Richard Arthur Hayward

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Richard Arthur Hayward, (born November 28, 1947 in New London, Connecticut) also known as Skip Hayward, was the tribal chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe for 23 years, from 1975, when the first election was held, until November 1, 1998. He was replaced by Kenneth M. Reels. Before becoming the tribal chairman, he worked as a pipefitter and lived in Stonington, Connecticut.[1] In 1994 University of Connecticut awarded him an honorary degree.[2]

Biography[edit]

Early Life and Education[edit]

Richard “Skip” Arthur Hayward was born November 28, 1947 in New London Connecticut. He had nine siblings and he graduated from high school, but he never attended college. Skip married Aline Aurore Champoux. Before 1973 Hayward had held a variety of different jobs before somewhat settling down and running a clam shack called the Sea Mist Haven near the Mystic Seaport.

Loss of Reservation[edit]

Skip’s life changed forever in May 1973 when his grandmother Elizabeth George died. Elizabeth George was the last member of the Pequot Tribe who still lived on the 214 acre reservation held in trust by the state government and when she died the reservation passed into the hands of the state. For their entire lives only Elizabeth George had lived on the Pequot reservation Skip’s family did not view the land as belonging to a tribe, but rather belonging to their family alone. Due to this, Skip and his family decided to take some action in order to reclaim it.[3]

Quest for State Recognition[edit]

Luckily, Hayward’s challenge to the state of Connecticut occurred during the era of the Red Power Movement. For the first time the United States was making a conscious effort to encourage tribal development. In 1974, working with the Connecticut Indian Affairs Council (CIAC) and Pine Tree Legal Assistance Skip and his family founded Western Pequot Indians of Connecticut, Inc. of which Skip was elected chairman of on August 10, 1975. Skip later met with the head of the Coalition of Eastern Native Americans (CENA), Thomas Tureen. Shortly afterwards Tureen introduced Skip to Pine Tree Legal Assistance and helped him initiate a land claim on his family’s behalf. Tureen and Hayward also discussed obtaining federal recognition from the federal government for his group.[4] In 1976 Skip worked with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to get the Western Pequots recognized as an Indian organization that would qualify for revenue sharing and in March 1976 they were recognized by the then Governor of Connecticut Ella Grasso as a unit of Connecticut local government, which meant they had recognized tribal governing bodies which could exercise substantial governing functions. In 1979 Skip and the Western Pequots won a $12,000 grant from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the writing of an economic development plan for the reservation. In 1979 Skip and the Western Pequots received a $1.2 million loan from HUD for the construction of 15 houses. Skip then got his cousin John Holder to become executive director of this new housing project, Hermand and Jancus designed all of the fifteen houses that were built from the money that came in the grant, and he was later said by one HUD inspector to have done the best job ever to have been a best HUD project.[5]

Getting Federal Recognition[edit]

In 1982 Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Thomas Tureen, and Richard Hayward constructed a settlement bill which was then proposed to congress. Through this proposed settlement bill the Western Pequots would be able to gain instant federal recognition through congress. This approach allowed the tribe to avoid going through the much harsher and longer Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) which the Western Pequots would have almost certainly not have been able to pass as they did not have any sort of complete historical records or way to be certain of “blood quantum.” At the Congressional hearing concerning the tribe and the proposed settlement bill the Western Pequots were represented by Thomas Tureen, Skip Hayward, and another lawyer by the name of Jackson King. King had originally been a lawyer who was opposed to the land claim but later switched sides when he worked out a deal with Tureen that in the proposed settlement bill they would ask the federal government to give the Western Pequots enough money to buy out the landowners he was representing.[6] On February 24, 1983 the Pequot settlement bill was approved by the Senate. Unexpectedly, however, then President Ronald Reagan vetoed the bill, stating that if the Pequots were granted federal recognition it would set a dangerous precedent for other tribes as well as stating that the state of Connecticut was not paying its fair share of the settlement. However, through intense lobbying and the help of Senator Lowell Weicker and Indian lobbyist Susan Harjo the Western Pequots were able to line up enough votes to threaten to override the veto. Rather than possibly suffer the embarrassment of being overridden on such a small bill, President Reagan made a compromise with the Western Pequots, and the tribe was granted federal recognition as the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Connecticut.[7]

Gambling Enterprises[edit]

Shortly after the tribe was granted federal recognition (within the year) Thomas Tureen became Skip’s chief business advisor, and Skip and Tureen’s first order of business was to start up a high stakes bingo operation.[8] Skip had no previous experience in running a gambling business, but he had a great teacher in Howard Wilson, who was a member of the Penobscot tribe and a veteran bingo operator.[9] Although the bingo operation was predicted to be highly profitable ($7 million) it far exceeded expectations. The Pequot bingo hall opened on July 5, 1986 and by 1988 the bingo operation generating as much as $30 million a year in revenues.[10] In 1988, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) was passed, and because by this point the tribe had experience with the gambling business, Skip and Tureen decided that starting a tribal casino would be a highly profitable enterprise. In 1992, Skip and Thomas Tureen succeeded in obtaining backers and the Foxwoods High-Stakes Bingo & Casino Resort opened its doors to customers later that year9. By 1998 Foxwoods was generating over a $1 billion in revenue and Skip Hayward was a multimillionaire.[11]

End of Term as Tribal Chairman[edit]

In fact Skip no longer lived on the reservation most of the time. Since 1983 (when first granted federal recognition) the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe had grown from 125 members to over 300,[12] many of which had never even met Skip. Skip was spending so much time at Foxwoods that he became less and less involved with tribal and reservation matters. In 1998 Hayward lost the election for tribal chairman to Kenny Reels.[13] Skip Hayward had been chairman of the tribe for 23 years (since the creation of Western Pequot Indians of Connecticut, Inc.). Skip ran for the position of tribal chairman again in 2002 but he lost to Michael J. Thomas.[14] After this Skip largely divorced himself from tribal matters and now lives in Fisher’s Island Sound Connecticut.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Pequot Tribal Chairman Replaced By His Deputy". New York Times. November 3, 1998. Retrieved 2007-06-21. "The tribal chairman behind the Mashantucket Pequots' success in turning their impoverished reservation into the world's largest casino has been voted out of office, according to a statement released yesterday. The chairman, Richard A. Hayward, was removed from the job on Sunday and replaced by Kenneth M. Reels, who had been the tribe's vice chairman. The Pequots operate the Foxwoods Resort Casino here, the world's largest casino and one of its most profitable. A tribal spokesman would not disclose vote totals. Tribal officials did not return telephone calls seeking comment yesterday. ..." 
  2. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients in the 1990s". University of Connecticut. Retrieved 2007-02-14. [dead link]
  3. ^ Fromson, Brett Duval. Hitting the Jackpot: The inside Story of the Richest Indian Tribe in History. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 2003. Print. pp. 25-26.
  4. ^ Fromson, Brett Duval. Hitting the Jackpot: The inside Story of the Richest Indian Tribe in History. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 2003. Print. pp. 33-34.
  5. ^ Fromson, Brett Duval. Hitting the Jackpot: The inside Story of the Richest Indian Tribe in History. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 2003. Print. pp. 47-48.
  6. ^ Fromson, Brett Duval. Hitting the Jackpot: The inside Story of the Richest Indian Tribe in History. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 2003. Print. pp. 51-53.
  7. ^ United States. Cong. Senate. Committee on Indian Affairs. Mashantucket Pequot Indian Land Claims. 98 Cong., 1 sess. S 1499. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1983. Print.
  8. ^ By Peggy McCarthy. (1985, February 17). "Pequot Indians Planning Bingo On Reservation :Tribe Plans for Big Bingo." New York Times (1923-Current file),CN1. Retrieved April 18, 2012, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers New York Times (1851-2008) w/ Index (1851-1993). (Document ID: 120488277).
  9. ^ Fromson, Brett Duval. Hitting the Jackpot: The inside Story of the Richest Indian Tribe in History. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 2003. Print. pp. 75-76.
  10. ^ Fromson, Brett Duval. Hitting the Jackpot: The inside Story of the Richest Indian Tribe in History. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 2003. Print. pp. 88-89.
  11. ^ By Sarah Kernshaw. (2007, June 22). "In Pequot Family That Led Tribe To Casinos, a Feeling of Rejection." New York Times (1923-Current file),B1. Retrieved April 25, 2012, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers New York Times (1851-2008) w/ Index (1851-1993). (Document ID: 1984574132).
  12. ^ Libby, Sam. "Who Is an Indian and Who Decides?" The New York Times 4 Jan. 1996. Print.
  13. ^ "Metro News Brief: Pequot Tribal Chairman Replaced By His Deputy." The New York Times 3 Nov. 1998. Print.
  14. ^ Connecticut: Ledyard: "New Mashantucket Pequot Chairman." (2002, November 5). New York Times (1923-Current file),p. B4. Retrieved April 18, 2012, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers New York Times (1851-2008) w/ Index (1851-1993). (Document ID: 730787932).

References[edit]

  • Jeff Benedict, Without Reservation: How a Controversial Indian Tribe Rose to Power and Built the World's Largest Casino (2001).
  • Kim Isaac Eisler, Revenge of the Pequots: How a Small Native American Tribe Created the World's Most Profitable Casino (2002).
  • Brett Duval Fromson, Hitting the Jackpot: The Inside Story of the Richest Indian Tribe in History (2004).
Preceded by
None
Chairman of Mashantucket Pequot Tribe
1975-1998
Succeeded by
Kenneth M. Reels