On this episode of Flintco Forward, we spoke with Vernelle Chase, Director of Tribal Relations, Flintco, LLC, and Steve Eikanger, Vice President, Area Manager, Flintco, about Flintco’s long-standing heritage in building and growing positive relationships with the Native American Territories.
Chase works with the various tribes to ensure successful building projects and healthy relationships. “Understanding the sovereign immunity laws for the lands in which they build, and the various intricacies of the many tribes,” said Chase, “ensures the alignment of both the tribe’s goals and Flintco’s goals.” Eikanger added, “The learning never stops. The needs of the tribes keep evolving, and our job is to meet those needs and continue to grow with them.”
Chase and Eikanger noted some current building projects that were in the planning stages for 40-50 years. A new healthcare facility project will bring essential services and economic opportunities to a tribe. “A project like this does not just become the Healthcare resource for that area, it becomes a community center,” said Eikanger. Earlier this year, Eikanger attended a project groundbreaking ceremony that turned into a community celebration event.
Chase and Eikanger see a growing sophistication and knowledge of the tribal community in the understanding and execution of building & construction projects. Allowing tribes to rely less on contractors for every step of the process brings more control and ownership of these projects. Eikanger said, “We see a lot of tribes move to design/build procurement methods that are much more progressive than in the past.”