tribe first “turned on” our slot machines, we had no management plan or controls to make sure people were not taking “excess inventory home with them. In the beginning we had no surveillance cameras and “leakage” was a major issue.

Eventually the board established depositng procedures and contintued to work on internal processes in terms of cash handling.

After 15 months the board improved deposits by nearly 200%. Not bad for a governmental unit. Eventually the deposits normalized to produce many tribal government programs, like housing, childcare, youth services and overhead costs to administer tribal government programs.

Overall it was a pretty successful government-run operation the tribal members had allowed their tribal council to participate in starting with car bingo in the 1980’s

Tribal operations had grown immensely since that time and now employs roughly 200 people to manage and govern operation funded with gaming revenue.

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