Spotlight on Shawnee Development

Shawnee Development is a tribally owned corporation charged with overseeing enterprise projects and business investments meant to help create a diverse and sustainable economy for the long-term benefit of the Shawnee people. Operated by a five-person board appointed by the Chief, the Shawnee Tribe’s sharp increase in programs and services available to tribal citizens over the past few years has been made possible by the success of Golden Mesa Casino in Guymon, OK, which has been under Shawnee Development management since its inception.

As reported in November, the Shawnee Business Council voted to approve a change to the Shawnee Tribe Revenue Allocation Plan, or RAP. The primary objective of the Shawnee Tribe RAP is to provide supplemental funding and financial support for tribal government operations, programs, and economic development not covered by federal funds or grants. The Business Council prioritizes three areas of economic investment through the RAP: capital reserves for sustained, long-term stabilization; economic support for the non-grant funded portion of each of the Government Programming budgets and daily operations; and economic development by Shawnee Development, to create long-term and sustainable economics for the tribe.

“Our former RAP allowed for thirty percent of our net income to be allocated to Shawnee Development for tribal economic development,” said Shawnee Development President Chris Floyd. “An equal amount went to tribal government operations, and the remainder was held for in the tribe’s capital reserves. However, this model had to be reassessed to meet the budgetary needs of the tribes increasing demand on programs and operational growth while ensuring stability for future generations through supporting both our government and ongoing tribal business enterprises.”

The newly revised RAP, which went into effect last October, dictates that now half of all gaming income is allocated for government operational expenses. Despite this ten percent modification reducing Shawnee Development’s revenue, Shawnee Development’s Board of Managers still expects to cross the finish line on executing a major expansion of Golden Mesa Casino’s operations in the coming months.

“Fifteen or so years ago, we were holding Indian taco sales and other community fundraisers to help support tribal operations,” said Shawnee Development board member Mike Staubus. “Golden Mesa only opened its doors three years ago, so it’s an immense blessing that we may be breaking ground on an expansion as early as this spring.”

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