The Cheif and I: Working from home


Early in the 1990’s I approached the Chief about an idea I had for getting paid to work from home. In the economic boom stage of Indian Gaming in the U.S., tribal governments entering the market also faced challenges of regulating the economic development.

Upon presenting the idea to my leader, he promptly said, “No, and you should not take your work home with you.” It was a difficult time for both of us as division was invading tribal government quickly.

Our tribe was growing at an exponential rate, never experienced on most reservations, but the challenge of controlling internal theft was a very big problem.

At that time I had began managing and directing the casino operations as the Chairman of the board (uncompensated and no contract). I was working many hours to design an internal management structure, with accountable policies and procedures for daily deposits. This plan also included a growth plan for an 80 million dollar expansion in Indian Gaming.

This prompted me to request additional pay for the hours I was investing in tribal business operations, as my primary duties was the development of a housing program.

Today many people work home this also applied to our previous General Manager, who was paid for an extended 15 months while being hospitalized. He eventually passed.

I am currently seeking work from home options with my tribe but we cannot get past their fear of change.

This writer seeks a level playing field in tribal development, where tribal members civil rights are being exploited for corporate gains and market investments.

Our mission of helping tribal members become self-sufficient is in dire lack of attention.

Many of us have no legal recourse as we fall under tribal council and Chief’s jurisdiction.

I despise the fact I must fight the system to enforce tribal law and get demeaned and labeled by a tribal government I supported.

Frustrating to know I am not even qualified to work from home but many are doing this today.

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