COMMISSIONER WILHELM: Dallas Massey, Senior?

MR. MASSEY: My name is Dallas Massey, Senior. I'm the tribal chairman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. And members of the Commission, welcome to the State of Arizona. I hope your stay here is a pleasant one. And I come to you from the White Mountain areas, the cool weather of the eastern part of Arizona and also our reservation consists of 1.6 million acres and we have approximately 13,000 tribal members. The majority of these members are less than 18 years old, approximately 50 percent of them. And we have unemployment rate over 35 percent and a medium income for the reservation is 13,000 compared to the state figures, 27,000.

Before casino came along, the White Mountain Apache Tribe based mostly on their timber industry and our annual allowable cut at that time was over 110 million board feet. But now we reduced that annual allowable cut down to 54. That reduced our income real low, made it real difficult to provide our essential government services, such as social services, higher income, law enforcement, fire protection, funding of tribal courts and other federal responsibility. It's difficult to get loans without casinos.

Right away I'll go into all the regional and tribal benefits of Hondah Casino owned and operated by the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Revenues from casinos have funded a new 25 substance abuse treatment facility, a supplemental funding of replacement of tribal executive building destroyed by a fire in 1993, a $1 million contribution to the State of Arizona White River School District for the completion of a gymnasium and activity center in White River, repair and renovated tribal swimming pool into operative condition, develop tribal museum, a major attraction Fort Apache Museum federal requirements, a tribal youth center basketball court, $1 million scholarship for college education -- pursuing a college education, purchase 20 tribal vehicles to replace old worn-outs, impacts payrolls, almost $6 million, purchases goods and services, almost $11 million, payroll taxes paid, $1.1 million sales to Pinetop, almost $200,000.00. All these would have been impossible if we didn't have gaming.

If you look in your room there's a valet guide in there. On the second page, there's a casino in there, convention center. If it wasn't for gaming, we wouldn't have that. It has provided us 454 employees which 298 are tribal members, 40 Native Americans and 116 other people. Thank you, without this it would have been impossible.

COMMISSIONER MOORE: Madam Chairman, may I ask him just a few questions? His is unique.

CHAIRPERSON JAMES: That normally is not done during the public comment period but since it's you, Doctor Moore.

COMMISSIONER MOORE: The only reason I'd like to ask him a question is they've got 1.6 million acres of land and it's 13,000 instead of 50. Most of the tribes have been 50. Why aren't all of your people working at the casino? What is your -- what's your unemployment rate?

MR. MASSEY: Unemployment rate in 1990 figures shows 35 percent.

COMMISSIONER MOORE: Why aren't all of them working at your casino?

MR. MASSEY: We have people that are not qualified to take these professional positions.

COMMISSIONER MOORE: They don't want anything but a professional position?

MR. MASSEY: The people that we have hired right now are working into -- from the bottom up; maids and also the bartending and working their way up into the professional level.

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CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Thank you. Dallas Massey, Senior, that was Dallas Massey, Senior. Thank you so much, Mr. Massey.