I live in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and my kids attend the Rio Rancho Public Schools District. One of the changes that have happened over the last couple of years in the district is the adoption of the Google Education infrastructure and the use of Chrombooks throughout all the schools. I’ve seen investment in classrooms where teachers now have over 30 chromebooks to use for classroom instruction.
With these changes, what I have not seen is any general education for the students, siblings, or parents in the community (and surrounding tribal communities). I decided to try and change that with the free resources available through the City of Rio Rancho.
I am a volunteer with the city and this enabled me to teach my Raspberry Pi classes in 2017 at the Loma Colorado Public Library. This library has great resources … rooms, tables, chairs, laptops, monitors, keyboards, mice, and great internet bandwith! So all I really needed to do was schedule and coordinate to get this new set of classes started.
One of the challenges in starting anything new is awareness, so I decided to use the Meetup.com to raise awareness initially, then moved on to a email list. The email list page is at:
We had our first class/meetup on July 27, 2019 at the Loma Colorado Public Library Auditorium, I brought 12 Chromebooks for folks to use … we had 11 people attend, some hands on time, and many questions around the Chromebook and Google services. I was excited about the attendance and am looking at holding this class once a month for now and maybe more frequent based on interest and demand.
I will be scheduling new meetups or classes via meetup.com so, keep an eye on this website for new events or check out to the library calendar.
Here is a summary of tribal gaming in New Mexico for 2017 (gaming machines). The reports from the NM Gaming Control Board come out on a quarterly basis (and sometimes amended), and with a little spreadsheet work we can get the yearly picture.
Some highlights compared to 2016:
- Nambe Pueblo gaming has effectively stopped operations in 2017
- Pojoaque Pueblo has started contributing to the NM Tribal Gaming Net Win in 2017.
- Total NM Tribal Gaming Net Win for 2016 is $708.7 million (up from $698.7 million)
- Total Revenue share to NM general fund from Tribal Gaming Net Win is $61.5 million (up from $59 million)
- Total NM Tribal Gaming Net Win is up $10 million (+1.4%) from 2016
- Revenue share to NM general fund from Tribal Gaming Net Win is up $2.5 million (+4%) from 2016
- Tribal Gaming Revenue share to NM general fund is about 1% of total NM FY17 budget
- Average percent from Tribal Gaming Revenue to the State of NM is 8.46%
And one other interesting comparison … All of the 2017 Tribal Infrastructure Awards from the State of New Mexico totaled $5.4 million … So only about 8.7% of Tribal Gaming dollars to the State of New Mexico make it back into on reservation for tribal infrastructure.
I started on the board of directors for CNM Ingenuity, Inc back in February this year and this has been one of the most visible and impressive efforts of this organization so far (after the deep dive coding boot camp). This new maker space allows anyone in the Albuquerque area access to tools and support to truely innovate and bring business ideas to life. Check out the website!
I updated one of my Raspberry Pis to the new Strech OS for the Raspberry Pi and was pleasantly surprised to see a update to a newer stable version of GnuCash 2.6.15. A major update since the 2.6.4 version … Woo hoo!!!
I’ve recently had the need to use some Accounting software to dive into some Revenue and Expense allocation for a company to understand the business better. There was the hurdle of downloading and buying Quickbooks desktop version or buying a online version instance for a month maybe more, and I didn’t know the Quickbooks user interface.
At one time, many years ago, looked at GnuCash and thought it had potential but never spent the time. Now that I had the need and revisited GnuCash, much to my surprise, the open source software had improved and I decided to take the plunge and learn it.
I do have an accounting class under my belt from graduate school, so the whole double entry accounting was not new to me, and I was glad to see how the concept of accounts was implemented in GnuCash. Long story short, I was able to enter about 10 months of bank account data into GnuCash, then allocate expenses to get a quick picture of where 2 major projects were with respect to their direct costs and indirect costs.
I’m thankful that GnuCash was an option and it took me several hours to get the answers I was looking for about this business. If I used Quickbooks, it likely would have taken me longer and had a cost to it.
Here are a couple screenshots of the GnuCash application, It’s easy to use and free on Linux, Windows, and Max OSX. I tried the version on Windows also, the data file (FILENAME.gnucash) can be copied/moved and used on Linux too, I tested editing on both instances of the GnuCash data file.
To install GnuCash on your Raspberry Pi, simply run the following commands from a command line:
- sudo apt-get update
- sudo apt-get install gnucash
When GnuCash is installed a new icon will appear under the Office grouping. The version that was installed was GnuCash 2.6.4, and I copied this icon to the desktop for frequent use.
It’s no secret that I’m on the Board of Directors of Laguna Development Corporation (it’s in my Bio here and on the company website, so it’s public). I was appointed about 3 years ago this month by the Pueblo of Laguna tribal council based on my corporate experience and being a pueblo of laguna tribal member. Since being appointed, I have seen and experienced quite a bit in the areas of gaming, hospitality, retail, and food & beverage. Here are some lessons learned during this journey, in no particular order. I will add to this list as more lessons come to mind.
- A Section 17 federal tribal corporation is a unique corporate entity, it is tribal community oriented.
- Non-tribal board members will likely struggle to understand the tribal perspective and way of life.
- Being an active and contributing board member will take more time than you think, more than 75% of my IBM vacation time off work went to being a board member.
- Corporate communication is hard to do well.
- Understanding sovereign immunity is fundamental and important.
- When $777,632 went missing in late 2014, it was a big deal. Based on the cash share agreement this means the pueblo is out more than $500,000 for 2015.
- Tribal businesses seem to lack a “killer instinct” to dominate their market and be number one, they move forward very conservatively.
- Disappointment is part of having high standards of behavior and ethics.
Update … on January 31, 2015, my term expired and I am no longer on the Laguna Development Corporation Board Of Directors, long story. I am grateful Laguna Pueblo gave me the opportunity to contribute back to my home community in the capacities I can. I’m open and look forward to helping other tribes raise the bar and really compete in the business world off the rez.
I recently found this nice writeup of business structures as they relate to Tribal Governments, I wish I found this sooner to help with some of my board work. Nice reference for those trying to understand various legal and tax structures. Click on the image below to get to the PDF.