“As soon as we asked to access their database of other Michigan minority-owned companies, they kicked us out from being a corporate member. When I contacted them to just help through what I thought was an obvious misunderstanding, they had explained that it was not a misunderstanding: Minority-owned companies cannot be corporate members,” Trevan said.
As such, Trevan said he is left wrestling with the “circular exclusion” on the part of the MMSDC.
“We are not permitted to be a corporate sponsor because in MMSDC’s judgment, we are minority owned, but MMSDC will not certify us as minority owned,” he said, adding “there’s just artificial or arbitrary obstacles that are being created for us to continue to help us promote our own values and access other diverse companies.”
Media Release-Grand Rapids, Mich. (July 8, 2020) – Non-gaming business entities from nine federally-recognized Michigan tribes presented Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation with an economic impact study this week demonstrating that 38 non-gaming business entities, owned and managed by tribes in Michigan, generated a statewide economic impact of $288,756,091 in 2019.
A federal contracting firm owned by Waséyabek Development Co. LLC has begun work on a five-year, $161 million contract with the Department of Energy to provide site operations and support services at three National Energy Technology Laboratory locations.
All 12 of the federally recognized Tribes in Michigan own and operate casinos, all of which are currently shuttered due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The casinos operated by Michigan Tribes support services for Tribal members, and void of gaming revenues, Tribal service budgets are in trouble.