Category Archives: Business

Paiute Tribe Has the Only Native Cannabis Lounge in Las Vegas

“Nevada law restricts marijuana consumption to private residences until 2021, but sovereignty exempts the Las Vegas Paiute.” D. Hernandez, The Guardian

Benny Tso, the former chair of the Las Vegas Paiutes, stand inside Nuwu Cannabis Marketplace. The dispensary is owned by the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. Photograph- Jeff Scheid

Excerpt: ‘The tribe has taken over’: the Native Americans running Las Vegas’s only cannabis lounge-Dan Hernandez, The Guardian

“A couple seated at a high-top table smoked a joint, while six tourists in a circular booth nearby drank THC-infused beer and reviewed the flower menu. It was the morning of the Southern Paiute’s traditional hunt, when tribal youth learn to shoot and harvest mule deer as adult ‘providers’, but Benny Tso, 43, was stuck in the Las Vegas Paiute’s new cannabis tasting room, taking meetings and making calls.

The Tudinu, or ‘desert people’, from whom the Las Vegas Paiute descend, have lived in southern Nevada  for more than 1,000 years, spending summers in the mountains and winters by a valley spring until the area was taken over by white settlers. They worked as ranch hands for several decades, and in 1970, the Las Vegas Paiutes became recognized as a sovereign nation, after which they launched several businesses.

Customers gather at the NuWu Tasting Room on Saturday 5 October 2019. Photograph- Jeff Scheid:The Guardian

In 2017, they opened the NuWu Cannabis  Marketplace, a glass-walled, big box structure that half resembles a car dealership. NuWu – which means ‘the people’ in Southern Paiute – sits on the tribe’s colony one mile away from the neon-lit Fremont Street Experience.

Last month, NuWu became the go-to dispensary for many in Las Vegas, and not just because it’s the only one with a drive-thru window. NuWu opened Nevada’s first cannabis tasting room in October. Sovereignty exempts them from a law that restricts marijuana consumption to private residences until 1 July 2021…for the next 21 months, this 55-member Southern Paiute band has the pot lounge business all to itself.

‘We laughed at first about it. Like, ‘oh crap, we’re going to be weed dealers?’ said Tso, who served as the tribal council chair for over 10 years. ‘After we got the jokes aside, we started digging into the numbers. It was just a different way to generate revenue for the tribe when we realized we needed to do something to put our people in better situations. Within a year and half this is going to compete with our other businesses,’ Tso said of NuWu Cannabis Marketplace. ‘I think we’ve prolonged our tribe by three to four more generations.’ He noted that federal assistance for healthcare, education and law enforcement services has dwindled since the recession…Occasionally, NuWu has to cut people off. But overall the experiment has gone so well that two to three other Native American tribes visit each week to learn about the industry some are calling ‘the new new buffalo’, a reference to the term used for casinos when the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passed in 1988…The strength and ingenuity they have used to survive centuries of marginalization has parallels to the Las Vegas Paiutes’ creation story, which states that their ancestors roamed the desert as ants until a great flood forced them to crawl up a mountain and ascend trees. When the water receded, they returned to the ground and became ‘wo legs’ – human beings – and an especially communal, hardworking sort.

‘We do get teased because we’re city Indians, but a majority of us know our culture and that’s the point,’ said Tso, whose arms are covered in tattoos of traditional Paiute symbols and tools.

His community may need NuWu to be that mountain they climb in the event of a perfect storm, since the tobacco shop revenue plateaued years ago, right as healthcare costs rose to levels unmet by federal support.”

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Air Canada is the First Airline to Hire an All Indigenous Crew!

“An all-Indigenous crew — two pilots and nine flight attendants — marked National Indigenous Peoples Day in the operation of an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Vancouver.” Wind Speaker News

An all-Indigenous crew

Excerpt: Air Canada is the first to deploy an entirely Indigenous-operated flight.

“Air Canada’s flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner, flight AC185, was also greeted by Indigenous employees on the ground and received a Musqueam welcome on arrival.

‘We are honoured to salute and acknowledge the achievements and contributions of Air Canada’s 350 First Nations, Inuit and Métis employees, who originated the idea of operating a flight with an all-Indigenous crew, said Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Senior Vice President – People, Culture & Communications.’

‘We are thrilled to champion their pride in their identity and their professional attainments in aviation, which also makes them incredible ambassadors for our company and role models for young people.’  Air Canada is the first to deploy an entirely Indigenous-operated flight acknowledging the contributions of their Indigenous employees, said JP Gladu, president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.”

Also in Canadian Indigenous News:

“Indigenous points of view now included as Canada updates cancer control strategy” By Sam Laskaris Windspeaker.com Contributor

“Indigenous officials are thrilled Canada’s newest strategy for cancer control includes priorities and actions specific to Indigenous people.”

Category: Business, Culture

Cheech and Chong help The Puyallup Tribe Open Cannabis Store

“The Puyallup Tribe is hosting the grand slam of 4/20 celebrations by opening it’s second legal cannabis store in the Tacoma area, Commencement Bay Cannabis while hosting the iconic marijuana users, Richard ‘Cheech’ Marin and Tommy Chong.” V. Schilling, ICT

Cheech and Chong

“Cheech and Chong, known for such movies as ‘Up in Smoke,’ ‘Nice Dreams’ and more, have long been known for their movies involving the comedy surrounding heavy marijuana use. In addition to their use in movies in the 70s and 80s, they now advocate for the use of marijuana in medicinal ways as well as recreational use.

Cheech and Chong get everyone rolling at Commencement Bay Cannabis | Tacoma Weekly

Commencement Bay Cannabis is the second cannabis retail location that is part of Puyallup Tribal Cannabis Enterprises, an organization that is utilizing the growing popularity of the cannabis industry to create jobs and careers, education and training to tribal members and work to contribute to the tribal economies in the region.

‘Having Cheech and Chong here takes what would have been a great event to a new level,’ said Puyallup Tribal Council Chairman Bill Sterud in an emailed statement to Indian Country Today. ‘This store is an important part of the Tribe’s economic development, and it’s wonderful to see our long-term plans coming together.’

Cheech and Chong at new store. | Weekly Weedly

The store has an impressive inventory as well as other offerings to benefit the public in terms of recreational and the medicinal use of marijuana. The store sells marijuana flowers, buds, oils, topicals, and edibles. It also has a self-serve kiosk as well as medically-certified consultants in selecting cannabis in terms of its medicinal benefits.”

Category: Business, Culture

Navajo Model Starts Luxury Skin Care Line: “This Is My Beauty”

“Ah-Shi in Navajo means, “this is me, this is mine, that’s me”! Ah-Shi beauty…….This is MY BEAUTY luxury skin care brand is for the fearless and unstoppable souls who enjoy quality skin care products.” Ahsaki Baa Lafrance-Chachere

Ahsaki Baa Lafrance-Chachere has started her own skin care line, Ah-Shi Beauty.

Excerpt: ‘This is my beauty’ by Pauly Denetclaw, Navajo Times

“Ahsaki Baa Lafrance-Chachere grew up in Ganado, Arizona, where she had her kinaalda, played high school sports and eventually graduated from Ganado High. It was also where she discovered her love for entrepreneurship. ‘I saw the opportunity of making money at a young age,’ Lafrance-Chachere said with a chuckle. ‘My family is very traditional.’

So what I’d do was save all my good candy and I’d save it until it was movie time. ‘Then I’d make my own concession stand at my grandma’s house and I’d charge my whole family,’ she said trying to hold back her laughter. ‘I was a genius back in the day. I had no overhead. I got my snacks from the cracker jack throw and boom.’

Today, at 27, she’s a small business owner of a restaurant, Four Arrows western wear and recently Ah-Shí Beauty, a high-end skincare line.

‘Growing up and to this day, I’ve been dealing with my own personal skin,’ Lafrance-Chachere said. ‘We’re at war all the time. What am I doing so wrong? Do I need to put the achii down or what? I love my potatoes and fried everything!’

After years of trying skincare products that ranged from the dollar store to high-end skincare lines, she decided to try to make her own. So in 2014, she started her journey to creating Ah-Shi Beauty.”

Visit Ah-Shi Beauty here: https://www.ahshibeauty.com/about/

 

A Word From Native Boss Babe (Ahsaki Baa Lafrance-Chachere):

Ah-Shi Beauty

“As I sit here in my office, brainstorming about my next business move and mapping out my next color pallet for my new clothing line. I hold my Navajo Tea up close and close my eyes. I vision myself back home in Besh-Be-toh, AZ right now the reservation is getting lots of rain so I can only imagine the smell of the wet dirt and sage brush surrounding my home. I vision my little sisters, my parents, my husband enjoying riding in the open valley, my family and I remember why I am doing what I am doing. I am doing this for my future family (I do not have kids yet), my family, and my people on the Dine Reservation… I vision my business to be big enough to hire my people on the reservation and off.

To help the next generation of young business women/men and help them pave their way.  I hope to be one of their stepping stones to help them achieve their dreams and goals… To be a Native Boss Babe outside the four scared mountains is tough but it is possible. It requires a lot of work and faith. There will be walls that seem to never fall and let you by. So you will have to think creatively and find away to knock it down or just find another way around it. You will face fear that will make you sit back and intimidate you. But do not let that stop you, you can do two things: Face it and power through it, or get help to overcome it.

If you can vision it than you can achieve it. Believe with all your heart. Never let anyone tell you  that you cannot do it. Protect your vision. Remember your four clans make you who you are! Our ancestors fought to hard for us to settle with okay. Let’s strive for the stars, and never settle with okay but the best. ..   Now go get it. This what makes me a Native Boss Babe. My culture, my faith, and my passion to achieve my dreams and goals.” 

 

Category: Business

Natives Ask: What Is A Tariff and How Does It Affect Indian Country?

” Trump has launched a campaign to fight a trade imbalance against China because ‘China and other nations trade unfairly with the United States.’ The goal is to use tariffs (or the threat of tariffs since they have not yet occurred) to get China to back down on other trade issues. What does this mean? And, how will Indian Country be impacted?” M. Trahaunt, ICTMN

Photo depicting international trade. ICTMN

 

Excerpt:  What Is A Tariff? And How Does A Campaign Against China Affect Indian Country? By Mark Trahaunt, ICTMN

“It’s important to say over and over again that a tariff is fancy word for a tax. A tariff affects how much corporate consumers are charged for, say, steel from China that is used to make a car.

And in response to such a tariff — China will levy a similar tax on its consumers when they buy pork, making that meat more expensive in China…Each side will tax products and the result will cost consumers more. And the producers of those products will make less money.

That’s where Indian Country comes in.

The tax bill will be paid every time someone buys a product that’s on the list, such as a car. And, on the other side of the ledger, Native American consumers will benefit as the price of pork (and its competitor, beef and chicken) drop because there will be more supply on the market. But the producers, the farmers, will make less.

According to the National Congress of American Indians: ‘Agriculture is increasingly important to Native economies, representing the economic backbone of more than 200 tribal communities and witnessing an 88 percent increase in the number of American Indian farmers between 2002 and 2007. According to the Census of Agriculture, in 2007 annual Indian agriculture production exceeded $1.4 billion in raw agriculture products.’

This is the trade deficit — and the Trump administration’s goal is to shrink it. And there is evidence that this trade deficit impacts wages and job creation, especially in manufacturing jobs.”

Category: Business, Politics

Mississippi Choctaws Adding a New Casino!

“Mississippi’s only Indian casino operator plans to expand to a third site. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians says it will open a casino on the reservation’s Red Water community, on the northern edge of Carthage in Leake County.”

Excerpt: Mississippi Choctaws approve plan for casino near Carthage The Washington Times

“The band operates two interlinked casinos just west of Philadelphia, as well as one at the Bok Homa community near Sandersville in Jones County. The Tribal Council voted 9-7 for the plan Friday, a news release states.

Golden Moon Hotel and Casino

Silver Star Choctaw Casino

The tribe says the new casino will open within a year in a 35,000-square-foot building featuring 500 slot machines, 10 table games, and restaurants. Chief Phyllis Anderson says the proposed casino will help generate more jobs and more revenue for the tribe’s growing population, which now has nearly 11,000 enrolled members.”

Visit Tribalpedia to learn more about the Choctaw Natives

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