Northern Arapaho Tribe terminates relationship with longtime lobbyist Mark Howell

The Northern Arapaho tribe has terminated its relationship with longtime lobbyist Mark Howell. Tribal representative in Washington, Keith Harper, shares Howell reportedly set up a “front” organization that is trying to kill regulated gambling in Wyoming. The exact relationship between Howell’s organization and the Wyoming Public Policy Center (WPPC) is not confirmed at this time.

Harper notes the planned next steps for the Northern Arapaho Business Council:

  • Support new Wind River Hotel and Casino CEO Brian Van Enkenvoort (read announcement about new CEO here).
  • Launch full investigation on how this happened.

Northern Arapaho Business Council Statement on Wyoming Public Policy Center released Monday, July 1st:

Ethete, WY – The Northern Arapaho Business Council – the duly elected officials of the Northern Arapaho Tribe – released the following statement following today’s public disclosure filing of the Wyoming Public Policy Center (WPPC):

“The majority of the Council, including Chairman Lee Spoonhunter and Councilmembers Kimberly Harjo, Stephen Fast Horse and Clarinda C. Thunder, had no prior knowledge of the WPPC and purported use of tribal monies in its funding. We just recently learned of our now-former lobbyist Mark Howell’s connection to the group when he provided us a memo informing us for the first time that he had established the organization without Business Council authorization. Upon learning of this, the Council took immediate action to terminate Mr. Howell’s contract with the Tribe. We are currently conducting an internal review to determine the extent of the transgressions of Mr. Howell and anyone else who may have been involved.

The Northern Arapaho Business Council is committed to transparency and accountability. We’ve notified the National Indian Gaming Commission of this matter, and we will fully cooperate with all regulators and proper authorities to ensure the long term protection and success of the Northern Arapahoe Tribe.”