Today, the Shakopee Mdewakanton are believed to be the richest tribe in American history as measured by individual personal wealth: Each adult, according to court records and confirmed by one tribal member, receives a monthly payment of around $84,000, or $1.08 million a year.
The tribe operates two casinos, a championship golf course, a 600-room hotel, and a concert hall, raking in an estimated $1B a year in revenue. Considering there are only 480 members, that leaves plenty to go around.
It’s estimated that the Shakopee Mdewakanton tribe – the owners of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino – bring in more that $1 billion each year in revenue. With fewer than 500 members in the tribe, once dispersed, each member earns approximately $1.08 million annually.
Sometimes called Wacipi (pronounced Wa chee pee), the powwow is a traditional Native American cultural celebration where the generations gather to socialize, dance, sing, visit, renew old friendships and make new ones. In Dakota language, the word “ Wacipi ” literally means “they dance.”
Quahadis were the hardest, fiercest, least yielding component of a tribe that had long had the reputation as the most violent and warlike on the continent; if they ran low on water, they were known to drink the contents of a dead horse’s stomach, something even the toughest Texas Ranger would not do.
Allen, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Reservation, has the lowest per capita income in the country. Extreme poverty rates on the ten largest reservations.
|Reservation||Location||Extreme Poverty Rate|
|Standing Rock Indian Reservation||South Dakota and North Dakota||16.6|
The Navajo tribe is the most populous, with 308,013 people identifying with the group. The Cherokee tribe is the second most common, with 285,476 Americans identifying with that group.
The Navaho Indians (the “Dine,” or “ Navaho People,” in their native language), indigenous to the American Southwest, comprise the largest Native American tribe in the United States today.
All Indians are subject to federal income taxes. However, whenever a member of an Indian tribe conducts business off the reservation, that person, like everyone else, pays both state and local taxes. State income taxes are not paid on reservation or trust lands.
A Cherokee born today would stand to receive at least $168,000 when he or she turns 18. The tribe pays for financial training classes for both high school students and adults. It is not a requirement that tribal members drawing checks live on the reservation, though approximately 10,000 do.
The wealthiest Indian Americans on the list are: Jay Chaudhry ($6.9 billion), Romesh T. Wadhwani ($3.4 billion), Niraj Shah ($2.8 billion), Vinod Khosla ($2.4 billion), Aneel Bhusri ($2.3 billion), Rakesh Gangwal ($2.3 billion), and Kavitarak Ram Shriram ($2.3 billion).
Members of some Native American tribes receive cash payouts from gaming revenue. The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, for example, has paid its members $30,000 per month from casino earnings. Other tribes send out more modest annual checks of $1,000 or less.
The powwow itself is not a religious or spiritual ceremony; nor, in its current form, is it a particularly “ancient” celebration. The powwow is a public celebration and demonstration of community pride in Indian culture and a way of honoring Native American heritage.
The Gathering of Nations is the largest pow – wow in the United States and North America. It is held annually on the fourth weekend in April, on the Powwow Grounds at Expo NM, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Over 565 tribes from around the United States and 220 from Canada travel to Albuquerque to participate.
Powwow, a celebration of American Indian culture in which people from diverse indigenous nations gather for the purpose of dancing, singing, and honouring the traditions of their ancestors. The term powwow, which derives from a curing ritual, originated in one of the Algonquian nations of the Northeast Indians.