The Pitch to the Chinook Nation
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A nearly identical letter was sent to the California Valley Miwok Tribal Council on March 13, 2002.

February 7, 2002

Chairman Gary Johnson
Chinook Tribal Council

Dear Chairman Johnson and Council Members

It was a pleasure to speaking [sic] with you. I am writing for the purpose of introducing myself and furthering the communication on how we might work together.

With the last national election, we have not only a change in the presidential administration but also a change in the bureaucratic hierarchy at The Department of the Interior and The Bureau of Indian Affairs. As a result of these changes, I find myself in the position of having tremendous access and influence with both of these bureaucracies. As for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, no one is better connected than me.

My single most significant connection is with Mr. Wayne Smith, the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Indian Affairs. As you probably are aware, Wayne is the guy who actually runs the BIA and is in charge of making most of its policy and administrative decision (including transfer of land from fee to trust).

Wayne and I have been close friends and business associates for more than ten years. In fact, we had worked together at the California Department of Justice and the Division of Gambling Control. Additionally, we were business partners and together owned a consulting firm immediately prior to his accepting his current appointment to the BIA. As a matter of fact, this letter is on our old letterhead / stationery as I am still waiting for my new letterhead / stationery to arrive.

On a more personal level, Wayne and I still vacation together and he stays with me at my home whenever he comes to Sacramento (which is every 2-3 weeks to see his kids). I could go on and on, but you [sic] I think you get the picture,"

I am a consultant / advocate / administrative liaison that assists Indian communities and their strategic partners with issues involving The Department of the Interior and/or The Bureau of Indian Affairs. My purpose is to accelerate administrative processes and at the same time achieve the desired result / action / determination.

In assembling any team, it is important to have the right team members. And for an Indian community one of those team members should be someone with access and influence with the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. I am that team member.

I am aware of the pending federal acknowledgement appeal before BIA. I am in a position to be extremely helpful with this as well as other issues.

I welcome the opportunity to meet you in person and speak more at length. However, time is of the essence in this particular matter.

In as much as the Chinook are currently dealing with limited financial resources, I propose that I assist your tribe in regards to the aforementioned Federal Acknowledgement Appeal in exchange for the following.

1. One thousand Dollars ($1,000) per month for a minimum of 12 months and

2. That I am provided with a letter of recommendation (on Tribal letterhead singed by The Tribal Chairman) should BIA find in favor of Chinook Tribal Acknowledgement that I may use for marketing purposes

Should BIA decide against tribal acknowledgement, any unexpired portion of our agreement may be terminated by the Chinook Tribal Council.

My business address and telephone numbers are the same as indicated on this letterhead. I look forward to hearing from you.


Philip M. Bersinger

Get the Story:
'I think you get the picture' (4/17)