Swinomish Tribal Chairman Brian Cladoosby is the 2017 recipient of the Wendell Chino Humanitarian Award. Each year, this award is given by the National Indian Gaming Association in honor of the legacy of the late president and leader of the Mescalero Apache Nation, Wendell Chino. The Wendell Chino Humanitarian Award recognizes a tribal leader who advances peace, promotes justice, believes in fair governance and fosters inter-cultural understanding. Wendell Chino exhibited all of these traits during his lifetime. He took a stand for not only the Indians on his reservation, but also Indians across the country. Chino spent his life protecting tribal sovereignty and advancing self-determination for Indian Country.
Chairman Cadoosby was chosen to receive this award based on his hard work as Swinomish Tribal Chairman, president of the National Congress of American Indians, President of the Association of Washington Tribes, executive board member of the Washington Gaming Association, and former President of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians. Chairman Cladoosby will accept his award on Wednesday, April 12, at the annual Wendell Chino Humanitarian Awards Banquet in the San Diego Convention Center during the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention.
The Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, Ernie Stevens, states:
“The work that Chairman Cladoosby does is a true testament to his leadership in Indian Country. He has been in public service to not only his own Swinomish community, but Indian Country for the past 32 years, serving 20 years as Tribal Chairman. His accomplishments are vast, just as Wendell Chino, and we are proud to bestow him with this honor and recognition.”
Chairman Cladoosby has worked dutifully to fight for tribal sovereignty and equality. His hard work helped to pass the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act, Indian Healthcare Improvement Act, Tribal Law and Order Act, and Violence Against Women Act.
Chairman Cladoosby has been fighting for the health and wellness of Indian Country on various issues for several years. Recently, Chairman Cladoosby helped to facilitate the Substitute Senate Bill 5079 signed by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee on February 22, 2017. The bill authorizes training and employment for dental health therapists. In early 2016, Chairman Cladoosby advocated to hire a dental therapist for the Swinomish Tribe, because members were not being treated in a timely manner at Swinomish Dental Clinic, due to long wait times. The Washington State Dental Association and American Dental Association opposed hiring a dental therapist. But by hiring Daniel Kennedy, the Swinomish Tribal dental therapist against the state’s wishes, Chairman Cladoosby decreased wait time at the tribal clinic from three to four months in 2015 to three to four weeks in 2016. Now, thanks to the hard work of many people, including Chairman Cladoosby, John McCoy, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and state legislatures, 29 tribes in Washington State have been granted the legal authority to hire dental therapists thanks to the bill signed by Governor Jay Inslee.
The Swinomish Tribe is proud to have Chairman Cladoosby represent them nationwide. He is an accomplished and humble tribal leader, and Swinomish Casino & Lodge congratulates Chairman Cladoosby on being awarded the Wendell Chino Humanitarian Award.