Tribal Council

As a sovereign Nation, NHBP’s Tribal Council is responsible for providing leadership for the Tribal government, including enacting Tribal law and overseeing implementation of all programs and services provided to Tribal Members. The five Tribal Council members are elected to four-year terms by NHBP Tribal Members.

The current NHBP Tribal Council consists of Chairperson Dorie Rios, Vice-Chairperson Robyn Elkins, Secretary Nancy Smit, Treasurer Ariel Boonstra and Sergeant-at-Arms Homer A. Mandoka.

In addition to their responsibilities related to the Tribal government, NHBP’s Tribal Council also provides oversight to FireKeepers Casino Hotel and Waséyabek Development Company, LLC.

Embodying the Seven Grandfather Teachings, Tribal Council oversees the implementation of the Tribe’s 2023 – 2027 Strategic Plan to ensure the continued growth and economic security for the next Seven Generations.

For donation request inquiries, please complete the following form and send to:

Donation Request Form

Bianca Beerman, NHBP Tribal Council/FDA Coordinator
1485 Mno-Bmadzewen Way, Fulton, MI 49052
Fax: 269-704-8582, Email:

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


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.

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.

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.

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.   

Bianca Beerman

Tribal Council/FDA Coordinator