Seventh Generation Council’s Virtual Youth Summer Camp

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The Seventh Generation Youth Council hosted it’s first Virtual Youth Summer Camp July 27-31 for the youth of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. The camp immersed Tribal youth, ages 5-17, in all aspects of our culture through a series of virtual workshops.

Workshops covered topics such as traditional Tunica-Biloxi dress, language revitalization, traditional song and dance, Tribal history, Pow Wow importance, handling finances, slime making and more. There were 3-4 workshops every day with each workshop lasting around 20 minutes. Be sure to check out the photos from the camp!

To learn more about the Seventh Generation Youth Council, click here.

James “Tim” Martin Hired as New Tribal Administrator

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Council is excited to announce the hiring of James T. Martin (“Tim”) as the Tribe’s new Tribal Administrator.

In this role, Tim will work with the Tribal Council to manage the administrative affairs of the Tribe and lead the development and execution of both long and short-term strategies in support of the tribal government’s mission and strategic plan. He will implement policies, orders and resolutions approved by the Tribal Council.  Additionally, he will provide direction and insight for Tribal operations and departments, manage Tribal data, report on operational and financial status of Tribe, oversee personnel, work to diversify investments and funding and will ensure Tribal compliance with various federal laws.

Tim has worked with several Native American tribes in the course of his career assisting the as a Tribal Administrator for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and then served in leadership positions with the United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. and the Creek Indian Enterprises Development Authority, Inc. Tim received his bachelor’s degree in Science with a focus on Business Administration from Troy State University and is a committee member of several groups, including the BIA/Tribal Budget Advisory Council. Most notably, Tim served as a committee member of the Strengthening America’s Communities Advisory Committee to President George W. Bush.

Tim is experienced and dedicated to his work with a proven record of success in negotiation, mediation, marketing and budgeting. We look forward to seeing all that Tim accomplishes in his new role.

Please join us as we welcome Tim as our Tribal Administrator!

Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Orders Mask Mandate, Following Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Statewide Mandate

Face Coverings will now be required on all Tribal grounds and for all visitors to Paragon Casino Resort

Due to health and safety concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana’s Tribal Council has announced a mask mandate, starting at 5 p.m. on July 14, for Tribal grounds and Paragon Casino Resort in accordance with Gov. John Bel Edwards’ recent mask mandate for the State of Louisiana. Though Gov. Edwards’ mandate covers the State of Louisiana, it does not include Native American tribes; however, as a sovereign nation, the Tunica-Biloxi leaders have acted in the best interest of the Tribal members and the community at large by adopting the mandate. 

Per a revised Phase Two proclamation signed by Gov. Edwards, the Tribe’s order requires face coverings for everyone ages eight and older with the exception of anyone who has a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering, anyone who is consuming a drink or food, anyone who is trying to communicate with a person who is hearing impaired, anyone who is giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience, anyone temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes and anyone who is a resident of a parish without a high COVID-19 incidence that has opted out of the masking mandate. Masks are still strongly recommended for children ages two to seven years old.

“Out of an abundance of caution, as a Tribal Council, we have decided to implement a mask mandate for the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana that is in keeping with the statewide mandate,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. “The health of our Tribal members remains a top priority and we will continue to encourage members to wear coverings and to practice social distancing in hopes of reducing the spread of COVID-19.”

As the Tribe requires all Tribal members to follow the mandate, Paragon Casino Resort will also now require all guests, above the age of eight years old, to wear face coverings while at Paragon. Masks may only be removed while consuming food or beverages, in the privacy of a guest’s hotel room or an employee’s office and while smoking in a designated smoking area. Paragon’s designated smoking area will be across from the buffet and guests may smoke in the privacy of their hotel room. Until further notice, these are the only locations that smoking can occur on the premises.

The only guests exempt from this are those with a medical condition preventing them from wearing a mask, those who are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, those who are giving a speech to an audience of less than fifty and those who are asked by security or the Tribal police to remove their masks for identification purposes.

Additionally, the bars operating at Legends Steakhouse and the Atrium Bar at Paragon and the CyberQuest arcade have been ordered to close and Paragon will not hold any events, gatherings or conferences with more than fifty attendees.

Paragon staff members have been required to wear a face covering since its reopening on May 20 following Louisiana’s Phase 1 reopening plan. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, Paragon leaders have been closely monitoring government policy changes, Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, government mandates and public health advancements and have continued to adjust strategies to protect guests and employees.

“Throughout this difficult time, we are doing everything that we can to ensure the health and safety of our Paragon family and patrons, as well as our Tribal members,” said Marshall Ray Sampson, Vice-Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. “We feel as though requiring masks for all Paragon visitors is in the best interest of our guests, employees and the residents of Marksville.”  

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Council and Paragon leaders are continuing to stay in contact with local, state and federal leaders surrounding COVID-19. Both leadership teams are continuing to monitor the situation and will respond accordingly. For continued updates, visit our website or follow the Tribe on Facebook

Tunica-Biloxi Tribe Distributes PPE to Tribal Elders Across the Country

Donation was made possible with the help of Procter & Gamble’s Alexandria Plant, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and FEMA

(L-R) Kevin Fuqua (P&G), Brandon Vanderberg (P&G), Tunica-Biloxi Council Member Harold Pierite, Vice Chairman Marshall R. Sampson Sr., Council Member Bobby Pierite, 7 Generation Youth Council Vice Chairman Marshall R. Sampson Jr. and P&G Staff Member Mike Wehrle convene at the Tunica-Biloxi Police Headquarters for P&G staff to donate protective masks to the Tribe.

Recently, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana was able to donate protective face masks to Tribal elders across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This distribution was made possible thanks to the support of Procter & Gamble’s Alexandria Plant, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and FEMA.

“We’re so appreciative of these entities for this donation and for their continued partnership and support of the Tribe,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. “Due to shortages across the country, many of our Tribal elders do not have access to supplies that will keep them safe. We’re grateful to be able to ease this burden for our Tribal elders thanks to their generosity.”

As the world continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Native Americans, like other minority groups and those in lower-income communities, are among those most impacted by this virus. For this reason, Native American tribes have a responsibility to protect the health and wellbeing of their citizens. These donations have allowed Tunica-Biloxi to go above and beyond in protecting their most vulnerable members.

“This project means a lot for so many families in our community,” said Tunica-Biloxi Council Member Jeremy Zahn. “Let’s continue to protect our elders at all costs who carry the stories of our sacred history and culture.”

In particular, the Tribe has a long-standing partnership with Proctor & Gamble’s Alexandria Plant. This is just one of the many ways that Tunica-Biloxi and P&G have worked together over the years. In addition to P&G employees assisting at Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wows in the past, members of the Tunica-Biloxi Language and Culture Revitalization Program (LCRP) have visited P&G’s Alexandria plant and educated staff on Native American culture through Diversity and Inclusion Workshops.

“The partnership between the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe and the P&G NAI Team is remarkable,” said Brandon Vanderberg, P&G employee and leader of the Alexandria Plant’s Native American Network. “We are grateful for what they bring to our community which is why it was our honor to be able to assist them during the pandemic. We hope to continue building this relationship for many years to come.”

For other updates on Tunica-Biloxi and COVID-19, click here.

Canceled: Language & Culture Youth Camp

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Language & Culture Youth Camp, originally scheduled for June 8-12, 2020, has been cancelled. The decision was made out of an abundance of caution for our campers and counselors. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to when we can gather again safely in the future.

Paragon Casino Resort Reopens Following Temporary Closure Due to COVID-19

Paragon Casino Resort has officially reopened its doors today, May 20, 2020, following a temporary closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Paragon opened to the public-at-large at noon today. Paragon Casino Resort joins a number of businesses re-opening in Louisiana following Governor John Bel Edwards’ announcement lifting the stay-at-home mandate on May 15. Paragon officials carefully evaluated the recommendations from the statewide Phase 1 plan and developed a comprehensive health and sanitation plan that prioritizes both guest and associate safety.

“This has been a difficult time for our associates, our patrons and the community as a whole,” said Paragon General Manager Jody Madigan. “We are excited to be opening our doors once again to our friends and guests and look forward to safely and strategically bringing our neighbors and community back to a sense of normalcy. We look forward to seeing you again at Paragon.”

Areas and facilities that were opened today include:

  • Gaming floor (slots and tables)
  • MarketPlace Buffet
  • Gator Coffee
  • Cinema
  • Retail spaces
  • Hotel and hotel lobby
  • Tamahka Trails Golf Course
  • RV Park

The remaining restaurants are not open but will come on-line as Paragon is able to open them. At this time, Kids Quest and the Cyber Quest Arcade will remain closed.

In an effort to keep all patrons and associates healthy, Paragon is limiting points of entry to allow the security team to conduct non-invasive temperature checks utilizing thermal cameras. Additionally, guests are advised to practice physical distancing by standing at least six feet away from groups of people not traveling with them.

“The health of our guests and associates is of the utmost importance,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe, which owns Paragon Casino Resort. “This is why we’ve been working diligently and consulting with professionals from the best institutions throughout the country to create a comprehensive plan that entails extensive procedures and protocols to keep everyone safe.”

Protective protocols throughout the space have been put into action. Guests are asked to adhere to the physical distancing protocols on the gaming floor. Dining areas have reduced seating capacities to allow for a minimum of six feet between parties. Retail spaces also have limited occupancy.

Areas where guests or associates queue are clearly marked for appropriate physical distancing. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been placed in key areas and there are health and hygiene reminders throughout the property. Paragon has also installed sneeze guards where possible to protect both guests and associates. Associates are required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment throughout the property.

Cleaning regimens have substantially increased throughout the property utilizing cleaning products and protocols which meet EPA guidelines and are approved for use and effective against viruses, bacteria and other airborne and blood-borne pathogens. Paragon officials are working with vendors, distribution partners and suppliers to ensure an uninterrupted supply of these cleaning supplies and the necessary PPE so everyone on the property may remain safe at all times.

Paragon’s leaders have been on daily calls with various leaders in the industry and are well versed in the process of incremental reopening. Paragon Casino Resort is continuing to closely monitor government policy changes, Centers for Disease Control guidelines, governmental mandates and public health advancements. The Paragon leadership team, together with the leaders of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, will continue to make changes as necessary or appropriate to all protocols and procedures.

As community members, Paragon officials ask that guests be respectful of physical distancing from other parties when visiting the casino resort. A list of Frequently Asked Questions has been posted to the website and guests are encouraged to check it out for more information on protocols and procedures prior to their visit. Together, we can keep everyone safe and healthy while enjoying all that Paragon has to offer.

To learn more about the casino resort and to experience all that the Paragon has to offer, visit www.paragoncasinoresort.com or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To book a stay at the Paragon Resort or learn more about its amenities, call (318) 253-1946 or 1-800-946-1946.

Paragon Casino Resort Announces Reopening Date of May 20th

Paragon Casino Resort has announced it will officially reopen its doors on May 20, 2020, following a temporary closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Paragon will be open to the public-at-large starting at noon on May 20th. Paragon Casino Resort joins a number of businesses re-opening in Louisiana following Governor John Bel Edwards’ announcement lifting the stay-at-home mandate on May 15. Paragon officials carefully evaluated the recommendations from the statewide Phase 1 plan and developed a comprehensive health and sanitation plan that prioritizes both guest and associate safety.

“This has been a difficult time for our associates, our patrons and the community as a whole,” said Paragon General Manager Jody Madigan. “We are excited to be opening our doors once again to our friends and guests and look forward to safely and strategically bringing our neighbors and community back to a sense of normalcy. We look forward to seeing you again at Paragon.”

Areas and facilities that will be open include:

  • gaming floor (slots and tables)
  • MarketPlace Buffet
  • Gator Coffee
  • cinema
  • retail spaces
  • hotel and hotel lobby
  • Tamahka Trails Golf Course
  • RV Park

Initially, the remaining restaurants will not be open but will come on-line as Paragon is able to open them. At this time, Kids Quest and the Cyber Quest Arcade will remain closed.

In an effort to keep all patrons and associates healthy, Paragon will limit points of entry to allow the security team to conduct non-invasive temperature checks utilizing thermal cameras. Additionally, guests will be advised to practice physical distancing by standing at least six feet away from groups of people not traveling with them.

“The health of our guests and associates is of the utmost importance,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe, which owns Paragon Casino Resort. “This is why we’ve been working diligently and consulting with professionals from the best institutions throughout the country to create a comprehensive plan that entails extensive procedures and protocols to keep everyone safe.”

Protective protocols throughout the space are being put into action. Guests will be asked to adhere to the physical distancing protocols on the gaming floor. Dining areas will reduce seating capacities to allow for a minimum of six feet between parties. Retail spaces will be limited occupancy.

Areas where guests or associates queue will be clearly marked for appropriate physical distancing. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed in key areas and there will be health and hygiene reminders throughout the property. Paragon has also installed sneeze guards where possible to protect both guests and associates.  Associates will be required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment throughout the property.

Cleaning regimens will be substantially increased throughout the property utilizing cleaning products and protocols which meet EPA guidelines and are approved for use and effective against viruses, bacteria and other airborne and blood-borne pathogens. Paragon officials are working with vendors, distribution partners and suppliers to ensure an uninterrupted supply of these cleaning supplies and the necessary PPE so everyone on the property may remain safe at all times.

Paragon’s leaders have been on daily calls with various leaders in the industry and are well versed in the process of incremental reopening. Paragon Casino Resort is closely monitoring government policy changes, Centers for Disease Control guidelines, governmental mandates and public health advancements. The Paragon leadership team, together with the leaders of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, will continue to make changes as necessary or appropriate to all protocols and procedures.

As community members, Paragon officials ask that guests be respectful of physical distancing from other parties when visiting the casino resort. A list of Frequently Asked Questions has been posted to the website and guests are encouraged to check it out for more information on protocols and procedures prior to their visit. Together, we can keep everyone safe and healthy while enjoying all that Paragon has to offer.

To learn more about the casino resort and to experience all that the Paragon has to offer, visit www.paragoncasinoresort.com or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To book a stay at the Paragon Resort or learn more about its amenities, call (318) 253-1946 or 1-800-946-1946.

Three Elected to Serve on the Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Council

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and its members are proud to announce the re-election of Marshall Ray Sampson, Sr. as Vice-Chairman and Harold Pierite, Sr. as a council member, in addition to the election of James Craig, III as a council member.

“We’re excited to have all three of these men serving on our Tribal Council,” said Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite. “I am confident that Marshall Ray and Harold will continue to serve the Tribe well, just as they have always done, and I am eager to see the fresh perspective James will bring to our council.”

Marshall Ray Sampson, Sr. has served on the Tribal Council as a Council Member-at-Large since the spring of 1997 and most recently, as Vice-Chairman. Over the years he has worked on budgeting, educational development, political development, community development and has experience in marketing, operations, budgeting, employee training, business development, community relations and expense control. Sampson has more than 23 years of experience in Tribal Government Operations, Gaming, Information Systems, Marketing and Hospitality Administration. He has also served on numerous community and pan-Native American boards on local and regional levels. An employee of the Paragon Casino since 1995, Sampson now holds the position of Assistant General Manager of Operations.

Harold Pierite, Sr. was also re-elected as a Council Member-at-Large. Pierite serves as board member of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and has been a member of the tribal council for more than 15 years. Currently serving as the chief of police for the Tunica-Biloxi Police Department for more than 20 years, Pierite also sits on the board of directors for Mobiloans, LLC. In 2017 and again in 2020, he was appointed to the Louisiana State Police Commission, representing the State’s 5th Congressional District.

James Craig, III, who is from Chicago, IL, is the newly elected council member. Before Craig was elected, he was a Relationship Manager at Bank of America, where he helped low income and high-income clients by educating them on day to day personal finances, established new relationships with high clientele and created business relationships with business owners. Craig holds the rank of Staff Sergeant in the Illinois National Guard. His Military Occupation Specialty is Interrogation Operations Sergeant, where he oversees a special team of soldiers that conducts interrogations for international matters. During his tenure with the military, he has deployed two times to Iraq and once to Afghanistan, leading soldiers at the front lines. He has previously worked for MB Financial, Fifth Third Bank and Harley Davidson.

A Letter from The Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Council to All Tunica-Biloxi Citizens

Dear Citizens of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana,
 
The global pandemic of Novel Coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has hit our home state of Louisiana hard with an infection rate that is exceeding the rest of the country. We now must take urgent additional steps to protect our Community.
 
After careful deliberation, and in consultation with healthcare authorities and our local, state and federal partners, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Council advises all Tribal Members to self-isolate by remaining at home for a period of at least two weeks. Please only leave your home for emergencies, such as seeking necessary medical attention or to purchase essential goods and services. Also, please refrain from any unnecessary gatherings. Tribal members are allowed to vote on April 5th for the Tribal Council elections, however.
 
We recognize this stay-at-home request, along with prior orders closing schools, canceling Tribal events and enacting other restrictions, impacts each of our daily lives. Everyone has seen the devastation in communities where COVID-19 has become prevalent. We must do everything we can to stop the spread of this illness to protect our elders, children and fellow Citizens. Lives are at stake.
 
The good news is we as individuals can do our part to help break the chain of virus transmission by doing something simple: staying at home. This will help prevent Tribal and regional healthcare facilities from becoming overwhelmed with patients requiring attention.
 
This is a time for smart action, not fear or panic. Measures already enacted have closed or canceled non-essential Tribal offices and events and eliminated non-essential travel by Tribal employees. Please check Tribal and State websites for the latest on services and programs.
 
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a monumental task, but this is something we can – and must – do together. Thank you to the incredible doctors, nurses and other members of the medical community who are fighting at all hours to contain the spread of COVID-19 and treat those who have tested positive. Thank you, also, to the first responders, essential personnel and employees who are joining in this effort to protect our community. The small sacrifice we make together will help ensure our community emerges from this challenge stronger and more unified than ever.
 
Sincerely,
Chairman Marshall Pierite