Tehassi Hill, Chairman, Oneida Nation

Tehassi Hill, Chairman
Oneida Nation

IMAC Casino in Green Bay, WI; Oneida Casino Travel Center in Poluski, WI; Oneida Main-Airport Casino in Green Bay, WI; Oneida One-Stop Packerland in Green Bay, WI; and West Mason Casino in Greenbay, WI

RISKS/REWARDS: As we begin 2023, we continue to be in a state of public health emergency on the Oneida Nation Reservation. Recovery from the pandemic has burdened, not only Oneida Nation, but the entire world with the great challenges of overcoming the impacts mentally, physically, and economically. For nearly three years, we have faced the threats to our community from COVID-19. Life on the reservation and for our people has changed dramatically and we have to realize things will never be the same. We must continue to keep our guard up as we work through recovery.

PROMOTING LEADERSHIP: Oneida Nation, through the decades, has created a broad system of checks and balances, which requires accountability and communication to our citizens. From the time our government accepted the Oneida Constitution, we began to build a government based upon a democracy that is a culmination of our traditional values and an elective system imposed during the Indian Reorganization Act. We are elected by the majority of our citizens who seek to select leadership, who will serve the people and answer to the General Tribal Council. The General Tribal Council is composed of enrolled Oneida, who are 18 years of age and older, and assemble in meetings to discuss and engage in tribal business, no less than twice a year. The General Tribal Council has the authority to direct the affairs and business of the Oneida Nation. We take our Seven Generation philosophy very seriously when we deliberate issues, which means our words and our actions will influence future generations.

FUTURE PROJECTS/INITIATIVES: Our health, education and economy have always been like a three-legged stool that supports one another. The health care of Oneida people is a constant priority, and it encompasses the mental, physical, and spiritual welfare of our children, elders, and those who fall in between. No one is exempt from the basic broad health care needs. Providing the resources to meet those needs became the highest priority over the past three years and will remain on our list, as critical to our existence. Sustaining Oneida Nation is another initiative we will concentrate on. Many tribes across the country are grappling with the issue of blood quantum and where that takes our government in the next several decades. The education of our people is critical to lead us into the future. Finally, our economy is what drives our ability to address our challenges, our goals, and our vision of sustaining a nation of strong families built upon our traditional ways, our culture, and a strong economy.