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Rick Hill, former Oneida Nation Chairman, passes away

Press Releases

(Oneida Reservation) – The Oneida Nation is saddened today to share the sad news of the sudden passing of our former Chairman, Rick Hill.

Chairman Hill led the Oneida Nation through some of the most progressive years on our reservation. He was elected as Chairman of the Oneida Nation in 2008.  He also served as Chairman from 1990-1993, and previously, served as councilman and Vice-Chairman since 1977.  Under Chairman Hill’s first term leadership, Oneida signed its first gaming compact with the State of Wisconsin.

While serving his first term, Chairman Hill also simultaneously served as Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, Washington, D.C., a national tribal advocacy organization that represented 168 federally-recognized tribes in the gaming industry with revenues reaching $7 billion dollar annually.  Under Chairman Hill’s leadership, NIGA became a nationally-recognized voice in Washington, D.C., on Indian gaming issues and successfully initiated the development of a national set of minimum regulatory standards and policies for tribal governmental gaming.

After Chairman Hill retired from Oneida politics, he went on to pursue his interests in many other joint ventures. He formed The Hill Group, LLC, to consult with various entities to identify economic development projects and partnerships in Indian Country along with equity/debt projects.  Chairman Hill also formed RGH Holdings, Inc., to assist and develop real estate both on and off reservations, including the development of the first ever off-reservation, tribal consortium hotel investment located in Washington, D.C.  The Residence Inn by Marriot is a 13-story, 233 room, 24,000 square foot property, where RGH identified and negotiated the $12 million tribal equity participation in a $42 million extended-stay hotel project. His latest passion was pursuing a movie deal that would tell the Jim Thorpe story told accurately by Indians.

He was a skilled negotiator, politician, leader, and jokester. Most importantly, he was a loving brother to us all.

The Oneida Nation circle of generational leadership will be greatly impacted by the passing of one of our most respected and prominent leaders.  We extend heartfelt sympathy and our condolences to his family and friends. Funeral arrangement will be announced soon.