Jodi Rave: Gaming defines perception of Indians
"Tribally-owned casinos are often the only bridge between American Indian and non-Indian communities.

But too many times, roadblocks on that bridge can leave tribes in the crosshairs of the dominant culture.

"When they clash, it often has to do with issues associated with gaming," said Marsha Kelly, a communications consultant in Minneapolis.

Kelly led a panel discussion - "Overcoming Racism in Your Indian Gaming Customers and Their Communities" - recently at an Indian gaming marketing conference at the Pechanga Casino and Resort near San Diego.

The conference was preceded by a media seminar in which I was a speaker and panelist.

Racial contempt toward Indians can be fueled when Indian families appear to be benefiting from casino profits, Kelly said.

Anthony R. Pico, former chairman for the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, provided opening remarks for the Native Voices media seminar.

Poor Indians definitely outnumber rich ones, he said. And more than 70 percent of tribal gaming revenue comes from just 15 percent of all tribal casinos.

He asked this question: "How do you suspect we are perceived by non-Indians?""

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Natives not defined by tribal casinos (The Missoulian 9/29)

Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave - http://www.missoulian.com/jodirave

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