NIGA announces recipient of Wendell Chino Humanitarian Award

30 March 2017

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The National Indian Gaming Association has announced the 2017 award recipient for the Wendell Chino Humanitarian Award - Brian Cladoosby of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in WA will receive his award at the annual Wendell Chino Humanitarian Awards Banquet on Wednesday, 12 April at the San Diego Convention Center during the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention.

The award is bestowed on a tribal leader who advances peace, promotes justice, believes in fair governance and fosters inter-cultural understanding. The award is given in honor of the legacy of the late President and Leader of the Mescalero Apache Nation, Wendell Chino, who spent his life protecting Tribal Sovereignty and advancing Self-Determination for Indian Country. The National Indian Gaming Association will celebrate the life of Wendell Chino and honor a leader whose life and actions exemplify those of the late Wendell Chino.

"This year we are pleased to be awarding National Congress of American Indians President, Brian Cladoosby with the Wendell Chino Humanitarian Award," said Chairman Ernie Stevens. "The work that Chairman Cladoosby does is a true testament to his leadership in Indian Country. He is not only the 21st President of the National Congress of American Indians; he is a senior tribal political leader in Washington State, in the Northwest Region, Washington, D.C. and at home, in the Swinomish Tribal Community. Brian is a gentleman, father, accomplished leader, role model and a personal friend of mine. We have stood together for many years advocating for tribal sovereignty. He has been in public service to not only his own Swinomish Community but Indian Country for the past 32 years, serving 20 years as Tribal Chairman. He is well respected and appreciated in Indian Country. His accomplishments are vast, just as Wendell Chino, and we are proud to bestow him with this honor and recognition."

Chairman Brian Cladoosby
Chairman Cladoosby has worked side by side with National Tribal Leadership to enhance Indian Country by breaking through barriers to make meaningful change in policy, laws, regulations, budgets and bureaucratic processes that hamper progress for tribal governments. He has been a staunch advocate seeking out solutions from Indian Country that work for Indian Country.

He has been instrumental in pushing forward several integral pieces of legislation that are meaningful for tribal governments. They include the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act, the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act, the Tribal Law and Order Act, and the Violence Against Women Act.

On the regional level, Chairman Cladoosby is the President of the Association of Washington Tribes, Executive Board member of the Washington Gaming Association and past President of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.

Chairman Cladoosby has also been a supporter of the domestic and international emergence of the northwest Indian country salmon and seafood industry. The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community has several Enterprises located on and off the Swinomish Indian Reservation. These include the Swinomish Northern Lights Gas Station, Swinomish Casino & Lodge, Swinomish RV Park and Ocean Shores Ramada Inn. In addition, the Tribe leases land to commercial enterprises, including a boat repair facility, log storage yard and fish processing plant. Together, Chairman Cladoosby and the Swinomish Community have been making their shared vision of a strong, diverse economy that supports a way of life for today and future generations a reality.

Swinomish is located in the Northwest and has grown their gaming investments from the early days of bingo halls to a full capacity gaming enterprise and resort. The Tribe is one of the five largest employers in Skagit County with over 260 employees in Tribal government and approximately 450 in its casino and lodge and other economic enterprises. Like many tribes across the nation, the Swinomish gaming revenues support governmental services and financial support for the Tribal community.

Chairman Cladoosby is a commercial fisherman and a graduate of Skagit Community College. Brian and his wife of 35 years, Nina, have two daughters and two grandchildren.

For more information on the Wendell Chino Humanitarian Awards Banquet and the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention visit the website.

Related Links
NIGA Indian Gaming 2017 Tradeshow & Convention