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STEP Charter


If you are a Nisqually tribal member and have questions regarding the STEP program, please contact Tia Lozeau, STEP Coordinator, at (360)412-3651

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Charter Goals & Objectives

The Medicine Creek Enterprise Corporation, a tribal entity chartered wholly owned by the Nisqually Indian Tribe established pursuant to Article VI, Sec. 1 (h) of the Nisqually Tribe Constitution and the Tribal Government Corporation Act, codified as NTC 8.50 et seq; and d/b/a the Nisqually Red Wind Casino has created a tribal training program as a tool to help better serve the initiative of tribal member employment and tribal management training toward establishing long-term and sustainable achievements of tribal members who participate in the program.

Mission Statement

We provide opportunities for education, training, and employment – the stepping stones towards improved quality of life for those we serve. Long-term, sustainable employment will be achieved one success at a time.


Our vision is to empower people fulfilling their dreams and aspirations.  


The Strengthening Tribal Education Program (S.T.E.P.) Board provides advisory oversight to the S.T.E.P. Coordinator and all program participants regarding overall operation and administration of the casino tribal training program efforts, as well as the implementation of other programs providing services to the tribal member employee of the Nisqually Red Wind Casino.

The Board functions solely as an advisory body and in compliance with the provisions of the Nisqually Red Wind Casino policies and procedures. The Board shall advise the casino on:

  • All aspects of the operation and administration of the S.T.E.P.
  • The selection and hire of the S.T.E.P. Coordinator
  • The selection and appointment of apprentices to the S.T.E.P.

Board Members

All Board members of S.T.E.P. is, and shall in the future be, enrolled in the Nisqually Indian Tribe, or other federally recognized tribe.

Role & Composition

By the authority of the Medicine Creek Enterprise Corporation (MCEC), it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1 – Policy
It is the policy of the Nisqually Red Wind Casino that this enterprise's commitment to educational excellence and employment opportunity will extend to all tribal apprentices, tribal team members, and tribal management trainees within the organization. The S.T.E.P. Board of Advisors shall ensure that this policy regarding the tribal training program is carried out with direct accountability at the highest levels of the casino management team.

Section 2 – Board of Advisors 

  • Establishment – There shall be established in the General Administration Department an advisory committee known as the S.T.E.P. Board of the Nisqually Red Wind Casino tribal training program (the Board).
  • Membership –The Board shall consist of at least three, but not more than five members as determined an appointed by the General Manager. The General Manager shall, in addition, appoint a Program Director. The Board shall include tribal member representatives of management from various casino departments and may also include such other persons as the General Manager deems appropriate.
  • Functions and Scope of Responsibilities –The Board shall provide advice regarding the progress made by casino departments toward fulfilling the purposes and objectives of this program. The Board shall also provide the program with curriculum guidance and policy direction, and establish priorities for the program, education, and training. In addition, the Board shall provide recommendations to the General Manager, through the Program Director, on ways the casino can help tribal training initiatives, including the following:
    1. Using long-term development, budgeted funding, and planning to strengthen program viability.
    2. Improving financial management and funding support, and expanding and complementing tribal education initiatives.
    3. Developing program capacities through the use of new and emerging technologies as assisted by Information Technologies specialists.
    4. Enhancing organizational infrastructure to facilitate more efficient program operation and effective recruitment and retention of apprentices and tribal team members.
    5. Helping implement and meet other high standards of educational achievement and job skill development.
  • Meetings – The Board shall meet weekly, and additionally at the request of the Program Director, to provide advice and consultation on tribal training program activities, and to review and organize reports and present recommendations to the General Manager. 

Section 3 – Department Participation
Each participating director and department, as determined by the General Manager, shall appoint a senior director or manager who is responsible for program administration within their respective area. The department representative shall report directly to the S.T.E.P. Board on department activity under this order and serve as liaison and mentor for the apprentice, tribal team member or tribal management trainee in meeting program goals.

Each department identified by the S.T.E.P. Board shall develop and implement a One to Five-Year Plan of the department's efforts to fulfill the purposes of this order. These plans shall include quarterly performance reports and appropriate measurable objectives for the department. Among other relevant issues, the plans shall address how the department intends to increase the capacity of tribal team members and apprentices to compete effectively for any available jobs, trainings, and any other casino resources, and to encourage tribal team members and apprentices to participate in company and tribal training programs. The department's performance indicators and objectives should be clearly reflected in the department's annual strategic plan submission to the General Manager. To facilitate the attainment of these performance indicators and objectives, the head of each department identified by the S.T.E.P. Board, shall provide, as appropriate, technical assistance and information to tribal employees and apprentices regarding the program activities of S.T.E.P.

Section 4 – Independent Education Plan (IEP)

  • Content – Each department identified by the S.T.E.P. Board shall develop and implement an independent training plan designated as the Independent Education Plan for each apprentice within their department. This training plan shall be developed and tailored to fit the needs of the apprenticeship description and be individualized per person. This can be devised utilizing the resources of the S.T.E.P. Coordinator and the training department of Human Resources. Quarterly performance reports will be issued to the S.T.E.P. Board to monitor progress within the apprenticeship program. Tribal team members and management trainees will be reviewed following the standard appraisal process and performance requirements as designated in the team member retention program of the casino.
  • Reporting – Each department shall submit S.T.E.P. required reporting documents to the S.T.E.P. Board on an at least quarterly basis. In consultation with the Board, the S.T.E.P. Coordinator shall then review these training plans and develop an integration of training plans, and educational and work-related goal sheet for each tribal member apprentice, team member and management trainee within the casino.
  • Quarterly and Annual Performance Evaluations – Each department shall submit to the S.T.E.P. Board, a quarterly performance report that measures the individual performance against the objectives set forth in each IEP. Each department shall submit to the Human Resources Department annual performance reports as designated in the casino team member handbook.

Section 5 – Nisqually Tribal Programs

In cooperation with the Nisqually Indian Tribe, the Board shall encourage the tribal apprentices, tribal team members, and management trainees to seek assistance of the Nisqually Indian Tribe through increased use of such strategies as:

  • Utilizing tribal resources for education and training; and
  • Finding funding through tribal programs offered by the Tribe

Section 6 – Length of Service

Board members shall serve indefinite terms unless the Board composition is reviewed and revised at the discretion of the General Manager.

Section 7 – Administration

  • Funding – The Board and S.T.E.P. shall be funded by a separate casino budget account as a part of the overall casino operating budget. Apprenticeship headcounts will be maintained as a separate staff count in the staffing plan of the casino and be independent of the respective department within which an apprenticeship make take place. Tribal team members and tribal management trainees will be accounted for as regular team members within each department inclusively.
  • Administrative Support – The Human Resource Department and General Administration shall provide appropriate administrative services and staff support for the Board and S.T.E.P. Coordinator.
  • Annual Performance Reports – In consultation with the Board, the S.T.E.P. Coordinator shall review and combine quarterly performance reports, training reports, evaluations of goals and objectives, and feedback into one annual report, which shall be submitted to the General Manager for review.

Section 8 – Sovereign Immunity

The Board members and the S.T.E.P. program, as an entity under the Medicine Creek Enterprise Corporation d/b/a the Nisqually Red Wind Casino, shall enjoy the sovereign immunity from suit as provided in the Articles of Incorporation for the MCEC.

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