We have had to navigate the impacts of the pandemic for the past 18 months, and unfortunately, it is not over yet. Our first priority has been to ensure the health and safety of our tribal members, guests and employees.
The challenges have been to work closely with local and state officials to be consistent with COVID-19 safety requirements. The opportunities are largely in the area of increased guest services, food and hotel accommodations, and slot and table options.
At the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC), we have been fortunate to have an incredible team helping us navigate the uncertainties of the pandemic. The past year has required a lot of flexibility, creativity and perseverance.
Like many tribal and public casinos across the nation, navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and aftermath is our Enterprises toughest business challenge.
There have been many challenges in 2021, namely staffing and keeping our community safe; but, there have also been opportunities as it relates to CARES and ARPA funds. Tribal nations have never witnessed such a large investment into Indian Country and it is unlikely that we will ever see this again in our lifetime.
This is a time to remember and honor the ones who have passed, while learning more about injustices and generational impacts that are felt in all First Nations. We also are filled with hope that it can be an opportunity to advance reconciliation and renew relationships based on recognition of rights, respect, and partnership.
We are seeing a lot of funding opportunities from various federal agencies outside the large U.S. Treasury direct payment to tribes. These funding levels should be the “new normal” when addressing tribal trust and treaty rights needs.
Like many tribal nations throughout the country, the Shoshone Tribe depends on their enterprises to manage their resources and assets and to bring in much needed revenue to the tribe and community.
We had additional closures when rioters and looters came through our area. We had to make immediate decisions to close our whole Quil Ceda Village area down and had police barricades everywhere. The word went out and tribal members helped guard the area along with the police...
We have been able to successfully navigate through these uncertain times for two main reasons – excellent management and strong long-term planning/thinking.