The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and the Mohegan Tribe Announce Mission Accomplished

In spring of 2016, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe and the Tunica-Biloxi Gaming Authority asked the Mohegan Tribe and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) – a master developer and operator of premier global integrated entertainment resorts – to act as the manager of their Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, Louisiana.  Over the course of those five years of partnership, the Resort successfully navigated to reduce its debt by over two-thirds and recently refinanced its outstanding debt on very favorable terms. In addition, a number of employee benefits were reinstated, including the 401k match, bonus program, annual raises and implementation of minimum wage above the required state minimum.  If this positive momentum continues the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe is positioned to be debt free in just seven years.    

Based on the tools, framework and guidance of this partnership, the Tunica-Biloxi Gaming Authority will assume full management of Paragon Casino Resort.  The Mohegan Tribe is confident they will continue their upward trend and wish our friends at the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe great prosperity.

“The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe is grateful for the management and leadership Mohegan Sun has provided the Tribe,” said Marshall Pierite, chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana.  “This has been a true Nation-to-Nation collaboration and we will continue to work with Mohegan Sun for the overall benefit of Indian Country to ensure the growth, empowerment, and benefit of our sovereignty for generations to come.”

“This has been a great business partnership built on understanding and the mutual respect of our tribal journeys.  We look forward to continuing our work together on national issues and making Indian Country stronger and safer for all indigenous people,” said Mohegan Chairman James Gessner.   

Tunica-Biloxi Tribe partners with Avoyelles Parish Police Jury to construct access road, improve tribal infrastructure

Tunica Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite (L) sits beside Avoyelles Parish Police Jury President Kirby Roy (R) during an Inter-Governmental Agreement signing between the Tribe and Police Jury. (L-R) Tunica-Biloxi Leadership accompany Pierite and Roy including Vice Chairman Marshall Ray Sampson, Council Member Rudolph Henry “Rudy” Wambsgans III, Secretary Beverly C. Rachal and Council Members Bobby Pierite, Sr., Harold Pierite Sr. and James Craig III.(The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana)

On Thursday, June 10, The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana’s Tribal Council presented $266,235 to the Avoyelles Parish as part of its quarterly donation to the community. As part of the gaming compact agreement that the Tribe has with the state of Louisiana, the Tribe was able to make this financial contribution due to the success of Paragon Casino Resort. Since Paragon Casino Resort opened its doors 26 years ago, the Tribe has been able to provide financial support to local entities through quarterly distributions.

Additionally, the Tribe was proud to hold an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) signing with Avoyelles Parish Police Jury President Kirby Roy. The IGA is aimed at supporting the Slim Lemoine Road improvement project, a one-mile road that will provide access further into the Tunica-Biloxi reservation, allowing for continued development of Tribal land. This development is part of the Tribe’s larger transportation and infrastructure plan and will provide new opportunities for economic growth.

“The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe is proud to continue to work with our Avoyelles Parish community through our mutually-beneficial partnership,” said Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite. “The Tribe is proud to continue improving our lands, and this road will allow for greater economic and residential development. This is yet another step in the right direction.”

“We are grateful for our relationship with the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe,” said Police Jury President Kirby Roy. “When the Tribe succeeds, we all succeed thanks to the impact that they have on our community. We look forward to this continued partnership and what we can accomplish together.”

For more information on Paragon Casino Resort, visit – https://www.paragoncasinoresort.com/. For more information on the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, visit –  https://www.tunicabiloxi.org/.

Meeting Cancelation

Due to severe weather threats this weekend, we are canceling this month’s virtual Tribal Council Meeting which was scheduled for Saturday, June 19.

Save the date for our July meeting on Saturday, July 17.

For any questions or needs in the meantime, please contact the Tribe at (318) 253-9767 or info@tunica.org.

New partnership energizes collaborations between UL Lafayette, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana

A partnership between the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana will empower the state’s green energy landscape.

The focus on strengthening Louisiana’s renewable and traditional energy sectors is among a host of areas the new partnership will address. Other areas will include economic, workforce and community development, public health, and computing and information technology.

The partnership will advance the Tribe and UL Lafayette’s shared mission of improving Louisiana; it will also provide crucial resources for the Tribe’s 1,500 citizens and their families, both in Louisiana and around the country.

Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president, and Marshall Pierite, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe chairman, formalized the partnership during a signing ceremony on Tuesday. The event was held at the LITE Center in UL Lafayette’s Research Park.

“Collaborations such as these are essential to our state. By aligning resources toward a common mission, this partnership between the University and the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe will strengthen the state’s economic landscape today and nurture future economic growth,” Savoie said.

“This collaboration is good for the University and for the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. Ultimately, it’s the people of Louisiana who will benefit.”

Pierite said that “this mutually-beneficial partnership will not only open doors for our Tribe, but allow us to make an impact on the development of our state and region.”

“From public health to energy and more, we are working together to address some of the most critical topics in our region. We are extremely grateful to UL Lafayette for their collaboration and look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together,” Pierite added.

The memorandum of understanding signed Tuesday “creates an environment of mutual support” that advances economic development for the Tribe through the University’s applied research and workforce development programs, said Dr. Ramesh Kolluru, UL Lafayette’s vice president for Research, Innovation and Economic Development.

“We are a public university, and the work being done here is for the public good. This partnership is an opportunity to translate our research and intellectual capacity into tangible outcomes that will benefit society,” he explained.

The partnership includes research collaborations, technical assistance, consultation, training and workforce development in a number of economic areas and industries, including traditional and sustainable energy resources.

“One of the focal areas of this partnership will capitalize on the University’s longstanding role as a leader in energy research to assist the Tribe as it explores both conventional and alternative energy sources,” Kolluru said.

Additional collaborations will focus on economic and community development through entrepreneurship, business cultivation, financial literacy and hospitality management. The partnership will also foster collaboration in the fields of public, mental and behavioral health and other life sciences, and through information technology, including broadband applications such as telehealth and e-learning.

The agreement also seeks to enhance support for traditional students and continuing education and lifelong learning opportunities for adult learners of the Tribe.

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana has more than 1,500 citizens and their families throughout the United States, primarily in Louisiana, Texas and Illinois. With deep ties to Central Louisiana, the Tribe is dedicated to the prosperity and growth of the region. The Tribe received federal recognition in 1981 and owns and operates Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, the largest employer in Central Louisiana.

UL Lafayette is the largest institution in the nine-member University of Louisiana System. It is one of two universities in the state designated by the Carnegie Foundation as Doctoral Universities with Higher Research Activity. UL Lafayette’s research and development expenditures topped $144 million in 2019.

Photo caption: The University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana will collaborate in a host of areas, including renewable and traditional energy, as part of a partnership signed Tuesday. Seated, from left, are: Marshall Pierite, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe chairman and Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president. Standing, from left, are: Roy Holleman, Tunica-Biloxi Economic Development Authority CEO; Wayne Elmore, immediate past chairman of the UL Lafayette Foundation Board of Trustees; Dr. Jaimie Hebert, UL Lafayette provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; and Dr. Ramesh Kolluru, UL Lafayette vice president for Research, Innovation and Economic Development. Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette

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University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the largest campus of the University of Louisiana System, offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The University has a total enrollment over 19,000 students. Within the Carnegie classification, the University is designated as a Research University with High Research Activity. The University is dedicated to achieving excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, in research, and in public service.

Upcoming Virtual Language Classes

Upcoming Virtual Language Classes: (Classes are via Zoom) 

April 1 – 29  and May 3 – 6 

For continuing and interested students

Contact Jessica Barbry – 318-240-6469 – jabarbary@tunica.org

For a downloadable language class flyer, click here

TBED Kick-Off Workshop: Education & Student Leadership

Education and Student Leadership: Choices, Challenges, Changes Workshop Agenda (1 hour)

Opening (5 mins)

TBED Overview (10 mins)

Workshop (45 mins)

  • Introduction
  • Brain Train Activity
  • Topic Instruction or Activity
  • Discussion and Application
  • Session Evaluation
  • Conclusion

Materials Needed

  • Markers
  • Paper
  • Pens / Pencils

Workshops Details:

Kick-Off Workshop 1

Saturday, April 24th

Grades 7 – 12

Time: 10 a.m. CST

Zoom Link: Click to Join

Kick-Off Workshop 2

Saturday, April 24th

Grades 3 – 6

Time: 11:15 a.m. CST

Zoom Link: Click to Join

Kick-Off Workshop 3

Saturday, April 24th

Grades K – 2

Time: 12:45 p.m. CST

Zoom Link: Click to Join

For an event flyer, click here.

Postponed: March 27 Tribal Council Virtual Meeting

Dear Tribal Citizens, 

Due to the passing of one of our Tribe’s beloved elders, we have made the decision to postpone the Tunica-Biloxi Virtual Tribal Council Meeting, which was set to take place this Saturday, March 27, out of respect for this individual, their family and the rest of our Tribal community. 

We are working through logistics and will follow-up with the rescheduled date and time as soon as possible. 

Thank you to all who submitted questions through our public commend card. We will address those questions at a later date.

We appreciate your understanding and look forward to meeting soon. If you have any immediate needs, please reach out to Beverly Rachal at Brachal@tunica.org.

Sincerely,
Chairman Marshall Pierite

Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow 2021 Postponed

Out of an abundance of caution, the Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow Committee has decided to postpone our 25th Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow until May 21-22, 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pow Wow is an opportunity for our Tribe as well as other Native Americans to come together as a community and celebrate our heritage, and out of concern for the health and well being of our members we believe it is best to reschedule for a time when we feel it is safe to reconvene as a tribe of many.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to gathering with you next year!

Tunica-Biloxi 2021 Special Election Results

The following is a message from Tunica-Biloxi Election Committee Chairman, Robert A. Johnson, Sr. regarding the results of the 2021 special election:

Dear Chairman Pierite,   

In accordance with Election Committee regulations, I hereby certify the following:

  • There are 889 enrolled Tribal members who are eligible to vote in this election
  • There were a total of 1,000 ballots printed
  • All absentee ballot requests received up to and including March 7, 2021, were mailed ballots, along with a return envelope addressed to Teamwork Solutions Group
  • All absentee ballot requests and in-person requests were verified that each voter received only 1(one) ballot
  • Records were maintained of all absentee ballots and in-person ballots given
  • There were a total of 302 absentee ballots sent, and 224 total received back by 4:00pm CST, 3/13/21
  • There were a total of 67 ballots voted at the on-site polling location on 3/14/21
  • There was 1 spoiled ballot
  • There were 16 ballots received by mail AFTER 3/14/21 that were spoiled
  • The final election count/results are as follows:
    Martin Joseph “Marty” Johnson – Total Votes: 28
    David Rivas Jr. – Total Votes: 127
    Rudolph Henry “Rudy” Wambsgans III – Total Votes: 135
  • The Election Committee certifies that Rudolph “Rudy” Wambsgans is declared the winner of the 2021 Special Election to fill the vacated Council Member at Large position.