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New public relations director shares his insight and goals

Scott Csernyik

2/9/2000 12:00:00 AM

An elevated awareness based on the positive attributes of the Saginaw Chippewa Nation will foster a mutual understanding between the various communities, according to the Tribe's recently-hired public relations director.

Frank Cloutier, a 34-year-old Tribal member from District III, said his focus will center on the positive aspects of the government and how it affects the Tribal membership.

Frank Cloutier"There's a lot of positives and negatives that come out of running a Tribal government," stated Cloutier. "We need to focus on what is being done to better the interests of the people. Public Relations has always been handled here in a very professional manner. A lot of effort has been put forth by my predecessors and this is something I wanted to continue with.

"I am a firm believer of putting your best foot forward. As a Tribal member, I think I am one of the people out here that can put that best foot forward and represent my Tribal government and fellow members as a whole in the most positive light."

Cloutier said he plans on developing a media campaign-including print, television and radio-which will bring the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe to the forefront.

"We need to establish an educational process," he explained. "I believe we have a responsibility to educate the surrounding communities. And when I talk about surrounding communities, I'm not referring to Isabella County, but the United States of America.

"Not many people outside the Tribe understand that we have a very rich and diverse culture. We've never been too strong in sharing that. I think it's vital for future success and understanding. Ours is not just a gaming industry. That is a business venture of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. It's as simple as that. We have a Reservation here that is growing by leaps and bounds. There's a lot of things going on here not associated to gaming."

Cloutier credited his living off the Isabella Reservation to having more of an understanding how mainstream society functions.

"Being an At-Large member of the Tribe, I have had the opportunity to experience much more of the outside world and how things happen out there. My efforts at the Tribe have given me the opportunity to see the inside of District I and how things come about. I carry a lot of mutual respect for both sides of that. I am a firm believer that there really doesn't have to be sides. We have to remember in the big scheme of things, the big wheel, we're all just little cogs working in the same direction. We're all working for the same thing and that is the future success, not only of the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, but of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and that of our future-our children."

Cloutier is an avid fisherman and boat-owner who "enjoys the water." He added he has several different special interests, pet projects and other things that keep him busy.