As I read the article “Leaders stress powwow’s value” in the Sunday Review I was struck by an interesting part of the piece where event organizer Toni Lodge’s voiced a not-so-veiled disappointment in the city of Spokane’s lack of support for the powwow by withholding $10,000 in lodging tax previously given in years past.
Then I started to wonder why the city should give any taxpayer money to the tribes. Don’t these tribes have their own income that could and maybe should be used to offer support?
Consider the following data:
The Coeur d’Alene Tribe had a net income last year of $100 million.
The Kalispel Tribe for 2007 reported a net of $28 million.
The Spokane Tribe reported a gross income of $30 million.
Granted, these tribes give back to local communities and employ large number of non-Natives, but why should the city of Spokane, especially in the current economy, be expected to give taxpayer money to the tribes for their cultural event? I’m sure that if they searched their vast asset vaults the tribes could come up with $10,000 of their own money to put on the powwow.