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JUNE 2016 7.95 Sherry Treppa Champion of Online Lending THE 21ST-CENTURY VOICE FOR BUSINESS INVESTMENT AND PROFITABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN INDIAN COUNTRY 1 9 0 0 A T T O R N E Y S 3 8 L O C A T I O N S 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) 303.572.6565 weddlej gtlaw.com Robert S. Thompson III 303.685.7448 thompsoniii gtlaw.com Clair Pena 602.445.8478 penac gtlaw.com Troy A. Eid (co-chair) 303.572.6521 eidt gtlaw.com Kevin Morris 602.445.8235 morriskj gtlaw.com Brian Schulman 602.445.8407 schulmanb gtlaw.com G R E E N B E R G T R A U R I G L L P Loretta A. Tuell 202.331.3141 tuelll gtlaw.com Heather Dawn Thompson 303.572.6500 thompsonhd gtlaw.com Laura E. Jones 303.685.7481 jonesla gtlaw.com Robert S. Thompson IV 303.572.6572 thompsonro gtlaw.com Harriet McConnell 303.685.7486 mcconnellh gtlaw.com A T T O R N E Y S A T L A W 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. 27436 Window of Opportunity The Navajo Nation Projects Bids & Contracts Job Vacancies Tourism Scholarships visit http www.navajo-nsn.gov TABLE OF CONTENTS JUNE 2016 VOL.1 NO.4 28 Cover Story Chairperson Sherry Treppa Champions Tribal Online Lending Cover photo by Diana Miller 6 Publisher s Letter 42 Entrepreneurial Spirit Profile Thompson Brothers Lacrosse 8 Editor s Letter 14 Entrepreneurial Spirit Profile 46 Tribalnomics Newfound Lac Vieux Desert s Accessible Native Fashion An Interview with Fashion Designer Bethany Yellowtail Enterprise Changing the Face of Tribal Lending 18 Financial Tribal Regulatory Authority in the Dodd-Frank Act 50 Environment Cool Cool Water The Value of Clean Water in Indian Country Part I 21 Communications Sell the Sizzle Not the Steak 54 Federal Procurement How Can 8(a) Companies Increase Their Odds of Winning Federal Contracts 22 Tribal Gaming Gun Lake Casino Expands 24 Corporate Indian Country Business Partners Bashas Din Market A Modern-Day Trading Post 56 Corporate Indian Country Business Partners Indian Land Capital Company Making a Difference in Indian Country 34 Technology Keep Sensitive Data Safer 58 Native Scene 2016 Amerind Risk NAIHC National Conference & Tradeshow 36 Trade Association Partners The National Congress of American Indians The Unified Voice of Indian Country 60 In the News 38 Tourism Unlocking the Potential of Partnerships in Tourism 4 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com Model Kahara Hodges page 14 Focusing on Innovative Tribal Economic Development and Corporate Governance Creation of Long Lasting Corporate Structures and Entities Sound Business Acumen and Finance Expertise Proven Negotiation Skills that Emphasize and Respect Tribal Sovereignty Financial Services and Tribal Lending Creative Solutions to Complex Problems Successful Litigation Strategy Development www.rosettelaw.com 193 Blue Ravine Road Suite 255 Folsom CA 95630 (916) 353-1084 (916) 353-1085 ghash rosettelaw.com nstgermain rosettelaw.com 565 W. Chandler Blvd. Suite 212 Chandler AZ 85225 (480) 889-8990 (480) 889-8997 rosette rosettelaw.com 25344 Red Arrow Highway Suite B Mattawan MI 49071 (269) 283-5005 (517) 913-6443 kwichtman rosettelaw.com 1100 H St. N.W. Suite 400 Washington D.C. 20005 (202) 652-0579 (202 525- 5261 sbazzazieh rosettelaw.com PUBLISHER S LETTER A Publisher Sandy Lechner s we continue to develop and grow TBJ we are overwhelmed with the kind and supportive comments suggestions and compliments we are receiving from readers and advertisers alike. Filling this important void in the Indian Country media landscape is proving to be incredibly rewarding and challenging at the same time. The rewards are clear in the form of jobs business relationships thought leadership and knowledge being created and shared among tribal economic development business and financial leadership in Indian Country. We are continually discovering exciting and valuable information and stories that when shared among our distribution will play an important role in shaping the economic growth and development of Indian Country. The thought leaders in Indian Country as well as the most successful and progressive tribes and Native professionals are blazing a trail of change leadership unity and sound business practices based on strong metrics and sustainable business plans. You ll notice in the issue we have dedicated a full page to our TBJ Advisory Board complete with photos professions titles and tribal affiliations. We are thrilled and proud to have some of the strongest thought leaders in Indian Country on our Advisory Board. They make up some of the best and brightest in tribal economic development Native association and entrepreneurial leadership in Indian Country. Finally on the following page you ll find information about the TBJ 100. TBJ is proud to introduce the most prestigious and recognized Friends business awards in Indian Country. You will be hearing more about the TBJ 100 in future issues of TBJ on tribalbusinessjournal.com in our weekly e-newsletter on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages on Native News Online and on the Native News Online Facebook page. Stay tuned With warm regards Sandy Lechner Publisher Sandy Lechner may be reached at slechner tribalbusinessjournal.com or 954.377.9691. 6 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com Presenting the First Annual 2016 Recognizing the Largest and Fastest Growing Tribal & Native Owned Businesses in Indian Country The TBJ 100 will be broken down into four groups of top 25 businesses Top 25 Tribal-Owned Businesses Ranked by 2015 gross revenue companies must be at least 51% owned by a recognized tribe. Top 25 Fastest-Growing Tribal-Owned Businesses Ranked by 2015 gross revenue over 2014 gross revenue must be at least 51% owned by a recognized tribe and at least 3 years old. Top 25 Native-Owned Businesses Ranked by 2015 gross revenue must be at least 51% owned by a recognized member of a recognized tribe and at least 3 years old. Top 25 Fastest-Growing Native-Owned Businesses Ranked by 2015 gross revenue over 2014 gross revenue must be at least 51% owned by a recognized member of a recognized tribe and at least 3 years old. To apply fill out the application at www.TribalBusinessJournal.com Sponsorship opportunities available call Sandy Lechner 954.377.9691 or 954.465.9889 T Editor-in-Chief Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) EDITOR S LETTER he internet has been called the great equalizer. With the advent of the internet several tribes have entered the virtual world of e-commerce as a means to grow their tribal economies. There are 11 tribes currently providing online lending to people hundreds and even thousands of miles away from their tribal lands. This is a good thing considering that 30 years ago it was impossible for tribal business enterprises to enter such commerce because of the geographically remoteness of many Indian reservations. In essence the internet has helped to level the playing field. Many tribes that are participating in online lending provide small-dollar installment loans. Not to be confused with payday loans these loans can be paid back in several months. Consumers obtain online loans for a variety of reasons a chief one being that online loans have a fast turn-around time. Revenue obtained from online lending has allowed tribes to grow their tribal economies. In some cases up to 75 percent of tribal revenue is derived from online lending. When tribes grow their economies funds are increased for vital services provided to tribal citizens such as education housing employment and health care. The employment portion is huge because it allows for tribal citizens to improve their own self-worth and gain independence from tribal government assistance. Beyond the benefits of online lending there are many aspects of e-commerce with which tribes deal to ensure proper regulation so that the end consumers are adequately protected. To their credit tribes that provide online lending have done tremendous work in this area. Tribal leaders have worked hard to exercise tribal sovereignty when it comes to regulations working within the governmentto-government framework afforded to them. Internet The Great Equalizer One such tribal leader is Sherry Treppa who is on the cover of our June issue. She has been the chairperson of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake located in Upper Lake California for the past seven years. Treppa is a leading advocate for tribal online lending and maintaining tribal sovereignty when it comes to self-regulation. Treppa was featured in the award-winning documentary film An Unlikely Solution which explores how innovative American Indian tribes offer consumers access to installment loans and other financial services products via the internet. In February 2016 Treppa made testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee arguing that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is trying to put too many restrictions on tribes and states in the online banking industry. The CFPB s refusal to work with tribes in a government-to-government manner is not consistent with the federal government s trust responsibility to tribal governments nor does it respect the inherent sovereignty of Indian tribes Treppa told the committee during her six-page testimony. Treppa is a champion in that she fights for rights of her tribe and other tribes in Indian Country. TBJ is proud to feature such a remarkable fighter. Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) Editor-in-Chief Levi Rickert may be reached at 616.299.7542 or lrickert tribalbusinessjournal.com. 8 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com Who is NAFSA Tribal lenders provide financial solutions for the 63% of Americans who said they don t have the savings to cover a 500 car repair or a 1 000 medical bill. The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) formed in 2012 to protect and advocate for Native American sovereign rights and enable tribes to offer responsible online lending products. Today NAFSA works with more than 15 tribes to set best practices for these lending businesses forge positive working relationships with state and federal governments protect online installment loan borrowers and advance economic opportunities in Indian country for the benefit of tribal communities. NAFSA Facts All voting members of NAFSA are federally-recognized tribes and all NAFSA board members are elected tribal leaders. More than 8 federal lending laws are incorporated into NAFSA s minimum operating standards. Tribal Benefits Tribal governments have earned millions of dollars in revenue from e-commerce. Up to 75% of NAFSA tribal members revenue comes from online lending. Borrower Facts NAFSA members meet an essential need for over 17 million Americans who use the Internet to access short term credit. Nearly 93 million Americans are unbanked or underbanked. NATIVE AMERICAN FINANCIAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION For more information please visit mynafsa.org journal PUBLISHER Sandy Lechner slechner tribalbusinessjournal.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Levi Rickert lrickert tribalbusinessjournal.com (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) COPY EDITOR Sherri Balefsky Business Development Managers Jessi Lorenzo jlorenzo triaxllc.com Rob Jacobs (Lumbee Tuscarora) Writers Rachel Cromer Howard Janee Doxtator-Andrews (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin) Armen Karaoghlanian Robin Ladue Ph.D. (Cowlitz Indian Tribe) Joshua Lavar Butler (Din ) Shirley K. Sneve (Rosebud Sioux) Katherine Spilde Ph.D. Adolfo Vasquez Monica Whitepigeon (Potawatomi) Glenn C. Zaring (Cherokee) Creative CREATIVE DIRECTOR Melanie Smit ART DIRECTOR Frank Papandrea Marketing and Events Jennifer Barb jbarb lmgfl.com Estefania Marin emarin lmgfl.com Administration Circulation Manager Deb Curtis dcurits tribalbusinessjournal.com Accounting Monica Bridgewater-Wilson monica lmgfl.com Chairman Gary Press gpress tribalbusinessjournal.com TBJ Magazine 3511 W. COMMERCIAL BLVD. SUITE 200 FORT LAUDERDALE FL 33309 954.377.9470 FAX 954.617.9418 WWW.TRIBALBUSINESSJOURNAL.COM 2016 TBJ magazine is published by Tribal Media Holdings LLC all rights reserved. Tribal Business Journal is a publication of Tribal Media Holdings LLC which has teamed with LDF Business Development Corp. a wholly owned entity of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indian Tribe and Lifestyle Media Group. 10 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com Helping you make the right decision at the right time Information is a powerful thing. And the right information--analyzed by experienced people-- can help all of us learn from the past navigate the present and predict the future. That s why we go beyond credit data-- to offer the insights businesses and consumers need to make informed decisions and do great things. Our diverse sets of data and analytic solutions deliver meaningful insights to help you spot opportunities and manage risk. LEARN MORE Visit www.transunion.com for more information reconnecting people to the land Strengthening Native Nations and Expanding Tribal Sovereignty Through Land Acquisition Indian Land Capital Company is a Native-owned certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) providing financing to Native nations for economic development and land acquisition. www.ilcc.net TBJ ADVISORY BOARD Barry Brandon (Muscogee Creek Nation) Executive Director Federal Native American Law and Policy and Named of Counsel NAFSA (Native American Financial Services Association) Dylan Jenkins Vice President of Portfolio Development Finite Carbon Katherine Spilde Ph.D. Chair Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming at San Diego State University Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Northern Cheyenne) Former U.S. Senator Robert Joe (Navajo) Chief Operating Officer for the Office of the President and Vice President Navajo Nation APRIL 2016 7.95 Ernie Stevens Jr. (Oneida) Chairman National Indian Gaming Association Devon Cohen Partner Tribal Media Holdings Brent McFarland Chief Operating Officer LDF Business Development Corp. a wholly owned entity of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indian Tribe TBJ Cover.indd 1 Transforming the Navajo Nation Robert Joe Vernelle Taylor (Gros Ventre Tribe) Director of Tribal Relations Flintco Constructive Solutions 3 7 16 4 15 PM THE 21ST-CENTURY VOICE FOR BUSINESS INVESTMENT AND PROFITABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN INDIAN COUNTRY Gary Davis (Cherokee) President National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Kip Ritchie (Forest County Potawatomi) CEO Greenfire Management Services LLC Heather Dawn Thompson (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe) Practice Group Attorney Greenberg Traurig LLP Terri Fitzpatrick (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) Chief Operating Officer Boji Group George Rivera (Pojoaque Pueblo) Artist and Former Governor of the Pueblo of Pojoaque S.R. Tommie (Seminole Tribe of Florida) President Redline Media Group Margo Gray (Osage) President Margo Gray and Associates Roxie Schescke (Rosebud Sioux) President Indian Eyes LLC Robert Weaver (Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma) President RWI Benefits LLC Mark Harding (Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe) Owner WampWorx Pamala Silas (Menominee) Executive Director National American Indian Housing Council Karrie Wichtman (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) Managing Partner Rosette Law 12 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com We Are AMERIND Risk. We believe in Tribes Protecting Tribes. We provide property liability and workers compensation insurance all while keeping money circulating in Indian Country. AMERIND Risk was created in 1986 by over 400 Tribes who believe in Tribes Protecting Tribes. PROPE RT Y. L I A BI L I T Y. WOR K E R S C OM PE N SAT ION. E M PL OY E E BE N E F I T S . The only 100% Tribally owned insurance solutions provider in Indian Country. Call Us at (505) 404-5000 or AMERINDRisk.org www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 13 14 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT PROFILE An Interview with Fashion Designer Bethany Yellowtail Accessible Native Fashion M BY MONICA WHITEPIGEON Above Model actor Martin Sensmeier and model Jade Wiloughby wear scarves from the spring summer 2015 B.Yellowtail collection. Left Miss Apsaalooke wrap dress. any Native artists and designers are working hard to reclaim and reinvent the conceptions of Native fashion. But 27-year-old Bethany Yellowtail an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe who was raised on the Crow Indian Reservation has broken away from the conventional route by creating her eponymous fashion line B.Yellowtail which encompasses genuine indigenous designs through wearable art. Yellowtail has used her degree from LA s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) to build a business that represents her cultural background. MONICA WHITEPIGEON (PRAIRIE BAND POTAWATOMI) IS THE CULTURAL RESOURCE SPECIALIST AT THE AMERICAN INDIAN EDUCATION PROGRAM AT CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND IS A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR TO TBJ. ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT PROFILE Left Wool cashmere and leather cape with Crow Rose suede slip dress. Below DeeMya Storm beaded-collar shift dress. Right Mother-daughter modeling duo Petra Reyes (left) and Kahara Hodges wear styles from the 2016 B.Yellowtail collection. it out of respect. I haven t had a relative really tell me no don t use those. When I feel good about moving forward I try not to use something out of context. No one has really done this before so there isn t a map but I make sure I do things with good intentions and it works for me. It s a fine line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation. How have you made your designs more accessible to a wider clientele I think that there is so much of a gray area. You don t know which designs have meaning or don t. For instance certain headdresses or elements are reserved for certain people. Native Americans know or check with relatives but non-Natives don t know what the designs mean or don t have access to that knowledge. It s our responsibility to do it appropriately and authentically. There are so many aesthetic patterns out there that don t actually represent anything. We can be irresponsible with what we create or we can share and try to allow it [to be accessible] to all people. I want people to participate. We want to share not compromise our integrity. Do you ever collaborate with tribes I found about 10 artists on the Rez. Instead of selling in the community through B.Yellowtail they will be able to sell to a larger audience. People are hustling art just to get gas at the gas station. Some people end up selling themselves short. Many need to use those funds to support their families and communities. There s still room to share this platform. We need to be our own voice by utilizing our resources and innate skills and knowing the marketplace. Once my brand takes off we can take off mobilizing our people to a sustainable way of life. There are other opportunities and I hope to one day get the company on the Rez. Yellowtail is expecting to launch a project with local Native artists early I had no concept of what fashion was as an industry but I knew I loved it says Yellowtail while reminiscing on her move to Los Angeles. It was a culture shock but I realized that there was an ability for me to express my creativity and perspective of a Native woman. Great fashion designers tell a story. In an interview with TBJ Yellowtail discussed her year-old clothing line and her experiences in the fashion industry. How did you start your business I worked for BCBG Max Azria and One World Apparel which worked with mainstream retailers like Macy s. After working for corporate America I couldn t see myself doing that for the rest of my life. The launch [of my collection] was so good and went off with a bang. It s been a roller-coaster ride very exciting. I ve been able to make magic happen with a limited amount of money and I now have a studio. Your designs incorporate traditional patterns with contemporary fashion. Have you come across any challenges when it comes to sourcing patterns I try my best to be conscientious within my family and community I try to do this summer. And later this year she will collaborate with Mariah Watchman (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation) a former contestant on America s Next Top Model actor Martin Sensmeier (Tlingit Athabascan) of The Magnificent Seven and Eighth Generation. We all have the same vision in mind and we re hoping our artists will be able to get paid what they re worth Yellowtail says. Yellowtail continues to share her knowledge and serves to inspire younger generations as the keynote speaker at engagements such as the American Indian Business Leaders National Conference the American Indian College Fund (AICF) Luncheon and various Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) events. Additionally Yellowtail is partnering with AICF to donate a portion of the proceeds from the B.Yellowtail website toward the fund. 16 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 17 18 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com FINANCIAL TRIBAL REGULATORY AUTHORITY IN THE DODD-FRANK ACT Financial Services in Indian Country BY KATHERINE SPILDE PH.D. n last month s issue of Tribal Business Journal I revisited the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) to highlight the complex tribal-state-federal regulatory scheme that it created for tribal government gaming. The article focused on the way that IGRA resolved a long-standing federal ban on slot machines in Indian Country by creating a tribal-state compacting mechanism. While IGRA is often interpreted as an erosion of tribal sovereignty it has supported the phenomenal growth of tribal gaming since 1988 in ways that would not have been possible if tribes relied on the limited clarification of tribal regulatory authority provided by the Supreme Court victory of California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians. In the decades following IGRA tribal governments have begun to diversify their economies by pursuing businesses in stateregulated industries where they can selfregulate free of the confusing burdensome and often inconsistent regulations present in many states regulatory frameworks. One of the most promising of these stateregulated industries is financial services. Unlike gaming federal legislation that authorizes and clarifies tribal regulation of financial services was already established by Congress with the passing of the DoddFrank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 which directly addresses these issues and clarifies tribes role as regulators. Like IGRA the Dodd-Frank Act created a new federal regulatory body the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Specifically Title X of the DoddFrank Act created the CFPB to ensure that all consumers have access to markets for consumer financial products and services and that markets for consumer financial products and services are fair transparent and competitive. The CFPB has the power to promulgate rules to administer and carry out the purposes and objectives of the Dodd-Frank Act and 18 existing federal consumer financial protection statutes (each an enumerated consumer law ). It also has the power to regulate activities relating to consumer real estate lending activities payday loans private student loans and any larger participant of consumer financial products or services. INCLUSION In addition to creating a new federal agency Congress drafting of the DoddFrank Act reveals its intention to include tribal governments among the financial regulators and not the regulated. According to the act the term state means any state territory or possession of the United States...or any federally recognized Indian tribe as defined by the Secretary of the Interior under Section 479a-1(a) of Title 25. Accordingly each time the word state appears in the Dodd-Frank Act one should read states and federally recognized Indian tribes since Congress intended these provisions to cover tribal governments and to treat A Clear Path to www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 ILLUSTRATION BY WILDPIXEL 19 FINANCIAL THE CLEAR LANGUAGE OF THE DODD-FRANK ACT PROVIDES A PATHWAY FOR TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS TO BOTH SELF- AND COREGULATE FINANCIAL SERVICES IN THE SAME WAY AS STATES. tribes as equivalent to states. This is consistent with the general federal policy of encouraging tribes to strengthen selfgovernment and to assume control over their business and economic affairs. RETENTION The act also states that No provision of this title except as is provided in Section 1083 shall be construed as modifying limiting or superseding the operation of any provision of an enumerated consumer law that relates to the application of a law in effect in any state with respect to such federal law. What this means is that tribal governments like states retain their regulatory authority over financial services unless it has been specifically limited by federal action. Taken together the text of the DoddFrank Act demonstrates that Congress intended tribes to be the CFPB s partners in regulation. The Department of the Treasury supported this suggestion when it stated that the act empower[s] tribal governments...to enforce the [CFPB] s rules in areas under their jurisdiction the same way that states will be permitted to enforce those rules. This co-regulation is further evidenced by the fact that tribes have not only established their own laws authorizing financial services such as lending activities within the jurisdiction of their tribal lands but they have also established regulatory agencies to oversee require compliance from and regulate tribal lending entities. CONTEXT The Dodd-Frank Act uses the term state 164 times and generally does so within the following four contexts 1) in requiring the CFPB and states to coordinate with respect to regulating KATHERINE SPILDE PH.D. HAS WORKED ON TRIBAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR OVER 20 YEARS. SHE IS AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN THE SCHOOL OF HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY (SDSU) WHERE SHE ALSO SERVES AS ENDOWED CHAIR OF THE SYCUAN INSTITUTE ON TRIBAL GAMING. consumer financial products or services 2) in requiring the CFPB and states to share reports relating to persons providing consumer financial products or services 3) in discussions of state law in the context of preemption and 4) in definitions and exclusions not relevant to lending. The term state is never used in the context of waiving immunity from suit or granting a court jurisdiction to hear a claim. Tribal governments therefore may engage in financial services without waiving their sovereign immunity with respect to state enforcement actions or private plaintiff suits as a result of definitional aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act. ENCOURAGEMENT Title XII of the Dodd-Frank Act s stated purpose is to encourage initiatives for financial products and services that are appropriate and accessible for... Americans who are not fully incorporated into the financial mainstream. To accomplish this the Secretary of the Treasury has the authority to establish programs intended to enable low- and moderate-income individuals to establish accounts at insured deposit institutions and enter into low-cost small loans as alternatives to payday loans. Only certain eligible entities are permitted to participate in these programs and thereby offer such loans and provide related services. The Dodd-Frank Act expressly defines such eligible entities to include tribal governments thereby recognizing that tribal entities play a critical role in consumer access to credit and smalldollar lending. OPPORTUNITIES The Secretary of the Treasury to date has not promulgated any rules implementing the programs nor indicated whether the Department of the Treasury intends to do so. Regardless by including tribal entities in the definition of eligible entities Congress has recognized expressly that tribes have the ability to play an important role in consumer finance. If the Department of the Treasury decides to move forward with the programs previously discussed it will provide a strong opportunity for tribes to expand their footprint in the mainstream U.S. financial system. First Title XII authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a multiyear program of grants cooperative agreements and other undertakings with the purposes of 1) enabling low- and moderate-income individuals to establish accounts in a federally insured depository institution and 2) improving access to such accounts on reasonable terms. Eligible entities (including tribal entities) participating in this these programs may provide products and services to lowand moderate-income persons including small-dollar value loans and financial education and counseling relating to conducting transactions and managing accounts. Second Title XII authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a multiyear demonstration program to provide low-cost small loans to consumers as an alternative to more costly payday loans. These loans must be made on terms and conditions and pursuant to lending practices that are reasonable for borrowers. Eligible entities must provide financial literacy education to each borrower provided with a loan pursuant to this program. CLARITY Unlike the long road to clarifying tribal government gaming where tribes had to finance expensive legal fights wage costly public relations campaigns and demonstrate their regulatory authority across jurisdictions the clear language of the Dodd-Frank Act provides a pathway for tribal governments to both self- and coregulate financial services in the same way as states. These modern fintech businesses not only provide safe secure access to credit for millions of Americans but also serve as a vital economic development engine for tribal governments. 20 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com COMMUNICATIONS SELL THE T Sizzle NOT THE Steak BY GLENN C. ZARING here is an old adage from marketing and advertising that says that you need to sell the sizzle not the steak The saying refers to a way to positively appeal to a person s sense in this case the aroma of a good steak being cooked. In essence it is the aroma or the thought of the aroma that whets the appetite not necessarily the actual thought of the taste of the steak. The anticipation of the flavor is what gets people s attention. When we talk about tribal businesses what is our sizzle Is it the memory of the sound of the drum at a jiingtamok (powwow) the vision of a jingle dance we saw the memory of the blanket dog made of frybread we ate last summer or the movie Indian portrayed by Hollywood What is it good or bad that goes through the minds of our target audience when they are considering utilizing a tribal product or service In other words what is our difference when we try to bring a product or service to market What is going to motivate a potential customer to purchase our products or to use our services What is the sizzle of your product or service The answer to this question is going to be dependent upon many factors but until you can answer it you will not succeed. You also need to answer it before you go into production or start soliciting business. It is really that simple Let s say you are like the Oneida Tribe in Wisconsin who raise some outstanding beef cattle. Then think about Kobe beef from Japan. Both offer something special in their product wonderful meat The Oneida beef is kept from the flavor enhancers and chemicals many producers use. The Kobe beef is from hand-fed pampered young beef who produce some of the most tender flavorful meat available on the market today. Top dollar is paid for these products. If you have a C-store like my tribe does they have a deli that offers excellent sandwiches salads coffee and great specials. They also offer the food cooked to order at very reasonable prices. The kicker is that there are no competing fast-food outlets within 5 miles. They are literally the only game in town for a market within a 10-mile radius (being at the entrance to the tribal gathering grounds helps too). Our sizzle is convenience and quality It is easier for you to get to our deli buy your cooked-for-you food something to wash it down and oh yes while there you might as well gas up your vehicle. This is not glamorous or sexy but it sells to an ever-increasing customer base. As long as the market stays the same the deli will do well. When a fast-food restaurant comes into the market then the sizzle will have to be adjusted. That s life in the marketing realm. Nothing works forever and all techniques should be reviewed on a regular basis. This is a lesson for another time but keeping an unbiased eye on your business relationship with your customer base helps you stay ahead of the challenge and will help you to succeed in the long term (...think seventh generation as elders teach us). After you make the initial sale what is going to keep the customer coming back for more Was the product of sufficient quality competitive price and value that your customer will need more of it Was your customer service above and beyond that of the competition Was the sales experience enjoyable Was the billing accurate and easily understood If there were some problems were they taken care of to the satisfaction of the customer As you consider these questions please realize that if you cannot positively GLENN C. ZARING (CHEROKEE) answer all of them IS THE FORMER PUBLIC AFFAIRS you are creating DIRECTOR OF THE LITTLE RIVER an opportunity for BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS BASED IN your competition MANISTEE MICHIGAN AND OWNER to come in and OF TRIBAL PUBLIC AFFAIRS ADVISOR steal your next (TPA2). HE MAY BE REACHED AT sale. PUBLICAFFAIRSADVISOR GMAIL.COM. Acting Gun Lake Tribal Chairman Ed Pigeon shares expansion plans with media. Gun Lake Casino Expanding F 22 When complete size will nearly double. BY LEVI RICKERT ive years after the opening of Gun Lake Casino a major renovation is underway to increase the size of the popular tribal gaming facility. The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan commonly known as the Gun Lake Tribe which owns the casino with private investors released details of a 76 million expansion in mid-April. The expansion is due to be completed in the summer of 2017. Upon completion of the expansion the casino will be nearly double in size adding 73 000 square feet of space to the existing 83 000-square-foot-facility. This expansion will produce economic growth and more career opportunities for our tribal citizens our friends and neighbors here in West Michigan says Ed Pigeon acting tribal chairman of the tribe and casino board. We are proud to make a significant investment in our property for the enjoyment of guests which in turn will bring increased benefits to the local community and bring returns that will provide for our children and future generations. The expansion includes a 300-seat buffet-style restaurant that will feature American Italian Mexican and Asian cuisines a high-limit gaming room and a new Stage 131 entertainment lounge that will double the current size to offer enough seating to attract regional entertainers. This is a major step forward in the development of Gun Lake Casino as a top-tier gaming entertainment venue says John Shagonaby CEO of the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Authority. The addition of many gaming spaces premier buffet dining and headline entertainment puts our property on par with any in the Midwest. With its growth and expansion Gun Lake Casino will add 100 new team members that will bring the total to over 900 employees. JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com TRIBAL GAMING Expansion will double the size of seating to attract top regional entertainment. Gun Lake Casino Features Once Expansion is Complete Total slot machines 2 050 Total table games 42 300-seat buffet restaurant Expansion of Stage 131 lounge and entertainment area Expansion of staff dining room and lounge Our guests are going to be thrilled with the new gaming dining and entertainment amenities we will offer here at Gun Lake Casino says Brent Arena vice president and general manager of Gun Lake Casino. An already lively yet comfortable and fun place for the best entertainment just got better. Clark Construction based in Lansing Michigan has been hired to serve as the construction manager on the project. Preliminary site work was completed in January. Construction crews have started demolition work as well as the footings and foundations for the building expansion. The Gun Lake Tribe received its federal recognition on Aug. 23 1999. By 2001 the tribe began its pursuit to establish a tribal casino. In 2003 the tribe hired Station Casinos to manage its gaming project. During the ensuing years the tribe faced resistance from business leaders in Grand Rapids which is located 22 miles north of the casino. The casino finally opened in February 2011 after a decade-long battle. As the result of the economic climate at the time the Gun Lake Tribe decided to scale back its original plans which were closer to the ones under construction now. The casino remains open during construction however the northwest parking lot will be closed during this time. www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 23 EDDIE LOVED THE NAVAJO NATION AND ITS PEOPLE AND HE HAD A DEEP DESIRE AND COMMITMENT TO SERVE THEM. 24 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com CORPORATE INDIAN COUNTRY BUSINESS PARTNERS B Bashas grocery store at Camelback Crossing Shopping Center Bashas Din Market a Modern Day Trading Post BY JOSHUA LAVAR BUTLER ashas Din Market has evolved into its own brand one that is reflective of Navajo culture its people and its history. The supermarket chain is known across the Navajo Nation which spans 27 000 square miles across the states of Arizona New Mexico and Utah. www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 25 CORPORATE INDIAN COUNTRY BUSINESS PARTNERS The first Bashas market opened in 1936 in Mesa Arizona. The man in front is store manager Don Cooper who later became Bashas president. For 35 years Bashas has been the modern-day trading post for the Navajo people. With the decline of the 1800s-style trading posts in the late 1970s Navajo consumers had to travel for hours to shop in border towns and spend their money off the reservation. Tribal officials were forced to take action to provide the Navajo people with options closer to home this resulted in a request for proposals (RFP) to bring a major grocer to the reservation. Bashas Inc. founded in 1932 was one of five companies to respond under the leadership of the late Eddie Basha Jr. Eddie loved the Navajo Nation and its people and he had a deep desire and commitment to serve them says Johnny Basha Eddie s cousin now Bashas senior vice president of special projects. Unfettered he picked up the phone called the tribal representative who had sent the proposal request and said Hi My name is Eddie Basha. I m from Bashas Markets and I want to be your grocer. Within 48 hours Eddie met with Navajo representatives Woody Maggard Howard Bitsui and Nathaniel Begay. The group began preparing for a formal presentation but Eddie quickly responded Put that away. I ve been waiting for you. Not only would it be an honor but I m ready to build a grocery store for the Navajo people. Within a year despite tribal bureaucratic challenges Bashas began building its first reservation store in Chinle Arizona. It recruited the best-of-the-best employees and brought them to the valley for intense training for months on end. The goal was to first have a 95 percent Navajo workforce and 100 percent within five years. The Chinle store officially opened in 1982. This was followed by a store in Tuba City Arizona in 1983 Kayenta Arizona in 1985 Window Rock Arizona in 1989 Crownpoint New Mexico in 1990 and Pi on Arizona in 2002. Bashas plans to open a seventh reservation store in Sanders Arizona in 2017. In total the corporation has 130 stores mostly in Arizona. Ask anyone on the Navajo Nation and they ll tell you that Bashas is the hopping place for shopping and socializing. There is no denying that the Navajo rely on this modern-day trading post which has catered to their shopping needs and even better has become a focal point in their communities. On any given day you will see dedicated workers stocking shelves and prominently placing everyday staples such as fresh fruits and vegetables fresh mutton cooking fuel tack and livestock items essentials to Navajo life. You will find neighbors talking families sharing a meal and businessmen meeting over coffee or tea in the seating areas Johnny says. The Navajo people have made the modern supermarket their own. Today Bashas Din Market is run by a Navajo workforce. Johnny appreciates the dedication of his team members and says that a large number of the original hires remain with the company today even after 30 years. He cites Sara Semallie and Julie Herbert of Tuba City Corrine Nez of Window Rock Deborah Baldwin of Crownpoint New Mexico Vicki Tsosie of Dilkon Arizona and Winifred Tah of Chinle as just a few dedicated members. I m proud to say that our store directors are some of our best Johnny exclaims. The incredibly strong women managing our Navajo locations can hold their own operating any one of the stores chain-wide. Frankly there are times I m tempted to have them visit with other store directors to teach them a thing or two. Tah one of the best store managers says the corporation treats its employees like family. One or more of the Bashas visits us at least once every month she says. We aren t just left on our own. They come in greet everyone and shake JOSHUA LAVAR BUTLER hands and tell us what a great job we are doing. Other (DIN ) IS OWNER OF management people call to ask if we need anything. SANDSTONE PUBLIC In a business world many Navajos feel they are RELATIONS BASED IN outsiders in the Bashas world we are family. FLAGSTAFF ARIZONA. It is relationship building strengthening HE IS A JOURNALIST partnerships and being dedicated to the Navajo A PUBLIC RELATIONS people that keeps Bashas on the reservation. EXECUTIVE AND A Johnny foresees continued partnerships in the FORMER COUNCILMAN coming years and says he loves the Navajo Nation FOR THE NAVAJO NATION. and appreciates their business. He always remembers HE IS ALSO OWNER OF Eddie s advice Always conduct yourself as a guest REZ MEDIA GROUP AND on the Navajo Nation and realize that it is a privilege A CONTRIBUTOR TO to serve the Navajo people. NATIVE NEWS ONLINE. HE CAN BE REACHED AT JOSHUALAVARBUTLER YAHOO.COM. 26 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com Tribal Contact Solutions (TCS) wants to provide Indian Reservations with the technology resources and training it takes for their residents to be an active labor force on their reservation while at the same time supporting the services that they provide. Does your tribe have a call center on the reservation for your lending portfolio Probably not. More often than not your call center is located off site. What if TCS could provide the resources necessary to supplement and help that call center What if the business that is being generated by the tribe from the lending operation could also be serviced by members of the tribe on the reservation This is where TCS excels. With our telephony and workforce management group we can work with any existing phone system and provide a solution for your tribal residents to get them to help service the customers you lend to. This is not only for lending groups. All you need is space computers and data connectivity. TCS will supply all of the rest of the pieces to make the call center successful. TCS will provide the phone equipment and configuration help needed to join phone systems with the existing carriers and provide training to the employees on the reservation with how to use that equipment. We can even provide overall customer service training no matter what products or services are sold. So why not put your members to work and help the customers you are serving The barriers to entry have been taken away thanks to TCS. Call Bart Miller CEO today at 913-744-3410 to talk to a sales representative. Leads. Calls. Quality. We ve got you covered from Have the leads call you with DIRECT CALL Payday Loan Leads Installment Loan Leads Personal Loan Leads www.zeroparallel.com www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 27 COVER STORY Chairperson Sherry Treppa Champions Tribal Online Lending BY LEVI RICKERT PHOTO BY DIANA MILLER herry Treppa likes to dispel the notion that tribal online lending loans are payday loans. She knows payday loans are perceived as predatory loans that have a negative connotation. And she realizes sometimes tribal online lending gets painted with a broad brushstroke that includes payday loans. In contrast however Treppa says tribal online lending provides unsecured loans that are repaid in installments which means lenders have no real remedies if a customer defaults. The lenders take huge risks when there is no due diligence performed in a loan application process. She believes responsible lending practices are the best way to prevent consumers from taking loans they are unable to pay. Treppa is chairperson of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake headquartered in Upper Lake California 130 miles north of San Francisco. She is responsible for overseeing the tribal lending business enterprises from conception and development to implementation. Prior to becoming chairperson Treppa served four years as vice chairperson. Additionally Treppa serves as vice chairperson on the board of the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA). The Pomo of Upper Lake began to explore e-commerce and online small-dollar lending as a viable economy opportunity in 2010. After a thorough review of the industry the tribal council built a regulatory framework that would oversee its tribal lending practices. We had just gone through the process of creating a regulatory body that oversaw our gaming operations for our casino says Treppa. We saw the parallel and built FORTITUDE THROUGH ADVERSITY 1850 1878 COMMUNALLY PURCHASED 90 ACRES OF LAND Remnants of the tribe communally purchased 90 acres of land and established a traditional community known as Habematolel. BLOODY ISLAND MASSACRE First Dragoons Regiment of the U.S. Cavalry attacked the tribe s ancestral population mainly women and children where few survived. 1907 RANCHERIA SET ASIDE & GREW TO 564 ACRES OVER TIME Federal government set aside the Upper Lake Rancheria on an adjacent parcel of land which the tribe then occupied. 1935 TRIBAL CONSTITUTION RATIFIED Pursuant to the Indian Organization Act of 1934 the tribe ratified its constitution which was later amended in 1941. 1959 TRIBE S FEDERAL RECOGNITION REVOKED The California Rancheria Act of 1956 resulted in the termination of the tribe s federal status revocation of its constitution and redistribution of its assets. 1983 FEDERAL RECOGNITION RESTORED After filing suit against the U.S. government in 1975 for unlawfully terminating the tribe s status the tribe prevailed. Although its status was reinstated it was forced to reorganize which prevented it from restoring its land base for years. 2004 CONSTITUTION APPROVED REMAINED LANDLESS In 1998 the tribe successfully reorganized and approved its constitution in a secretarial Election in 2004. 2008 11.24 ACRES OF LAND ACQUIRED INTO TRUST For almost four years the tribe remained landless until the Department of the Interior acquired 11.24 acres of land into trust on its behalf. 2012 TRIBAL GAMING Running Creek Casino opens. TRIBAL LENDING Commences online consumer financial service operations. Chart courtesy of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake 30 P F 375 E. Hwy 20 Suite P.O. Box 516 Upper Lake CA 95485 707.275.0737 707.275.0757 www.hpultribe-NSN.gov I JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com our lending regulatory framework after our gaming one. Using its tribal sovereign power the tribe sought opportunities to enter into agreements or compacts with states as a means to coordinate the exercised authority in this area and promote government-to-government regulatory environments. It was important generate much-needed protect the Tribal ventures for us to have regulations to revenue consumers who obtained to the vitality says Treppa. We and are imperative loans from us of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake. wanted our consumers to come back to us for additional loans Without them the tribe could no longer sustain when needed. its economic has four successful online lending businesses Today the tribe development initiatives that and a call center which has about 100 employees. Combined the businesses have created 175 jobs. FULLY FUNDED ECONOMIC Once the tribal online lending businesses produced profits DEVELOPMENT services to the tribe s that were 100 percent used to provide vital PROGRAMS citizens Treppa became one of Indian Country s champions of tribal online lending. Today in addition to her chairperson duties at her tribe Treppa travels the nation defending e-commerce in Indian FINANCIAL JOBS Country including EDUCATION being a panelist HOUSING conferences such at national as the National RES (Reservation Economic Summit) being featured in a film and making testimonies before Congress. Treppa was part of the 2015 award-winning documentary An Unlikely Solution which examines how innovative American Indian tribes offer consumers access to installment loans and TRANSPORTATION ENVIRONMENT COMMUNITY CULTURAL other financial services products via the internet. In the film Treppa emphasizes how tribal lending revenue has provided education scholarships to its tribal members. She stresses that with better educations tribal members are able to get better jobs. In February Treppa went to Capitol Hill to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee which was examining the treatment of American Indians by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). She urged Congress to once again stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Indian Country to help ensure the CFPB respects the historic government-to-government relationships of federal entities and sovereign tribes with any rule they produce on short-term lending. Treppa testified that her tribe s decision to enter into e-commerce short-term lending empowered her nation to finally rebuild and transform its economy education programs and the social services it provides to its most vulnerable members. In contrast to our experience working with other federal TRIBAL as state and local governments the CFPB agencies as wellENTERPRISE FUNDING has refused to engage in a meaningful dialogue about our shared interests and so far has shown little interest to work together where necessary as co-regulators Upper Lake before the Treppa said CA Population House committee. I remain concerned that the CFPB is developing its proposed action in a vacuum without consulting California with tribes to learn about the innumerable tools that we have Population developed to ensure that we conduct business in a manner that is fair responsible compliant and benefits our tribal members and the American consumer. Treppa s journey to championship began in Lake California where she was born. Her parents moved to San Francisco when she was a young girl. As she grew her parents encouraged her to go to college. They knew in order to have a better life I would have to get a good education she says. They sacrificed for me. TRIBAL ENTERPRISES 24 175 3.9M NEW JOBS CREATED 1 052 38.8M COVER STORY Treppa graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of San Francisco. After college she went to work in corporate America where she serviced multiple industries including medicine biotech wine welding and pharmaceuticals. After more than 15 years in the private sector Treppa felt her skills could be better spent working on helping her tribe. Before being elected to the executive council (known as the tribal council in many tribes) in 2001 Treppa volunteered for the enrollment committee. After three years she was elected vice chairperson of the executive committee she has been chairperson since 2008. Looking ahead Treppa sees the present time in her tribal BLOODY ISLAND MASSACRE history as a nation building time. With the financial success First Dragoons Regiment of the we experienced it is now timeCavalry attacked to look to how we U.S. for the tribe the tribe s prepare for the future she says. We need to look at our systems ancestral population mainly women and children where few survived. COMMUNALLY PURCHASED are in place and determine what we may need and structures that 90 ACRES OF LAND to do in order for us to operate more efficiently as a tribal nation. Remnants of the tribe communally Tribal Business Journal interviewed Treppa to gain a better purchased 90 acres of land and perspective on established a traditional communitythe tribe s online lending businesses. FORTITUDE THROUGH ADVERSITY 1850 1878 TRIBAL ENTERPRISES 24 FINANCIAL Tribal ventures generate much-needed revenue and are imperative to the vitality of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake. Without them the tribe could no longer sustain its economic development initiatives that FULLY FUNDED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS known as Habematolel. How long has the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake been involved with online lending RANCHERIA SET ASIDE & GREW The tribe began evaluating theACRES OVER TIME TO 564 online lending space in 2010. Two years prior theFederal had completed a lengthy and tribe government set aside the Upper land base lost as challenging process to restore its Lake Rancheria on an a result adjacent parcel of land which the of termination under the tribe then occupied. California Rancheria Act. Efforts TRIBAL CONSTITUTION to reclaim our land were originally focused around gaming RATIFIED Pursuant to the Indian Organization Unfortunately our tribe s gaming compact opportunities. Act of 1934 the tribe ratified negotiations with the state of California were difficult and the its constitution which was later amended in 1941.outcome looked grim so we began to consider online lending as an alternative path for economic self-sufficiency.RECOGNITION TRIBE S FEDERAL We evaluated various lending models to determine what our REVOKED The deliberate and careful business would need. ThroughCalifornia Rancheria Act of planning 1956 resulted in the termination we established infrastructure talent regulatory framework and of the tribe s federal status capital to be successful. The tribe launched its firstand revocation of its constitution portfolio in FEDERAL RECOGNITION from its tribal land following the long-awaited redistribution of its assets. August 2012 RESTORED and proud opening of the tribe s Running Creek Casino in May After filing suit against the U.S. 2012. Today government in 1975 for unlawfully the tribe operates four lending portfolios whose revenues fund terminating the tribe s status the 100 percent of the tribe s government programs. 1907 EDUCATION HOUSING JOBS 1935 TRANSPORTATION ENVIRONMENT COMMUNITY CULTURAL 1959 1983 are more than 54 million Americans who do not have ready reorganized and approved its access to traditional forms constitutionlike secretarial credit cards. of credit in a banks or Election would We set out to create a product that in 2004. meet that demand and a regulatory framework under which we would operate. 11.24 ACRES OF LAND Our lending businesses offer unsecured installment loans ACQUIRED INTO TRUST from our trust lands in amounts ranging from 300 to 1 200. For almost four years the tribe The the remained landless until application process occurs online and underwriting is Department of the Interior acquired systematized with an emphasis on a customer s ability to repay. 11.24 acres of land into trust on its process applications in a fraction of the time We are able to behalf. that a traditional bank would require and in many instances we fund a new customer s TRIBAL GAMING Our loans have loan the same day. a standard 20-payment schedule and each payment includes a Running Creek Casino opens. mix of principal and fee payments or customers can prepay any TRIBAL LENDING amount of their loan at any Commences online consumer time without penalty. The framework that wefinancial service operations. our lending developed to operate business was based on a model that has proven successful in tribe prevailed. Although its status was reinstated it was forced to CONSTITUTION APPROVED How would you best describe your online lending venture reorganize which prevented it from REMAINED LANDLESS Innovative restoring its land base for years. entrepreneurial and compliant. Currently there In 1998 the tribe successfully 2004 2008 175 3.9M NEW JOBS CREATED TRIBAL ENTERPRISE FUNDING 2012 1 052 38.8M Chart courtesy of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Upper Lake CA Population California Population www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 31 COVER STORY the tribal gaming industry. This regulatory framework ensures that our lending businesses operate using practices that are responsible and based on principles of consumer protection. Our online lending operations have grown to become a vital component of our tribe s economy. They offer a vital resource for consumers and similar to our casino we are extremely proud of what we have built. Was the idea of entering the online lending business difficult for you or the tribal council to embrace At first yes. The industry has faced serious criticism. Our membership and executive council were cautious about how we would be perceived if we chose to move forward. Consequently the decision of entering the business was a lengthy process the executive council committed to educating itself on the business what it was and what it was not. Once we realized that the business was not the negative thing that it had the reputation of being and that we could meet an important need we resolved to determine how we could operate in the industry compliantly. We had to identify what that regulatory framework would be and the appropriate parameters that would have to be in place. All of that work had to be done before the proposal could be brought before the general membership for their consideration. They like the council had their misgivings. We had to address their questions and concerns and demonstrate the benefits that it would bring to our tribe as well as consumers. Once we overcame that hurdle everyone warmed up to it very quickly. How successful has this business venture been for the tribe Transformative. Though the tribe s businesses have yet to meet their full potential their revenues are already providing meaningful impact to the tribe as a whole. The revenues provide opportunities for self-development through educational programs incentives and scholarships. In fact the tribe s education program has expanded to the point that the tribal administrative offices formerly housed in the same building had to be relocated. The lending revenue has created jobs and job incentives and it funds programs that provide assistance for our members. The tribe has been able to recover lands that were lost during termination notably culturally and historically significant parcels such as the tribe s cemetery. In addition the tribe has acquired new sites and structures for temporary housing needs. We are also very proud to give back to our local community in the form of donations for search and rescue programs recent Rocky Fire victims junior high computer needs and various athletic and high school functions. What regulations does the tribe have in place to ensure the online lending is perceived as fair to consumers receiving loans We enacted an ordinance that establishes the parameters of consumer lending from our trust land. However we didn t enact the ordinance so that our lending operations would be perceived as fair we enacted it to ensure that consumers are protected when they obtain a tribal loan. Our ordinance governs all aspects of lending to ensure that our business is conducted in a fair and responsible manner in line with the principles of federal consumer protection law. The tribe also established a regulatory commission as a separate and independent governmental division to oversee lending operations and enforce our lending laws. This commission is empowered to impose fines and penalties and suspend or even revoke a lender s license in the event of noncompliance. Our lending businesses must be licensed by this commission. As a condition of licensure our lenders must implement internal controls and processes to ensure that business is conducted in a responsible manner and in accordance with the ordinance and applicable law. They must have internal controls and processes and are subject to regular audits. This regulatory framework is what our tribal lending businesses operate under and this is how we ensure that consumers are protected when they obtain a tribal loan. Describe the typical borrower your tribal lending company approves for loans. The typical customer is approximately 45 years old with an income of 45 000 public assistance or other benefits are rarely reported as an income source. The median loan amount is 700 and although the installment contract is structured on a 10-month payment schedule we have significant data that shows customers frequently repay their loans in less than four months. Data also shows that our customers have moderate borrowing patterns When measured over two years our customers have an average of 1.6 loans. You presented testimony on Feb. 10 2016 before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. How would you describe the climate in Congress now on its perception of American Indian tribes involved with online lending I think people are sympathetic to our message of online lending being a way for geographically isolated tribes to gain economic self-sufficiency. As a result of advocating on behalf of my tribe in this space as well as holding the vice chairperson position on the board of the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) I have testified previously in California at State Banking and Financial Institutions Committees. However the fact that a congressional subcommittee invited a tribal leader whose tribe is involved in online lending to testify is a wonderful acknowledgment particularly after years of attempting to engage the CFPB in meaningful dialogue with tribes. I think that there are a lot of people in Congress that are deeply skeptical of the CFPB for a lot of reasons (beyond their treatment of tribes) and the CFPB will continue to face challenges if it wants to pass regulations that we have testified are not needed and will eliminate access to credit for consumers. You were featured in the award-winning documentary An Unlikely Solution. Has the film helped spread the truth for American Indian tribes involved with online lending I really think it has. The film is a very helpful educational tool that we ve used not only with our own tribe and with other tribes but also with state and federal officials and anyone who wants to understand the industry our role in it and how we protect customers. 32 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com MARCH 2016 7.95 APRIL 2016 7.95 THE 21ST -CENTUR Y VOICE FOR BU SINESS INV ESTMENT AND PROF ITABLE EC ONOMIC DEVELOPM Gary Davis ENT OPPO RTUNITIES Tr think Be ibal Leaders yond Gam ing IN INDIAN COUNTRY MAY 2016 7.95 THE 21ST-CENTUR Y VOICE FOR BUS INES S INVESTMENT AND PROFITABLE Transforming the Navajo ECONOMIC DEVE LOPMENT OPPORT UNITIES IN INDI Robert Joe Nation AN COUNTRY JUNE 2016 7.95 S.R. Tommie THE 21ST-CENTURY VOICE FOR BUSINESS INVESTMENT AND PROFITABLE The Wings of Success COUNTRY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN INDIAN It Starts Here Sherry Treppa OMIC DEVE OPPO LOPMENT IN INDI RTUNITIES Advertise in the only publication distributed to over 15 000 of the most influential leaders in Indian Country. For information on advertising and subscribing call 954-377-9691 or email slechner tribalbusinessjournal.com Lending of Online Champion Y AN COUNTR www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 33 Keep Sensitive he financial industry has been dominated by federal and state regulations for decades culminating in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 which established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In recent years consumer protection and data security have become hot-button topics particularly in the world of small-dollar lending. In an economy characterized by rapid technological evolution data security is everyone s business. Google has started transitioning toward the https protocol highlighting the importance of safety on the internet. In fact just as each industry has its own best practices every state has established data security laws that work in tandem with federal regulations. The CFPB has become increasingly vocal in its criticism of the online small-dollar lending industry while the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ramped up its activity against companies for violation of its several implementing regulations. The FTC has already brought suit against companies for failing to comply with their own privacy policies and the unauthorized disclosure of consumer data and it continues to stress the importance of implementing and periodically evaluating information security programs. As a gear in the greater compliance engine Zero Parallel has likewise made consumer protection a priority. From the way we present consumer data to lenders to the way we oversee our affiliate marketers Zero Parallel reaches beyond industry standards to ensure a safer environment for consumers. In short we understand that the perception of a secure market improves both the customer experience and the bottom line. One of the ways we have approached the topic of data security is through Zero Parallel s Direct Call program. We ve given consumers an additional option for how they are connected with a lender says CEO Matthew Snyder. In addition to filling out a secure form online they can now reach out to lenders directly through the most reasonably secure channel at their disposal the phone. Direct Call reassures consumers who might be wary of the online platform and the way data might be lost or misused. In addition lenders can also customize the customer experience through their own interactive voice response (IVR) scripts. And because the lender collects data from the consumer directly subject only to a simple prescreening process the minimal amount of data changes hands. Zero Parallel like most data handlers is concerned with protecting customers personally identifiable information (PII) which the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) essentially defines as key information that can identify the consumer such as their social security number or date and place of birth. In addition to Direct Call Zero Parallel has developed ZP WatchDog (zpwatchdog.com) a user-friendly database designed to flag and record fraudulent behavior and improve consumer protection in the online short-term small-dollar loan industry. These are just a few of the innovative steps we re taking to protect the consumer from unscrupulous parties. And with the number of regulations that pop up so frequently these steps have become necessary if we want to keep this industry alive. ARMEN KARAOGHLANIAN IS THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT ZERO PARALLEL A SHORTTERM AFFILIATE NETWORK BASED IN GLENDALE CALIFORNIA. 34 APRIL 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com TECHNOLOGY Data Safer www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 35 ILLUSTRATION BY ALPHASPIRIT The National Congress of American Indians The Unified Voice of Indian Country F 36 NCAI President Brian Cladoosby BY JANEE DOXTATOR-ANDREWS individuals and Native and non-Native organizations NCAI serves tribal government and community interests. Remaining true to its original purpose to be the unified voice of tribal nations NCAI is a platform for policy development among tribal governments. It was created as a way to address the U.S. government-imposed termination and assimilation policies defending tribal governance and treaty rights and advancing economic development in our tribal communities. While guarding the health and general welfare of Indian Country NCAI also strives to educate others to better understand tribal nations. Protecting the inherent rights of sovereignty remains at the forefront of its mission. NCAI s engagement in national issues focused on educational and informational campaigns can be seen throughout Indian Country and beyond. Its current advocacy is focused on tribal government parity in taxation self-governance and the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act. We need to create more businesses and more jobs in Indian Country and or the past seven decades the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has served as the one of the largest and longest-running American Indian and Alaska Native nonprofit organizations in our nation s capital. Since being founded in 1944 NCAI has advocated for future generations by taking the lead to gain consensus on a promising vision for Indian Country. NCAI s all-encompassing membership drives its policy issues and initiatives. Made up of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments tribal citizens JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com TRADE ASSOCIATION PARTNERS NCAI board 1944 NCAI is committed to doing that says to suffer due to the unjust treatment of development that is needed for job creation NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline our sovereign nations. While recognized and the tribal government pension plans are Pata. Our work focuses on federal policy as governments our tribes often are required to provide both government and and we are pushing to end dual taxation not treated as such under the tax code. private ERISA pension plans which are in Indian Country so that tribes have the H.R.4943 would build on the Indian Tribal costly. On the other side of the spectrum funds they need to build infrastructure. We Governmental Tax Status Act of 1982 to our tribal child support enforcement are also working to expand tribal access to provide comparable governmental tax agencies need authority to access parent locator services and the Indian adoption tax tax-exempt bonds and fix a slate of other treatment affecting a number of areas. For example tribal government credit is needed to better determine needs. issues related to tax parity. We have seen Our tribal governments provide our the successes that some tribes have had tax-exempt bonds exclude economic communities with a number of with development planning so imperative services including we are also urging Congress to our courts of law police assist with business development department and fire stations planning in Indian Country. as well as educational health At center stage for NCAI is Organization National Congress of and economic programs. To the H.R.4943 Tribal Tax and American Indians be effective NCAI s advocacy Investment Reform Act which Location 1516 P Street NW continues and rallies support would amend the federal tax Washington D.C. from sovereign nations coast to code to ensure that Indian tribal Executive Director Jacqueline Pata coast. It is the annual meetings governments are treated the Established 1944 and conventions that provide the same as state governments Mission Protect and enhance treaty and opportunity to bring these issues furthering the opportunity to sovereign rights secure our to light. The 2016 NCAI Midsupport governmental functions traditional laws cultures and Year Conference & Marketplace and services provided by Indian ways of life for our descendants is being held June 27-30 in tribes. This bipartisan bill would promote a common understanding Spokane Washington and expand the ways in which of the rightful place of tribes provides the tribal leadership Indian tribes can issue taxin the family of American a forum. exempt bonds and place them governments and improve Indian Country has come a more on par with state and local the quality of life for Native long way but we still have a governments under the federal communities and peoples. journey ahead of us. The work tax law. Indian Country could Conventions 2016 Mid-Year Conference & and dedication of NCAI and flourish if the bill was amended Marketplace fellow trade association partners and if the federal tax code June 27-30 2016 is nothing short of amazing. removed special status for Indian Spokane Convention Center tribal governments and instead Spokane Washington established a volume cap for JANEE DOXTATOR-ANDREWS IS AN ENROLLED their tax-exempt bonds similar 73rd Annual Convention & MEMBER OF THE ONEIDA NATION OF WISCONSIN. to those for state governments. Marketplace SHE IS THE OWNER OF DOXTATOR MARKETING & Many of the economic Oct. 9-14 2016 COMMUNICATIONS HELPING YOU TELL YOUR development initiatives in our Phoenix Convention Center STORY YOUR WAY. SHE CAN BE REACHED AT tribal communities continue Phoenix Arizona JANEE DOXTATORMARKETING.COM. The Facts www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 37 UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF Partnerships in Tourism How to use international travel research to your advantage. BY RACHEL CROMER HOWARD ndian Country s recreation and tourism industries are an undeniable means of employment and economic diversification as well as a unique tool for cultural perpetuation. While we may think about and discuss these industries frequently it is easy to overlook the true economic potential of tourism in Indian Country. 38 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com TOURISM www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 39 Right Sheet ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Tribal Community House in Sitka Alaska. Below The Cliff Palace dwelling in Mesa Verde National Park. n a national level travel and tourism brings 220.8 billion in international spending into the United States. So how can tribes and tribal businesses work with the industry on a larger scale to bring even more of this powerful spending into Indian Country The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) spoke with Ron Erdmann of the U.S. Department of Commerce s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) to explore the options tribes have in working with national industry leaders. According to Erdmann partnerships are key. Since 1996 NTTO has tracked overseas travelers interests in visiting Native American communities. Since 2003 this activity has posted increases seven times. Visits to Indian Country have increased from 949 000 overseas travelers in 2010 to a record of nearly 1.7 million in 2014. While this is impressive overseas visits to Native American sites is still a small niche market. Of the total 22 activities tracked it ranks 17th. To be more successful in the international market tribes should fully utilize the Department of Commerce s market research. This starts with appropriate market selection Erdmann says. RACHEL CROMER In 2014 for example the HOWARD IS THE PUBLIC top countries interested RELATIONS AND MEDIA in Native American SPECIALIST AT THE experiences were China AMERICAN INDIAN the United Kingdom ALASKA NATIVE TOURISM France Germany South ASSOCIATION. O Korea and Australia. However regional travel patterns also must be taken into account when selecting a destination s top markets working with state and local tourism offices can help with this as well. One of the unique things about Indian Country s overseas travelers is that they engender the attributes that other travel destinations strive to attract. Most destinations focus on the vacation market because vacation travelers go to places that offer what they want. Seventy percent of overseas travelers to Native American sites are on vacation compared to 58 percent of all overseas travelers. In this sense tribes are already ahead of the game. Additionally the length of stay for visitors to Indian Country averaged 30 days compared to 18 days for all overseas visitors. These extra 12 days available in these visitors travel patterns can help a destination or business build a stronger case for partnering with other travel and tourism businesses outside of Indian Country. No matter what you do you will not keep these travelers uniquely at your sites for their entire trip explains Erdmann. As a result it only makes sense to partner with other businesses to encourage leisure travelers to linger longer in your region while they enjoy the combined activities you and your partners can offer. The need to partner is underscored by this additional information Overseas travelers who visit Indian Country tend to visit more states (an average of 2.4 states visited compared to an average of TOURISM 2014 INTERNATIONAL VISITORS TO NATIVE AMERICAN SITES IT ONLY MAKES SENSE TO PARTNER WITH OTHER BUSINESSES TO ENCOURAGE LEISURE TRAVELERS TO LINGER LONGER IN YOUR REGION WHILE THEY ENJOY THE COMBINED ACTIVITIES YOU AND YOUR PARTNERS CAN OFFER. 17% 43% 9% 9% 7% 8% CHARTS COURTESY OF AIANTA China U.K. France Germany South Korea Australia All Others 8% 6% Overseas market share of visits to Native American sites Visitor volume for overseas travelers to Native American sites 1 800 5% AIANTA Begins Participation at ITB 1 350 3% 900 2% 450 0% 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 0 Travelers visiting Native American sites have increased over the past five years setting records in the last three years. The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) began international outreach in 2007 at ITB the world s largest travel marketplace. 1.5 states) and destinations (an average of 3.6 destinations visited compared to an average of 2.0 destinations). Because of how long vacation travelers stay in the country they are visiting more places thereby creating potential for additional destination partners. Other possible partners may be the modes of transport travelers use to get to Indian Country and the other places they visit. Commerce data shows that travelers to tribal attractions are more likely to rent a car (47 percent compared to 35 percent) and to take another domestic flight within the United States (43 percent compared to 30 percent). Given this information a tribe or business would also need to work with these companies to get travelers from their ports of entry and top destinations to potentially rural or difficult-to-access sites. This data concretely illustrates the mutual benefits of working together. The prospective partnerships do not stop there. Remember travelers to Indian Country also participate in many other activities on their trips. In fact the activity participation rates by overseas travelers to Indian Country are two to four times higher than average overseas travelers. In rank order the largest benefactors are national parks monuments small towns countryside locales historical locations and cultural ethnic and heritage sites. Each saw astonishing participation rates that were 36 to 43 percentage points higher than the rates of all overseas visitors to the U.S. In other words to provide the vacation experience these travelers are ultimately seeking working with other businesses and sharing these travelers ensures guests receive the total travel experience they want. At the annual American Indian Tourism Conference hosted by AIANTA a Department of Commerce representative will be available to share this data with attendees. This presentation is an invaluable resource for tribes interested in tourism development. Travel and tourism businesses in every area or region within or outside of Indian Country possess mutually beneficial components to a tremendous leisure vacation experience if partnerships are formed. For more information The American Indian Tourism Conference aitc2016.com The Department of Commerce National Travel and Tourism Office travel.trade.gov The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association aianta.org www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 41 42 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT PROFILE THOMPSON BROTHERS T LACROSSE Left to right Bill O Brien Jerome Thompson Jr. Miles Thompson and Lyle Thompson. BY SHIRLEY K. SNEVE he Thompson brothers Jeremy Jerome Jr. (aka Hiana) Lyle and Miles who all play on professional lacrosse teams have put the Onondaga Reservation on the map. And no doubt their passion for the game has helped turn lacrosse into the fastest-growing sport in the country. Jeremy the oldest brother plays for the Saskatchewan Rush Hiana plays for the Buffalo Bandits Miles and Lyle play for the Georgia Swarm. All of the brothers are also members of the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team for which their father Jerome Sr. played in 1990. Jeremy and Hiana were featured in the 2013 PBS documentary The Medicine Game directed by Lukas Korver this spring Korver will release an online series through Vision Maker Media called The Medicine Game II which features interviews with the younger brothers. Now through Thompson Brothers Lacrosse Camps they re using the skills they learned playing the Creator s Game to provide for their family and share their knowledge with young people across North America. Hiana brought his best friend and cousin Bill O Brien who plays for the New England Black Wolves into the family to manage the business. A family business in upstate New York is redefining the meaning of good business practices Family comes first then tradition. www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 43 ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT PROFILE When we first decided to create a company we wanted to focus on lacrosse equipment sticks elbow pads anything O Brien says. But then Nike called. Miles the second-youngest who was co-recipient of the prestigious Tewaaraton Award (Lacrosse Player of the Year) in 2014 with Lyle was contacted by Nike for endorsement. He told them yes but only if the endorsement was extended to his brothers. Nike agreed. Now that Nike was in the picture to manufacture and sell lacrosse gear the brothers turned to producing youth camps. Starting in 2014 they ve been completely full. Anytime you bring Nike into a sport it helps take the game to the next level Lyle says. We need to be the best we can be because we re on the same mission as them. They have an open mind into what we want to do. Last year Nike s N7 brand held a free camp at the Onondaga Nation for Native youth. Nike also funded an indoor lacrosse field on the reservation. The brothers are brand ambassadors and they want to help Native youth fight obesity and suicide O Brien says. They are paving the way for opportunities for Native athletes. Miles says the brothers know they are role models for the youth particularly Native youth. He admits that it has been a sacrifice because playing professional lacrosse is for love not money. (Unlike other professional sports that pay their athletes millions the average professional lacrosse player salary is 19 000.) There are jobs that will pay more Miles says. This career may not be as long but I have an ability to inspire the next generation of kids maybe turn a kid s life around and put them on the right path. I know what it s like to struggle and be around the Rez and all the problems. The brothers all lead sober lives no drinking or drugs and credit their parents as being their own role models. Jerome Sr. and his wife Deloris raised their children in a traditional way enrolling them in the Akwesasne Freedom School a Native language immersion school. Jerome Sr. is an ironworker and built his family s house that three of the four brothers still call home. (Jeremy has an apartment nearby.) Their father s love of lacrosse was shared immediately when his sons were born each was given a handmade lacrosse stick before they could walk. The Thompson Brothers Lacrosse logo which was designed by Lyle features a stylized T with eagle feathers on the top one goes up and one goes down an homage to their mother and the Onondaga Nation. The braid represents all Native peoples and respect of Mother Earth. The bottom of the T ends in an arrowhead which pays homage to their father s tribe the Akwesasne. The T now appears on many lacrosse items manufactured by Nike. Lacrosse is more than a game to the brothers. It s culture heritages and the Iroquois Confederacy O Brien says. Some think lacrosse is an elitist sport but really when it comes down to it it s been played by Indian people since the dawn of time. SHIRLEY K. SNEVE (ROSEBUD SIOUX) IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF VISION MAKER MEDIA A NATIONAL NONPROFIT THAT WORKS WITH FILMMAKERS TO PRESENT CONTENT TO PBS AND OTHER PUBLIC SERVICE MEDIA OUTLETS. Bill O Brien Jerome Thompson Jr. Miles Thompson Lyle Thompson 44 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com CALENDAR Washington D.C. 10TH ANNUAL NATIVE AMERICAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE Disney s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Anaheim California nativenationevents.org naed16 6&7 Disney s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa NATIONAL INDIAN GAMING ASSOCIATION S STANLEY R. CROOKS TRIBAL LEADERS CENTER GRAND OPENING & SUMMER LEGISLATIVE SUMMIT National Indian Gaming Association Washington D.C. indiangaming.org niga-events 14 & 15 2016 2016 SELECTUSA INVESTMENT SUMMIT Washington Hilton Washington D.C. selectusa.commerce.gov 2016-summit 19-21 NATIONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE Grand Casino Hinckley Hinckley Minnesota leadershipdevcon.com June 21-23 27-30 Grand Casino Hinckley www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 NORTHWEST INDIAN GAMING CONFERENCE & EXPO Tulalip Resort Casino Tulalip Washington washingtonindiangaming.org Tribal Business Journal compiles a monthly calendar of economic development events in Indian Country. If you have an event you would like to have published please send information eight weeks in advance of the event to Levi Rickert editor-in-chief at lrickert tribalbusinessjournal.com. 20-22 NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS 2016 MID-YEAR CONFERENCE & MARKETPLACE Spokane Convention Center Spokane Washington ncai.org conferences-events 45 TRIBALNOMICS Changing the Face of Tribal Lending BY MONICA WHITEPIGEON LAC VIEUX DESERT S NEWFOUND ENTERPRISE n recent years lending offices have been criticized for their practices and predatory actions toward customers with financial difficulties. The Lac Vieux Desert (LVD) Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians located in Watersmeet Michigan is working to change this preconceived notion of lending offices through its tribal sovereignty regulatory structures and consumer protection efforts. MONICA WHITEPIGEON (PRAIRIE BAND POTAWATOMI) IS THE CULTURAL RESOURCE SPECIALIST AT THE AMERICAN INDIAN EDUCATION PROGRAM AT THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND IS A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR TO TBJ. www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 ILLUSTRATION BY LIGHTWISE 47 recognition in the late 1980s. Given the remote location of the reservation in Michigan s Upper Peninsula and distance from urban populations LVD has studied various avenues to generate the revenue necessary to provide essential government services to our growing population. Since the late 1990s LVD has explored harnessing the power of the internet to create economic stability for the tribe. When learning about online lending at a gaming trade show the tribe arranged for a series of meetings with consultants and vendors. Our attorneys did some research and found the industry to be What s the best part about serving in a over-regulated by the states and identileadership capacity for the tribe One of the greatest aspects of serving fied areas in which LVD could exercise as the chairman of LVD is the ability to its sovereignty to engage in an economic be a part of positive change and progress development opportunity unlike anything we d done before. LVD enlisted a series of exOUR ATTORNEYS DID SOME RESEARCH AND perienced vendors from credit bureaus FOUND THE INDUSTRY TO BE OVER-REGULATED BY THE STATES AND IDENTIFIED AREAS IN WHICH to call centers to software and anaLVD COULD EXERCISE ITS SOVEREIGNTY TO ENGAGE lytics to provide technical services IN AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY and information on UNLIKE ANYTHING WE D DONE BEFORE. the latest best practices. Without their support getting the business off the for my people and the surrounding ground would ve taken a whole lot more community. As a tribe we all strive to trial and error. What s more important here is what improve both ours and our neighbors circumstances. That is why we are the tribe did after it decided to engage in always looking for new and innovative the business and what it continues to do economic development initiatives that to operate the business in a manner that bring opportunity and growth to the maintains the best compliance practices tribal community while maintaining our in the industry. After careful consideration and rich cultural roots and distinct political identity. We take the time to instill before engaging in any lending activity our cultural values and community LVD enacted laws necessary and proper goals into each and every economic to authorize and regulate the delivery of financial services and created business development project. entities under the umbrella of the tribe of which the tribe is the sole owner. How did LVD get started in lending and how did it go about building a business Since 2011 LVD has continued to LVD has been pursuing economic monitor the industry has built a robust development opportunities since federal regulatory authority and has refined ames Williams Jr. (Chippewa) tribal chairman of LVD has served as an elected tribal leader for 29 years and additionally serves as co-manager of the tribe s lending businesses. The tribe has utilized lending offices for years and in January it added another enterprise with the purchase of Bellicose Capital LLC. In an interview with TBJ Williams elaborated on the reasoning and potential benefits of the purchase and the tribe s overall online lending business strategy. J TRIBALNOMICS its code several times to add additional consumer protections. What economic benefits does your tribal lending business offer to LVD The positive side of tribal e-commerce and online consumer lending is that this is the first opportunity we have seen in 200 years in which a tribe s geographic location doesn t dictate its likelihood of success. A tribe s ability to generate wealth and become self-sufficient is an outcome that tribes have been working to achieve for centuries. Tribal lenders are unique in the respect that money generated by tribal lending businesses is used for the purpose of furthering the goals of selfsufficiency thus providing economic stability for LVD in its geographically isolated location. The opportunities online consumer lending or otherwise provided by e-commerce are bigger than gaming because geography is taken off the table making it the best chance for Indian Country to alleviate poverty in the U.S. Gaming is not a one-size-fits-all economic solution. Tribal lending has been an invaluable vehicle for economic growth tribal services and tribal development and the impact on these areas has been immeasurable. It has provided critical funding for new tribal housing and renovations education technology upgrades within tribal departments and programs and the tribe s brand-new state-of-the-art health clinic currently under construction. Tribal lending provides new avenues for the education and employment of community members as well. Our employees most of whom are tribal members are learning valuable technical analytical and interpersonal skills. Without revenues from the lending business the tribe would be unable to continue to operate essential government services for its approximately 711 citizens and planned government services expansions would likely fail. 48 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com What other sort of enterprises does the tribe invest in The tribe has undertaken a number of successful economic development initiatives to enhance its business portfolio. In addition to successful tribal lending businesses the tribe operates a destination gaming resort facility including a 132-room hotel an 18-hole golf course a restaurant and a convenience store. What does Bellicose do and what role does it play in the tribal lending business Bellicose Capital LLC was a vendor that provided LVD s tribal lending entities with myriad services including vendor identification due diligence research compliance management oversight and auditing services marketing employee training credit modeling and risk assessment development. LVD s purchase of Bellicose means that LVD is one of the first tribes with a fully integrated and sophisticated support services business. Ascension Technologies LLC the wholly owned tribal entity that emerged from the Bellicose acquisition is headquartered in Watersmeet Michigan with satellite offices on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and in San Juan Puerto Rico it plans to open an office in a major metropolitan area within the next several months. LVD is providing employment and a means of support to employees in U.S. territories where jobs are scarce and need is as prevalent as it is on reservations in Indian Country. Ascension Technologies employs 23 people and expects to increase its workforce in the near future. Why is the purchase of Bellicose such a big deal for Indian Country Have other tribes completed similar transactions As with all new economic development ventures it takes time and effort to learn and master the ins and outs of an unfamiliar industry especially one with a complex regulatory environment. While the tribe engaged experts in the industry to develop mentor and make lending entities. LVD believes in recommendations in the infancy of its its tribal lending entities Ascension tribal lending businesses LVD embraced and the employees who are working the newfound economic opportunity and together to ensure a bright future for from the beginning took steps to grow the tribe. LVD has been actively involved both its lending business with tribal decisioninternally and externally in the regulation making at its core. Our regulatory structure balances the of the industry and has successfully needs of the tribal business with the duties pursued cooperative relationships with of the tribal government in protecting state and federal consumer protection consumers. In addition management agencies throughout the country. The of the tribal lending entities devoted tribe has invested significant resources specific attention to the development of into its tribal lending entities and a skilled workforce that understands the focuses on being a leader in offering components of personal credit and has tribal online consumer financial familiarity with various financial products. services products that balances business LVD s engagement in tribal lending offers needs and provides the highest level of the tribe an opportunity to create a new protections for consumers. For more than four years LVD tribal base of knowledge for its citizens that will bring success while maintaining the tribe s cultural and community identity. THIS DEAL IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ECONOMIC This deal is the DEVELOPMENT IN THE HISTORY OF OUR TRIBE. IT most important ecoWILL BRING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN ECONOMIC nomic development in the history of our DEVELOPMENT TO LVD AND OUR RESERVATION. tribe. It will bring IT WILL BE A GREAT PERSONAL LEGACY FOR ALL millions of dollars in economic develTHOSE INVOLVED. opment to LVD and our reservation. It will be a great personal legacy for all leadership has been engaged with those involved. In an industry overwrought with discussions with congressional leaders regulatory uncertainty and negative federal agencies and state regulators public opinion LVD is changing the in order to educate and inform people face of tribal lending. To be sure about the tribe s lending entities and LVD s purchase of Bellicose and certain legal precedent that entitles the replacement of outside vendors with tribe to operate in the industry. Small-dollar lending is merely a its own sophisticated support services company is a transition by design gateway for LVD to enter into the with much groundwork and forethought. financial services industry. There is It is important to note that LVD was no doubt that as the tribe increases also the first and one of the only its capacity raises and contributes tribes to publish information related additional capital and develops to its regulatory authority consumer commercial wherewithal it will transfer financial services regulatory code knowledge learned in these formative and regulations and the organizing years to compete in additional financial documents and licenses of its tribal services markets. www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 49 Lower Lewis River Falls in Washington ENVIRONMENT COOL COOL WATER The Value of Clean Water in Indian Country BY ROBIN A. LADUE PH.D. his article is the first in a four-part series that will examine the concerns of water pollution water scarcity and water development in Indian Country. In this installment we will focus on the history of water usage and its value as well as contemporary water rights in Indian Country both those established by treaties and those naturally occurring on reservations across the country. www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 51 ENVIRONMENT DAMAGE TO NAVAJO NATION WATER GOES BEYOND MONEY. MARIANO CASTILLO CNN istorically the waterways of the continental United States and Canada provided routes of transportation and sustenance from the teeming shores of the Chesapeake Bay to the grandeur of the rivers of the West including the Columbia River. (In the Native languages of the tribal people of the Northwest the name given to the Columbia River translated to the big river. ) From the Atlantic salmon to the river sturgeon to the huge Pacific salmon and the ROBIN A. LADUE PH.D. tiny smelt the waterways IS A RETIRED CLINICAL of the country supported the PSYCHOLOGIST. SHE IS indigenous peoples of the land. The Colorado River for AN ENROLLED TRIBE MEMBER OF THE COWLITZ example with the seventhINDIAN TRIBE. SHE IS largest drainage basin of any THE AUTHOR OF THE river in the country fed the AWARD-WINNING SERIES people of the Southwest tribes JOURNEY THROUGH THE for thousands of years allowing WINNING CIRCLE AND indigenous cultures to flourish. THE AWARD-WINNING The tribes had different names NOVEL TOTEMS OF for the Colorado River many SEPTEMBER. SHE of them referring to its value SPENT 40 YEARS OF HER and beauty. In light of the CAREER WORKING AND seriousness of extinction facing TEACHING IN INDIGENOUS contemporary humans it is COMMUNITIES ALL OVER ironic that it was climate change THE WORLD. and drought that brought down H the magnificent cultures of the ancient people of the Southwest. Water rights and the increasing pressures of humans on the Colorado River continue today and will be discussed in the next three articles in this series. The waters of the Colorado River helped support the agriculture for the tribes in the area. These tribes (as in every other part of the country) were forced off their traditional lands and onto reservations that were often arid lacking in water resources and unable to sustain the agriculture of the past. However underneath the lands were minerals including uranium. While the removal of these minerals was portrayed as an economic boon in fact it spelled disaster for clean water on the Navajo reservation a problem remaining unsolved. As climate has changed over time and as the demand for water from the Colorado has increased along with uranium mining pollution and the horrific release of contaminated water from the Gold King Mine in August 2015 the indigenous people of the Southwest have been pushed into dire situations for lack of potable water. Alaska was and remains another area where the deep connection between the land and water and the indigenous people was valued and celebrated. The Aleut people for example lived on the archipelago that stretches west to Russia. The ocean provided enormous sustenance riches for the indigenous people of the great northlands including salmon halibut crabs whales walruses and seals. In the recent past the sustenance way of life for Native people and other inhabitants of Alaska was hugely impacted by the enormous oil spill (11 million to 38 million gallons) of the Exxon Valdez in 1989. More than 25 years later this area has yet to fully recover. The relationship between the rivers streams creeks ponds and lakes of the land remain unchanged with some exceptions for thousands of years. The villages built along the riverbanks were dependent on their waterways for trade food recreation and life itself. The lives of the indigenous people of the land were very much intertwined with the water of the land and the oceans surrounding the continent. Despite the ongoing destruction of the waterways through pollution deforestation dams and overuse the indigenous people have refused to sever their interdependence on the cool clear water of their lands. PHOTO BY SOMCHAI JONGMEESUK The Colorado River fed the people of the Southwest for thousands of years allowing indigenous cultures to flourish. The destruction of waterways salmon runs polluted streams deforestation and the change of life for indigenous people and the resultant health problems began almost immediately with the arrival of Europeans to the American continents. Wherever the Europeans settled in the United States and Canada wherever the imposition of the treaties (almost all were broken) and the reservation system occurred water was an issue. Many if not most of the treaties contained language about the indigenous people retaining water rights a practice that led to conflict which continues to the present. The legislation that was so common in the 1930s to 1970s that led to the termination of many tribes was often based solely on the economics of natural resources and rights negotiated in the earlier treaties. A large portion of the economics of termination centered on water rights a situation that remains murky for many tribes and in their nation-to-nation relationships with the United States and state governments. The history of water rights and economic development and disparities is complex with the ongoing struggles over water intensifying due to the decreasing access to this invaluable resource. It would be impossible to place a current dollar value on the resources that were once present on the North American continent when the rivers were running free the waterways were cool and clean the salmon halibut otter crab whales walruses and seals and other water resources were plentiful but it would be an unimaginable wealth. In fact it was the plentiful nature of these resources that led to the never-ending conflict between indigenous people and those who continue to seek access and control over these resources. So many of today s concerns about the rivers of life the blood of the flesh of all living creatures and plants are deeply rooted in the politics of racism greed colonization forced assimilation Manifest Destiny attitudes economic dominance and simple scientific denial. Changing the course of these rivers of life from one of loss to one of gain and protection requires that each of these factors are acknowledged and proactively addressed at all levels of government and citizen involvement. Tribal people have taken the lead in many aspects of saving the waters of this country from protesting pipelines and fighting fracking practices to the development of fisheries and programs that address saving water and the resources that come with clean water. Hopefully as will be laid out in the following articles of this series steps to recovery from hundreds of years of bad policy can be implemented and the waters can run cool clean healing and bountiful again. www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 53 How Can 8(a) Companies Increase Their Odds of Winning Federal Contracts TRAINING and ADVICE for how to DEVELOP TEAMS LEVERAGE FINANCIAL POSTURE and LURE LARGE BUSINESSES to be large subcontractors is what separates success from the status quo for any small business. A FEDERAL PROCUREMENT winning a federal contract not 90 to 100 percent for 8(a) businesses ASSISTANCE From my experience as a former federal warranted contract officer and my current position as a National Center PTAC advisor assisting small businesses prepare and progress through the 8(a) program there is a distinct difference between those businesses that win contracts and those that do not. That difference has nothing to do with the qualifications and capability of the individual business it has everything to do with how the business structures itself for a successful future and not just the next bid. After certification many 8(a) businesses continue to operate as individual entities with a small base of subcontractors who support their current capability. Because of limited bonding and access to both operating and capital funding the 8(a) continues to operate at the current level of performance at which it entered the 8(a) program. This continues throughout the first four years of the 8(a) life cycle and sometimes for the entire length the program. When the business no longer has SBA support it will inevitably revert back to its small disadvantaged business status. Those 8(a) businesses that succeed in growing their status from small disadvantaged to almost the ceiling of their SBA size standard or beyond do so by understanding and initiating actions and restructuring the business with a team mentality. They do this by accommodating and becoming a management entity (within their NAICs) and finding larger small businesses as teaming partners not just subcontractors. They also engage this new team structure to attract the support of larger companies that want to be a large subcontractor and take advantage of the small business set-asides and sole source contracts afforded to 8(a) businesses. OUTSIDE THE BOX As the size of awarded contracts grow the successful 8(a) engages in taking advantage of irrevocable back bonding offered by large businesses and leveraging its financial posture to include larger lines of credit and possibly venture capital investments using the team as the entity and not just itself. Though this may sound difficult and risky it is done every day by those 8(a) businesses that dare to think outside of the box. By validating itself to the procurement community not as an independent 8(a) but as a viable capable and responsible team that is coached controlled and managed by the 8(a) with a support team of reliable and responsible partners and backed by a large business that has invested its support funding and reputation of the coach successful bidding growth and performance is inevitable. With that type of stable business structure and sound financial leveraging the continued growth and development of the 8(a) to become independent in nine years or less is almost guaranteed. EVALUATION So if this is the secret to success why don t all 8(a) businesses do this Again in my opinion every small business needs to evaluate its business growth plan and determine where it wants to operate three five and 10 years out. If its strategic plan does not include teaming stability and growth the opportunities for outgrowing its small disadvantaged status will be limited. How can 8(a) companies increase their odds of winning federal contracts Training and advice for how to develop teams leverage financial posture and lure large businesses to be large subcontractors is what separates success from the status quo for any small business. If a small business wants to chase the brass ring and the coveted 8(a) status the SBA and the National Center PTAC are there to help and guide the business through this transition. Potential 8(a) companies need to take advantage of that support before they apply for their certification and have a team ready the day they are awarded their coveted letter and their first contract. LT. COL. ADOLFO E. VASQUEZ USA RET. IS A PROCUREMENT TECHNICAL ADVISOR FOR THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR AMERICAN INDIAN EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROCUREMENT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER. (NCAIED PTAC). HE IS ALSO A CERTIFIED VERIFICATION COUNSELOR FOR VA S CVE VIP PROGRAM. HE HAS OVER 16 YEARS EXPERIENCE AS A FORMER FEDERAL WARRANTED PROCUREMENT OFFICER AN ADMINISTRATIVE CONTRACTING OFFICER A CONTRACTING OFFICER TECHNICAL REPRESENTATIVE (COTR) A QUALITY ASSURANCE DEPUTY DIRECTOR A DEPUTY FEDERAL CONTRACTS FINANCE COMPTROLLER AND A FEDERAL CONTRACTS PAYMENT OPERATIONS DIRECTOR. BY ADOLFO E. VASQUEZ recent article surveying 8(a) businesses published by Set Aside Alert states While 49 percent of the 8(a) company executives surveyed reported winning at least one 8(a) federal contract in calendar 2015 the other 51 percent said they won no 8(a) federal contracts last year. The article goes on to say that although the survey is a snapshot of views from 8(a) company executives. It is not statistically representative of the entire pool of 8(a) companies. This may not be statistically representative of the 8(a) community but in my professional opinion and experience the reason a majority of 8(a) businesses do not win federal contracts is that they fail to prepare or understand how to win contracts from the get-go. Let me explain. MEETING REQUIREMENTS The initial process of qualifying for 8(a) status is stringent and comprehensive. The business must unconditionally demonstrate to the Small Business Administration (SBA) that it meets all of the requirements spelled out in 13 CFR 124. Once the business meets these requirements the 8(a) status is awarded and the business begins the nine-year process of growing from its current small disadvantaged status to a competitive business in the federal and commercial contracting market. During this nine-year certification period the SBA offers individual guidance mandated training and other assistance to each 8(a) business there is a growth plan developed that is monitored by an assigned SBA advisor on an annual basis and the business has access to many of the SBA s financial support efforts such as the guarantee loan program the surety bonding support program and access to capital through various loan programs including microloans and Section 504 capital investment loans. In addition federal agencies recognize 8(a) status as a certification from the SBA that the business has proven its ability to succeed. Why then after this in-depth evaluation and certification plus access to SBA individualized support and guidance access to financial support for both operational and capital investment and recognition by the federal and federal prime procurement community is www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 55 Stewarts Point located on the Kashia Coastal Reserve in California INDIAN LAND CAPITAL COMPANY Making a Difference in Indian Country BY LEVI RICKERT R jay Brunkow (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians) enjoys what he does. As CEO of Indian Land Capital Company (ILCC) he provides money to tribes for economic development through loans. There is nothing more satisfying than going home and knowing you have made a difference in Indian Country says Brunkow who took the reins at ILCC in September 2015. When I began a finance career working in Indian Country for Wells Fargo then went on to work for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians tribes I found satisfaction. Now I have found a sense of purpose by making loans to tribes. Prior to working in Indian Country Brunkow graduated with honors from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science in business economics and earned his J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Minnesota Law School. Founded in 2005 ILCC is a certified Native American Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) based in Little Canada Minnesota that provides financing to American Indian tribes for land acquisition and economic development. It was formed as a collaborative effort between the Indian Land Tenure Foundation and the Native American Community Development Corporation of Browning Montana under the leadership of the late Elouise Cobell (Blackfeet) and Cris Stainbrook (Oglala Lakota) both strong advocates of tribal land acquisition. Given the long history of American Indian tribes losing land ILCC plays a vital role when it comes to land acquisition. During the last several years ILCC has provided the financing so tribes can acquire land for a variety of reasons. From facilitating the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians purchase of 312 acres of land for farming in the northern part of Michigan s Lower Peninsula to assisting the Yurok Tribe in California obtain valuable lots of land for elder housing ILCC helps tribes regain control over their assets especially land in order to promote tribal sovereignty economies and culture. One of ILCC s recent loans in particular gave Brunkow a real sense of pride We were able to help the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians in California purchase back land that the tribe lost 150 years ago he says. The tribe was ecstatic it was able to recover land it lost so long ago. The Kashia Band of Pomo Indians has come full circle once again regaining ownership of our coastal land says Tribal Chairman Reno Keoni Franklin. We are proud owners of the Kashia Coastal Reserve an environmentally protected property along the Northern California coast. It would not have been possible without the assistance of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation Indian Land Capital Company not only did they play a major financial role in our acquisition of the property they also provided valuable advice and were a strong voice of empowerment when we doubted if we could complete the purchase. ILCC is unique in its lending practices in that it does not collateralize the land like other lending institutions instead it works out other ways to collateralize loans through other income sources of tribes. 56 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com CORPORATE INDIAN COUNTRY BUSINESS PARTNERS In all the years we have operated we have never had a default says Brunkow. It is often difficult for tribes to obtain loans for land because many lending institutions are not familiar with Indian Country and what it means when land goes into trust by the federal government. We have an 11-year history of making loans. We know what we are doing. We think investing in Indian Country is a great investment. While ILCC began as a lending institution for tribes to acquire land the company has expanded to finance other types of tribal projects. Some of the projects ILCC has funded include tribal administration buildings strip malls on tribal lands and a tribal waste treatment plant. Brunkow says ILCC does not provide funding for gamingrelated projects. Currently ILCC provides loans to tribes in the 1.5 million to 2 million range. It has streamlined its process and tries to make it easy for tribes to get financing in an expedient time frame. A tribe has to present its business plan and three years of audited financial statements. We want a current snapshot of what is happening financially and we can move quickly Brunkow says. Our turn-around time for a decision can come in less than a week. During Brunkow s tenure he wants to see ILCC grow in the number of loans it makes to tribes and even expand its service area. The company has yet to make a loan in Alaska where over 200 tribes are located and Brunkow would welcome an opportunity to provide financing to tribes there. I see tremendous growth for Indian Land Capital Company Brunkow says. It has a great history and I see no reason that it should not be the first on the mind of tribal leaders when seeking a loan. www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 57 NATIVE SCENE The 2016 Amerind Risk NAIHC National Conference & Tradeshow was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort in Honolulu Hawaii May 8-11 2016. 2016 Amerind Risk NAIHC National Conference & Tradeshow 58 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com NATIVE NEWS ONLINE THE NATIONS LEADING SOURCE FOR NEWS AND INFORMATION ON INDIAN COUNTRY. FOR INFORMATION ON ADVERTISING AND SUBSCRIBING CALL 954-377-9691 OR EMAIL SLECHNER TRIBALBUSINESSJOURNAL.COM www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 59 IN THE NEWS NAFOA SIGNS COLLABORATIVE AGREEMENT WITH ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY The Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) and Arizona State University have signed a collaborative agreement that formalizes a longstanding partnership to build the Tribal Economic Leadership (TEL) Program to bring financial and economic development training to Indian Country. The agreement was signed by NAFOA President Bill Lomax and Rebecca Tsosie ASU s vice provost for inclusion and community engagement during NAFOA s 34th Annual Conference which was held April 18-19 at the Gila River Indian Community s Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa. Tsosie who is also a regents professor at ASU s Sandra Day O Connor College of Law signed the agreement on behalf of ASU President Michael Crow. The development of the TEL Program is an outgrowth of the highly successful Tribal Financial Managers Certification (TFMC) training which ASU s American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) and NAFOA have partnered in presenting since 2009. The TFMC program has trained over 340 tribal leaders CFOs accountants and other tribal professionals in sound economics fiscal management tribal governmental finance Indian law and economic development. ASU has demonstrated a deep commitment and responsibility to the Native nations and Native peoples the university serves says Lomax. We could not have asked for a better partner in building out meaningful professional development opportunities. This collaborative partnership will combine our strengths to expand the capacity building of Indian Country. ASU is honored to partner with NAFOA for such an important goal of improving the economic condition and capacity of tribal nations which builds on the work that we ve already started together says Jacob Moore assistant vice president of tribal relations for ASU. To paraphrase President Crow ASU aims to be a university measured not by whom it excludes but by whom it includes and how they succeed. The goal of the TEL Program is to arm tribal practitioners and those who work with tribal entities with knowledge of the nuances of tribal governance and finance. Grant management www.AITC2016.com For more information call 505.724.3592 60 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com The Indian Legal Program at Arizona State University s Sandra Day O Connor College of Law Earn a JD JD MBA or a Masters of Legal Studies Certificate in Indian Law Indian Legal Clinic Rosette Tribal Economic Development Program National Conferences Outstanding Faculty Great Selection of Indian Law Classes Learn more at law.asu.edu ILP or ILP asu.edu ASU NAFOA signing ceremony accounting and taxation and compliance are complex in their own right but there are added layers of reporting in tribal applications. Not having a good understanding of these additional regulations can subject entities to fines and endanger funding. The program will provide a variety of trainings and professional development opportunities that will enable tribal leaders executives government representatives (tribal state and federal) and financial practitioners to better understand the regulations surrounding tribal funds management. The signing of the agreement was one of Lomax s last official duties as NAFOA s president he chose not to run for re-election. Tina Danforth (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin) who was elected to serve for a two-year term took office in April. TRIBAL TECH THE 17TH FASTEST-GROWING WOMANOWNED LED COMPANY The Women Presidents Organization (WPO) in partnership with American Express announced that Tribal Tech LLC has earned a ranking of No. 17 in its ninth annual list of fastest-growing womenowned led companies for 2016. The announcement was made at the WPO s 2016 International Conference which was held April 8-10 in Baltimore Maryland. This is the first year Tribal Tech made the list. I am excited that For The Underbanked Portfolio Management Marketing Consumer Acquisition and Retention Customer Service w w w. M a c F a r l a n e G P. c o m www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 Building A Bridge 61 IN THE NEWS Vicki Vasques a highly reputable organization such as the WPO is recognizing Tribal Tech as one of the fastest-growing companies for women this year says Tribal Tech President and CEO Vicki Vasques who is a tribal citizen of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians. I want to offer a tremendous thank you to Tribal Tech staff and to the clients we are proud to serve that contributed significantly to our growth. Established in 2000 Tribal Tech is an American Indian womanowned SBA-certified 8(a) and 8(m) small business headquartered in Alexandria Virginia. As a management and technical services consulting company it provides a diverse range of services to American Indian tribes federal agencies and private businesses. Tribal Tech s work involves providing grants administration training and technical support to underserved communities. The work addresses complex issues such as historical trauma bullying youth suicide and many other behavioral health concerns. The guiding principles of people performance and partnership at Tribal Tech embody an environment where employees are empowered and can flourish and clients may fully benefit from its specialized capabilities. It is this spirit of collaboration and cooperation that enables Tribal Tech to become an important conduit to advancing the cause of a population in crisis. Over the past year Vasques has been recognized as Small Business Administration Person of the Year in the Northern Virginia Region by the SBA Native Woman Business Owner of the Year by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development and Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women magazine. Inc. magazine also recognized Tribal Tech as No. 29 in its 50 Fastest-Growing WomenLed Companies list and No. 320 on its Inc. 5000 list. Native Art. Inspired. Santa Fe Indian Market SOUTHWESTERN ASSOCIATION FOR INDIAN ARTS August 20-21 2016 santafeindianmarket.com 62 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com Upton Ethelbah Jr. (Santa Clara Pueblo White Mountain Apache) GARY LITEFOOT DAVIS REPRESENTS AMERICAN INDIAN BUSINESSES AT WORLD S LARGEST INDUSTRIAL TRADE FAIR IN HANNOVER GERMANY Gary Litefoot Davis president and CEO for the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) was a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency s delegation in Hannover Germany during the last week of April. Davis who has headed NCAIED since January 2012 was the only American Indian representing Indian Country on the U.S. delegation. The delegation represented minorityowned and -operated American business interests at Hannover Messe the world s largest industrial technology trade fair. For the first time in the fair s modern history the United States served as the official partner country. This partnership was important enough that President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker made the trip to the fair. Davis and his wife Carmen attended a reception on the Sunday night preceding the fair hosted by President Obama. I am honored to have been chosen to be part of the U.S. delegation Davis says. Most importantly this was a unique opportunity to build broader relationships for American Indian business enterprises. The world was there to become acquainted with business enterprises that exist in Indian Country. For 40 years NCAIED has promoted American Indian tribes and their business enterprises to further economic development in Indian Country. The organization s motto We Mean Business for Indian Country translates into working to better Gary Litefoot Davis the lives of American Indian people. NCAIED hosts the National RES (Reservation Economic Summit) annually in Las Vegas along with regional summits during the year. Davis position at NCAIED allows him to WHETHER YOU ARE STARTING OR EVOLVING PARTNER WITH A PROVEN LEADER Innovative Loan Solutions for the Enterprise Lender Aggregate Compliance Tracking Payment and Banking Management Unmatched Portfolio Analysis Secure and Scalable Cloud based SaaS Solution Analysis Capability www.EpicLoanSystems.com 1-877-305-EPIC www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 63 IN THE NEWS IN THE NEWS A History of TrAdiTion. A Culture of QuAliTy. Gila River Ambulatory Center AZ take the message about business opportunities in Indian Country to an international audience. He says he is there to represent all of businesses in Indian Country not one particular segment. It is time for Indian Country to look beyond borders he says. This allows us to move the needle when it comes to international trade. There are several countries that want to build business relationships with Indian Country as evidenced by New Zealand and Turkey having representatives attend our RES summits. While at Hannover Messe the Minority Business Development Agency led a U.S.-German policy roundtable titled Changing Demographics Fostering Inclusive Entrepreneurship which focused on policies programs and best practices to confront economic inequalities through entrepreneurship. Every company has a culture. Ours was forged from a Native American legacy that shapes our dedication to our people and yours. Groundbreaking since 1908. flintco.com A Strong Heritage That s Shaping the Future. NATIVE-OWNED KAUFFMAN & ASSOCIATES INC. WINS PRESTIGIOUS COMMUNICATIONS AWARDS Kauffman & Associates Inc. an American Indianand woman-owned professional services company recently won four communications awards for work conveying important health messages to Native populations. Founded in 1990 by Jo Ann Kauffman (Nez Perce) Kauffman & Associates is directed to improving the health education environment and economic status of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The company employs more than 60 researchers program evaluators policy analysts training professionals event planners web developers writers and digital media and video specialists in Spokane Washington and Washington D.C. The honored work includes videos encouraging American Indians and Alaska Natives to sign up for health insurance a video aimed at stopping tobacco sales to minors and a newsletter providing important resources to Native longterm care providers. Long-Term Services and Supports Solutions a monthly electronic newsletter produced for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will receive a prestigious Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Award from the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) in Washington D.C. on June 7. The newsletter is emailed to 15 000 tribal long-term care stakeholders and is designed to drive traffic to CMS Long-Term Services and Supports Technical Assistance Center. The Health Matters video series also produced for CMS received the Gold Hermes Creative Award. The videos feature prominent Native celebrities actress Kim Guerrero (Colville Join The TBJ Team TBJ is looking for bright creative Native American professionals to join our growing team in the areas of Advertising Sales Editorial and Production. Please send your resume to slechner tribalbusinessjournal.com 64 JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com National Congress of American Indians Future Dates 2016 Mid Year Conference & Marketplace Spokane Convention Center Spokane WA June 27-30 2016 Phoenix Convention Center Phoenix AZ October 9-14 2016 Capital Hilton Washington DC February 13-16 2017 Mohegan Sun Uncasville CT June 11-14 2017 Salish-Kootenai Cherokee) traditional storyteller Gene Tagaban (Tlingit Cherokee Filipino) comedian Mitch Factor (Menominee Seminole) champion bull rider Dakota Louis (Northern Cheyenne Blackfeet) singer-songwriter Julia Keefe (Nez Perce) track and field state champion Jamie Loy (Cherokee) and world champion jingle dress dancer Acosia Red Elk (Umatilla Tribe) explaining the importance of health insurance and encouraging American Indians and Alaska Natives to visit the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Protect Our Future Stop Tobacco Sales to Minors video produced for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration s Center for Tobacco Products is the winner of a Bronze Telly Award in the How To Instructional category. Intended for tribal tobacco retailers the video explains the FDA s rules about sales to minors and offers practical tips for following the law and protecting youth from health harms associated with tobacco use. The video was shot on location in Ford Washington just north of Spokane and features members of the Spokane Tribe and the Spokane youth dancers. The Telly Awards recognize the best work of advertising agencies production companies television stations cable operators and corporate video departments. Kauffman & Associates also received the Secretary s Outreach and Media Relations Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its communications work promoting the Health Insurance Marketplace. 2016 Annual Convention & Marketplace 2017 Executive Council Winter Session 2017 Mid Year Conference & Marketplace 2017 Annual Convention & Marketplace 2018 Executive Council Winter Session Capital Hilton Washington DC February 12-15 2018 Wisconsin Center Milwaukee WI October 15-20 2017 Marriott Kansas City Downtown Kansas City MO June 3-6 2018 Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center Denver CO October 21-26 2018 For more information contact Annarae Steele at asteele ncai.org 2018 Mid Year Conference & Marketplace 2018 Annual Convention & Marketplace www.tribalbusinessjournal.com JUNE 2016 65 LAST LOOK Cultural Burdens basket by Carol Emarthle-Douglas photo by Daniel Nadelbach C 66 Making Small Treasures arol Emarthle-Douglas (Northern Arapaho Seminole) Cultural Burdens basket was named Best of Show at the 2015 Santa Fe Indian Market. The piece which represents the burden of baskets of various tribes in 22 attached miniature baskets was made using traditional techniques and native materials coiled twined and plaited weave with a variety of tree splints silk thread sinew pine needles wood pewter beads and deer hide. As a contemporary weaver I am always looking for ways to add new colors and textures to a basket says Emarthle-Douglas. I am fortunate to be a part of two cultures Seminole and Northern Arapaho. Emarthle-Douglas dual heritage affords her the styles patterns and colors from tribes in the Southeast and the Plains. Her basketry techniques have also enabled her to connect with master weavers from the Skokomish Pomo Colville and Haida tribes who have been gracious in sharing their skills with her. JUNE 2016 www.tribalbusinessjournal.com The Royal Flush of casino marketing. Redline Media Group is a full service creative marketing and advertising agency. Our Team has extensive experience in the development of targeted casino marketing campaigns player activation prospecting and development initiatives. CREATIVE DESIGN DIRECT MAIL IN-ROOM iVIEW VIDEO PRODUCTION MEDIA PLANNING & BUYING STRATEGIC AD PLACEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA 1-855-9-GO2RMG (1-855-946-2764) www.redlinemediagroup.com TRIBAL COMMUNITIES ARE GENERATING SIGNIFICANT REVENUE FROM THEIR FORESTS WITH AMERICA S LEADING DEVELOPER OF FOREST CARBON PROJECTS. Tribal leaders are looking for new ways to provide future generations with a strong economic foundation while preserving tribal values. Many are turning to their forest for answers... By developing a carbon finance program tribes are making a commitment to forest conservation and making money doing it--up to 50 million or more in the first year. Tribes can still harvest their forests every year--as long as it s not more than the annual growth. This new opportunity is largely due to new trends in climate change legislation starting in California with 2 billion available to landowners who practice sustainable forestry and help companies reduce their green-house gas emissions. Unique in the tribal carbon industry Finite Carbon s team includes tribal leaders who understand that each federally recognized Indian tribe is a sovereign nation with its own history customs laws and practices. Finite Carbon respects tribal sovereignty and works with each tribe to help determine whether a carbon finance program is right for their community. Finite Carbon didn t just deliver a successful project. They built a strong relationship with the entire tribal community and took the time to understand our culture and values. For that the Passamaquoddy is proud to call them friends as well as partners. FOREST SUPERVISOR ERNIE NEPTUNE PASSAMAQUODDY TRIBE Finite Carbon is developing 300 million in offsets on over 1.6 million acres of US forest land. From education and evaluation to marketing and sales our team of professional foresters and tribal leaders is Indian Country s premier tribal carbon partner. Connect with the Finite Carbon team to learn more about this exciting new opportunity. Contact Dylan Jenkins at 570.321.9090 or visit us online at www.finitecarbon.com.