Tribal organizations make a world of difference in their communities … together, let’s share these stories
If you’re in the gaming industry, and specifically work in Tribal gaming as a team member or a vendor, I’m sure you’ve had these callous and uneducated comments in response to, “So what do you do for a living?”
“Yeah, those rich Indians, they get thousands of dollars each month from the casino,” or “I hope Tribal gaming doesn’t come into my neighborhood … it will detract from our community and attract the wrong element.”
As a Tribal member, as a businessman, as an individual, I know I’m not alone in my frustration of these misconceptions. Comments like these can come from people who we view as educated. I’ve lived with this all my life as I know many of you have, as have generations past.
The good news? Thirty years after IGRA (Indian Gaming Regulatory Act), as a multimillion-dollar industry, we DO have the power to change the prejudice and the misunderstanding that still exists regarding Tribal gaming and ultimately, Native Americans.
At my home in Coos Bay, Oregon, I have seen how our community fund, established by the Mill Casino, has changed attitudes and helped our town in numerous ways.
And at Raving, with your help, we’re doing our part in changing the conversation.
Four years ago, we began the Tribal Spirit of Giving Celebration. What’s it about? It’s a recognition program where the public can view and read about the multitude of ways Tribal organizations go above and beyond their day to day operations to make their communities better. Through our dedicated website, press and marketing resources we share your stories (it’s no charge to enter) how you’ve provided:
- free mammograms for employees and the community
- food and meals for the needy
- elbow grease cleaning up neighborhood parks and wildlife areas
- eating and exercise programs for at risk constituents
- specialty wheel chairs and equipment for veterans
you get the picture …
We want to celebrate the good our Tribes, organizations and team members are doing to improve local communities in the tradition of giving. Sharing is not bragging or self-promotion … it allows us to celebrate this idea.
How to share your story in 15 minutes …
- Choose one or two initiatives you’ve done the past year
- Gather some photos and some links to videos
- Write a short description about the program that you did to help your elders, your children, the sick, or the needy in your community
Need more reasons?
–– All the submissions are shared with Raving’s 7K+ network of gaming executives through our industry report as well as press releases and a future article in Casino Journal. This is a great way to acknowledge your hard working team members and the folks behind your efforts.
––This is an opportunity to raise funds for YOUR charity – the five entries with the most online votes will be entered into a drawing for $500 to be donated to their charity of choice.
–– Find inspiration and get motivated during our dedicated luncheon duringRaving NEXT: Indian Gaming Analytics & Marketing Conference, January 30. This year I’m honored to say we will have Retired, Army Staff Sergeant, Ian Newland, an enrolled member of the Chiricahua Apache Nation, sharing his story of recovery, motivation, and determination, and how he is paying it forward. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak last year; I’ve got to warn you, there won’t be a dry eye, but for me, his words pulled together why we all go the extra mile for others. I hope you can join us.
Again, we make it very easy to submit online and all submissions are free and it should take you less than 15 minutes to post your entry. Please submit by December 1.
Whether you participate in the program or not, it is up to all of us to educate our neighbors, our friends, our co-workers. We all can make a difference in ending stereotypes and misconceptions, one conversation at a time. Indian gaming has changed the lives of not only Tribal members like me but have helped communities throughout this country.
Thanks to all of those Tribal organizations for all that you do for your communities.
On behalf of the Raving Team