nottawaseppi huron band of the potawatomi

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About Us

The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi is a federally recognized Tribal government with more than 1,500 enrolled Tribal Members. NHBP gained federal recognition December 19, 1995. The Tribe’s main offices are located at the Pine Creek Indian Reservation near Athens, Michigan, and in Grand Rapids, Michigan. NHBP provides benefits, programs and services to Tribal Members through various Tribal government departments and entities. NHBP’s economic development entities include FireKeepers Casino Hotel (FKCH), a Vegas-style casino, and Waséyabek Development Company, LLC (WDC), which focuses on the pursuit of non-gaming, economic diversification opportunities.

nhbp tribal council


NHBP Tribal Council provides oversight to the Tribal government, FireKeepers Casino Hotel and Waséyabek Development Company, LLC. With the collaboration from leadership at these companies and organizations, Tribal Council is responsible for making key strategic decisions and plans to continue the growth and economic security for the NHBP Tribal nation.

Dorie Rios

Dorie Rios


Dorie Rios was elected to the NHBP Tribal Council in 2010. She currently serves as Chairperson and chairs the Cemetery and Parks Committee, Enrollment Committee and Housing Committee. Rios currently resides in Battle Creek, Michigan, and is a graduate of Battle Creek Central High School. She has worked for the NHBP government for 25 years, has served on Tribal Council since 2010 and serves on the Native American Heritage Fund Board of Directors. In 2014, she was named one of the “Native Americans 40 Under 40” by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Board of Directors.

Robyn Elkins

Robyn Elkins

Vice Chairperson

Robyn Elkins, Kalamazoo, Michigan, was sworn into NHBP Tribal Council in spring 2024. She previously worked within the Tribal Council office for ten years as the Tribal Council/FireKeepers Development Authority Coordinator.

Elkins graduated in May 2024 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Arizona State University and earned an Associate of Arts in Business from Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

In addition to fulfilling duties as Vice Chair for Tribal Council, Elkins chairs the Education, Journey to Wellness and Health Compliance committees. She has also been named as the Ex-Officio member of the Waséyabek Board of Directors, and serves on the Native American Heritage Fund Board of Directors. Elkins also coordinated the inaugural Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) March Task Force, work she continues today.

Nancy Smit

Nancy Smit


Tribal Council Secretary Nancy Smit, of Battle Creek, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in American Indian Studies from Bemidji State University, a Master of Arts from Briercrest Biblical Seminary with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Counselling and holds a master’s degree in social work from Western Michigan University. Smit previously served one term as Tribal Council Secretary and has served on a variety of NHBP committees for over 15 years. She has worked for FireKeepers Casino Hotel since 2013, most recently as Team Member Relations Supervisor. Smit is the chair of NHBP’s Culture Committee.

Ariel Boonstra

Ariel Boonstra


Ariel Boonstra was sworn into Tribal Council in spring 2024, beginning her four-year term. Boonstra graduated in May 2024 with a degree in Agricultural Science from Utah State University.

Raised in West Michigan, Boonstra graduated from Grand Haven High School in 2013.

In addition to fulfilling her duties as Treasurer, Boonstra chairs both the Indigenous Rights and Tribal Environmental Advisory committees and serves on the FireKeepers Development Authority Audit Committee and the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board.

Homer A. Mandoka

Homer A. Mandoka


Homer A. Mandoka is currently serving his eighth term on NHBP Tribal Council, where he has served continuously since 2002. Mandoka currently serves as Ex-Officio of the Ogitchedaw Society.

After graduating from Union City High School in 1983, Mandoka earned an associate degree from Kellogg Community College, graduating with honors.

Before his election to the Tribal Council, Mandoka was a police officer for the city of Bronson, Michigan, where he currently resides with his wife, Kathy. They have four children and three grandchildren.

ceo barry skutt

Under the direction of the NHBP Tribal Council, the CEO ensures effective and efficient management of Tribal government functions and programs, and acts as a liaison with community organizations, outside agencies and other governments.

Barry Skutt currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi. Skutt is a member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. He received a Master of Science degree in General Administration from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Skutt also possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Psychology and Sociology from Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw, Michigan.

Skutt previously served as the Director of Utilities at the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, where he oversaw the Electrical Department, Waste Water and Portable Water Plants, Campground and Pow Wow Grounds. Skutt also had Maintenance and Janitorial oversight of the Tribal Operations and Public Safety Buildings.

Click on the image below to be redirected to a media gallery full of high-resolution images you may use when writing/creating content related to NHBP. Photo credit: The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi.

“The Potawatomi name is
derived from Bodéwadmi,
meaning a people of the Fire or a people who maintain Fire.”


Honoring, Healing & Remembering at Former Boarding School

Honoring, Healing & Remembering at Former Boarding School

Annual Event Sparks Flames to Continue to Remember, Honor and Tell Our StoriesEmotions often run high at the annual Healing, Honoring and Remembering (HHR) event at the Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School (MIIBS), held on June 6. This was an “evil place;...


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Communications Director
Amber LeClear

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