Michigan Indians hire pros for launching DC embassy

WASHINGTON, DC: Fresh off a controversy surrounding the replacement of its leadership council by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (PRWeek, Sept. 20), Michigan’s Saginaw-Chippewa Indians are again using PR to be heard.

WASHINGTON, DC: Fresh off a controversy surrounding the replacement of its leadership council by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (PRWeek, Sept. 20), Michigan’s Saginaw-Chippewa Indians are again using PR to be heard.

WASHINGTON, DC: Fresh off a controversy surrounding the replacement

of its leadership council by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (PRWeek, Sept.

20), Michigan’s Saginaw-Chippewa Indians are again using PR to be

heard.



The tribe, one of the wealthiest in the nation, has tapped The Kamber

Group for help with the grand opening of its ’government house’ in

Washington, DC. According to Kamber AE Gavin McDonald, the government

house is similar to an embassy and will be used to help the tribe boost

its PR presence in DC. It is located near Vice President Al Gore’s

residence in northwest Washington.



While Kamber is not directly involved in the tribe’s lobbying efforts,

McDonald said the firm will attempt to raise the group’s profile both

’politically and culturally’ with key Washington audiences. In addition,

Kamber is providing a range of communication and marketing services, as

well as assisting in the drafting and implementation of a legislative

agenda.



McDonald took pains to distinguish Kamber’s work from the efforts of Jim

McCarthy, a PR pro who worked for some members of the Saginaw-Chippewa

tribe earlier this year.



The group had hired McCarthy to challenge the ouster of members of its

tribal council, an act which attorney Phil Baker-Shenk described as

’virtually unprecedented in modern times.’ In doing so, McCarthy

incurred the wrath of Kevin Gover, head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

(BIA) and a member of Oklahoma’s Pawnee tribe.



Last month, McCarthy claimed that the BIA had initiated a campaign to

discredit him and that he had been virtually driven out of business as a

result. McCarthy said he is down to a mere two clients.



Gover has denied that the BIA worked to harm McCarthy’s reputation, and

claimed that he interfered with the tribe’s leadership situation

reluctantly and only after newly elected council members asked him to

intercede. His actions, he noted, were upheld by two federal courts.



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