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Here are our top 10 most-read stories by Tribal Business News readers in 2022. 

Chickasaw producer Graham Roland brings Navajo detective story to AMC

Graham Roland has built a prolific career as a TV writer and producer. After getting his start in the writer’s room on 2008’s Prison Break, the Chickasaw tribal citizen has branched out with multiple producer credits on shows like sci-fi story Fringe, sci-fi crime drama Almost Human and thriller Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Roland’s latest credit is executive producer for AMC’s detective thriller Dark Winds, based on novels by the late author Tony Hillerman that follow Navajo police officers on the tribe’s reservation in the 1970s. The show provides an opportunity to tell a Native story through a Native lens, rather than through the “trojan horse” of a white character experiencing Native culture, Roland told Tribal Business News.

TAKING MOCCASINS BACK: Shauna White Bear finds empowerment, cultural connection in honing her craft

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Shauna White Bear is on a mission to take moccasins back from the cultural appropriators who stole the hand-crafted footwear from Indigenous people and continue to profit from it. She founded White Bear Moccasins in Bozeman, Mont. at the start of 2020, nearly two years after teaching herself to sew a pair using a pattern and some bison hide. 

DELIBERATE PATH: Sault Tribe Inc. holding company reaches critical mass, plans larger investments

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — For the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, patience has not only been a virtue, it’s also been profitable. The Sault Tribe received a $3.25 million payout last year from its Section 17 corporation, Sault Tribe Inc., after years of sorting through the right path to handle entrepreneurial opportunities.

‘THIS IS OUR TIME’: Indigenous chefs recognized as semifinalists in prestigious James Beard Awards

If Sean Sherman needed any more proof of concept for the Owamni restaurant he launched in 2021 with his partner Dana Thompson to celebrate Indigenous foods, he received a loud and clear message last week. Both Sherman, who is Oglala Lakota and known as The Sioux Chef, and Minneapolis-based Owamni earned semifinalist nods last Thursday in the James Beard Awards, an annual program that acknowledges the culinary contributions of innovative chefs and restaurants across the country. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Sherman’s Owamni was later named best new restaurant by the James Beard Foundation.)

Michigan Gov. Whitmer asks Interior Dept. to solve ‘unworkable’ timeline involving pair of tribes

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer found herself in a “particularly unworkable” situation regarding two American Indian tribes in West Michigan. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Whitmer opted not to concur with Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ off-reservation casino plans.)

Urban Native Era eyes expansion following REI partnership

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Joey Montoya, the founder and CEO of fashion company Urban Native Era, had just returned from New York Fashion Week in 2021 when he received an interesting product inquiry. Seattle-based retailer Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) wanted to schedule a meeting with Montoya to discuss bringing in Urban Native Era products, specifically the company’s “You Are On Native Land” hats.

Tribally owned Mad River Brewery inks partnership San Francisco Giants 

BLUE LAKE, Calif. — In what is being billed as the first partnership of its kind between a tribally owned brewery and a Major League Baseball franchise, the San Francisco Giants this season will begin selling craft beers made by Mad River Brewery.

Tribal Down Payment Assistance helps cash-strapped minorities secure mortgages

A Utah tribe that owns a mortgage banking agency is promoting down payment assistance as a way of boosting the volume of home loans among American Indians and all minorities.

Native American-owned fintech Totem wants to revolutionize banking in Indian Country

TULSA, Okla. — An Indigenous-owned company aims to harness the power of technology to change how Native Americans bank, and in some cases, provide them banking and financial services for the first time. 

Gun Lake Tribe begins planning for massive 1,200-acre mixed-use development

WAYLAND TWP., Mich. — The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, or Gun Lake Tribe, plans to transform hundreds of acres of property north of Gun Lake Casino into a massive development that could include retail, health care, housing and manufacturing.