QUAPAW, OK.--- Chairman John Berrey says he wears a lot of hats as part of his job.
"I'm the Chairman of the Business Committee of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma," states Berrey.
Dollars and cents aren't his only concerns.
"Everything from the health and welfare of a tribal member to a decision of tribal governance," states Berrey.
"Tribal members look to us for direction, and comfort and compassion," states Ardina Moore, Quapaw Tribal Historian.
Quapaw Tribal Historian, Ardina Moore says in the days when the tribe still had a chief, his job, at least on paper, was simple.
"It was his job to see that everything ran smoothly," states Ardina Moore.
In reality, that meant seeing to the needs of his people, in matters ranging from divorce, to over seeing tribal celebrations.
"He was kind of a Jack of all trades for the tribe," states Moore.
Moore has first hand knowledge of the job, her grandfather was the last chief of the Quapaw Tribe, before changes in federal law forced the tribe to move away from the title.
"From the 30's to the 50's a lot of tribal governments were reorganized to look more like a business," states Moore.
That's when the tribe transitioned from chief to the title of chairman. While the job title may have changed, Berrey says he shares a special bond with those who lead the tribe before him.
"What it means to me is I'm the voice for a group of people," states Berrey.
The job isn't an easy one.
"We deal in very complex business and financial decisions on a daily basis," states Berrey.
Along with his duties as the head of the Quapaw Tribe, Berrey also chairs the committee that owns and operates Downstream Casino.
"The beauty of my job is there's no such thing as a typical day. That's what I love about my job," states Berrey.
He says his job is very complex, and would be impossible without a good support system.
"The only way I'm able to be successful is we have really good people that work with me, that help guide me," states Berrey.
Berrey says he concerns himself not just with the health and welfare of his tribe, but with everyone they interact with.
"We're all in this together, and we believe we're a partner with the other communities," states Berrey.
When he thinks about those that came before him, Berrey says he is simply fulfilling their prayers, by caring for the tribe as they would want him to, and when someone looks back on his time as tribal leader 100 years from now.
"All I want them to say is that he did a pretty good job, and I'm proud of him," states Berrey.