The tribe’s economic development authority, Mno Bmadsen, and its community development financial institution, Chi Ishobak, are helping improve the business and financial climate for both Band citizens and the region. Between multiple tribal government entities and Four Winds Casinos in New Buffalo, Hartford, and Dowagiac, the Pokagon Band has put more than 2,200 people to work, creating livelihoods and careers that benefit families and communities. New construction projects—such as the expansion of the Pokegnek Édawat housing development and the construction of Four Winds Dowagiac—have put nearly 1850 tradespersons and 450 apprentices to work since 2010.
In the past four years, the Pokagons have worked with over 3,300 vendors in Indiana and Michigan, and have paid them nearly $387 million, helping spur economic development and business growth. As the Pokagon Band continues such community development efforts as a new Cultural Center, and expands with its new property in South Bend, there is an ongoing need to work with vendors and employ additional workers.
Thanks to cooperative agreements between the Band and various local governments, since 2007 the Band has paid nearly $71 million to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and more than $24 million to local governments in the New Buffalo area. The Pokagon Fund, a private foundation established by one cooperative agreement, has enhanced the lives of the residents in the New Buffalo area and near Pokagon Band communities in South Bend, Dowagiac, and Hartford by awarding $12.8 million to local governments and nonprofits since 2007.