AUBURN, Wash. -- Muckleshoot Chairman John Daniels Jr. was named one of the
25 most influential people in the Seattle region for 2005 by Seattle
Daniels was listed as No. 25 on the magazine's list of "The Power 25 for
2005: The Most Influential People of the Year," published in its November
edition. Others on the list included Gov. Christine Gregoire (No. 4); David
Boardman, managing editor of The Seattle Times (No. 9); Washington
Secretary of State Sam Reed (No. 14); Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels (No. 15);
and U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman (No. 22).
Daniels, 43, was named primarily because of Muckleshoot's philanthropy.
Muckleshoot has given $6 million from its charity fund since its casino
opened in 1995. Beneficiaries include after-school and child care programs
at El Centro de la Raza, an organization that assists American Indians,
blacks and Hispanics; Children's Hospital and Medical Center; the King
County Sexual Assault Resource Center; treatment programs for problem
gamblers; and victims of Hurricane Katrina.
"John is an extremely giving man who doesn't think recognition is
deserving," Robert Jeffrey, publisher of Colors NW Magazine, told Seattle
Magazine. "He'd rather just focus on the work."
Daniels said the honor was less about him and more a tribute to "all
members of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe."
"Our tribe has built upon the strengths of its culture to become more
economically independent, and with that independence has come a strong
commitment to the broader community," he told Indian Country Today.
"In the spirit of potlatch, each year the Muckleshoot Tribe contributes
almost $1 million to local charities and nonprofit organizations throughout
the Puget Sound region. The tribe has developed long-term partnerships with
local school districts, state agencies and local municipalities to provide
services to both tribal members and surrounding communities. Being selected
one of the top 25 influential people is recognition of the tribe's growing
role in our region and the contribution all Muckleshoot people make to the
community each and every day."
The Muckleshoot reservation is six square miles and is located about 40
miles southeast of Seattle on a plateau between the White and Green rivers.
It has an on- or near-reservation population of 3,300.
Its economic portfolio includes the White River Amphitheatre, Muckleshoot
Casino, Muckleshoot Bingo, and Muckleshoot Market and Deli. Its educational
programs include the Muckleshoot Childcare Development Fund, Muckleshoot
Child Development Center, Muckleshoot Tribal School and Muckleshoot Tribal
College. Its social services include a medical center with clinical
services, pharmacy, community health program, behavioral health program and
Muckleshoot has also aggressively pursued the purchase of reservation land
that had been sold. All but two-thirds of an acre had been sold on the
3,600-acre reservation. Muckleshoot has bought back more than 1,800 acres.
Muckleshoot hosts Skopabsh Days the third weekend of every August.
Richard Walker is a correspondent reporting from San Juan Island, Wash.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.