Saturday, December 14, 2019

Indian Country Mourns Passing of Former Oneida & NIGA Chairman Rick Hill

By Levi Rickert - December 14, 2019 at 12:02AM

Rick Hill

Published December 14, 2019

ONEIDA NATION, Wisc. — Indian Country is mourning the sudden passing of its former Chairman Rick Hill, who passed away early Friday. Chairman Hill was 66.

Hill served three times as tribal chairman of the Onedia Nation. He was elected as Chairman of the Oneida Nation in 2008.  He also served as Chairman from 1990-1993, and previously, served as councilman and Vice-Chairman since 1977.  Under Chairman Hill’s first term leadership, Oneida signed its first gaming compact with the State of Wisconsin. He led the Oneida Nation through some of the most progressive growth periods of the Oneida Nation.

While serving his first term, Chairman Hill also simultaneously served as chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, Washington, D.C., a national tribal advocacy organization that represented 168 federally-recognized tribes in the gaming industry with revenues reaching $7 billion dollar annually back then.

Under Chairman Hill’s leadership, NIGA became a nationally-recognized voice in Washington, D.C., on Indian gaming issues and successfully initiated the development of a national set of minimum regulatory standards and policies for tribal governmental gaming. Hill worked tirelessly with Tim Wapato and A. Gay Kingman to make NIGA into the premier national Indian gaming organization it has become.

Current NIGA Chariman Ernie Stevens, Jr. reflected on the influence Hill had on his life on Friday with Native News Online:

“When I came to Oneida Nation from Los Angeles, he became my coach and mentor. He taught me so much. Then when I went away to Haskell and met my wife, he would bring food and presents at Christmas time,” says Stevens. “He was a warrior who helped make me into the man I am today.”

After Hill retired from Oneida politics, he went on to pursue his interests in many other joint ventures. He formed The Hill Group, LLC, to consult with various entities to identify economic development projects and partnerships in Indian Country along with equity/debt projects. Hill also formed RGH Holdings, Inc., to assist and develop real estate both on and off reservations, including the development of the first ever off-reservation, tribal consortium hotel investment located in Washington, D.C.  The Residence Inn by Marriot is a 13-story, 233 room, 24,000 square foot property, where RGH identified and negotiated the $12 million tribal equity participation in a $42 million extended-stay hotel project.

For the past three years, Hill has been working on the development of “Bright Path: The Jim Thorpe Stor,” a major motion picture film project. He wanted to make a movie that told the accurate Jim Thorpe story. He was expected to travel to Rapid City next week to further work on the movie project.

Funeral arrangement were not known at press time.

The post Indian Country Mourns Passing of Former Oneida & NIGA Chairman Rick Hill appeared first on Native News Online.

Click to Read the Full Article: Native News Online


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