Austin Lowes, Chairman, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Austin Lowes, Chairman
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Kewadin Casino, Sault Ste. Marie; Kewadin Casino,
St. Ignace; Kewadin Casino, Manistique; Kewadin Casino, Christmas; Kewadin Casino, Hessel – MI /

BENEFITS OF GAMING: The Sault Tribe and surrounding community benefits from gaming in multiple ways. The Sault Tribe employs 748 individuals in its casinos, making the tribe one of the largest employers in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The revenue generated from gaming pays for tribal services such as social service programs, emergency and transitional housing, funeral assistance, higher education, and children’s Christmas parties, to name a few. Furthermore, the tribe provides a great deal of funding through its two percent agreement with local governments. This funding agreement helps fund local law enforcement, fire departments, recreational programs, township buildings, and other tribal projects and initiatives.

GOALS & INITIATIVES: The goal for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and Kewadin Casinos is to reinvest into our current assets. By doing this, we will be able to pivot to the new gaming industry trends, which will enable us to continue to be a local economic driver to the areas we serve. Keeping up with these trends will ensure prosperity for our tribal community as we continue to partner with our local communities. Our legacy is to bring growth, longevity, and stability to the rural communities that we operate within.     

Over the next few years, we are working to upgrade our flagship hotel and casino in Sault Ste. Marie by replacing siding and windows and renovating every hotel room. In the near future, we will also upgrade our four outlying properties.   

LEGISLATIVE: There are many issues facing our tribal community. This includes challenges to ICWA, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives, environmental justice issues like pipelines in Indian Country, violence against Native women, substance misuse, increased rates of suicide, and many more issues.

YOUTH LEADERSHIP ADVICE: We can overcome anything by working together and building upon the work of those who came before us. I recommend that tribal youth learn more about their tribe’s history, become involved in their tribe’s government, and find ways to volunteer to help those that need it most in their tribal communities.