February 16, 2018
LARRY G. KINLEY
Washington, D.C. – February 13, 2018 – The National Indian Gaming Association joins the rest of Indian Country in mourning the loss of Larry G. “Chexanexwh” Kinley, 71 a member of the Lummi Nation and a champion for tribal nations fighting for tribal fishing rights, economic development, the evolution of self-governance, and tribal sovereignty.
According to a press release from the Lummi Nation, Kinley went on to the Spirit world, on February 13, 2018 surrounded by his wife, children, family and many lifelong friends today after a battle with lung cancer.
He served as the assistant to Chairman Danny Tucker of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nations of California and played an integral part in the evolution of the $38 billion Indian Gaming industry. He joined Chairman Tucker as key players with the gaming Tribes of California, in negotiations with the state. He also assisted Chairman Tucker during his tenure as the Vice Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association.
NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens said, “Larry was a man with a vision and a passion for working on behalf of tribal communities, he dedicated his life to doing his part to advance tribes through economic development and diversification. I was honored to work along-side a true champion for change – a Warrior for all of Indian country.”
Kinley also served in tribal leadership as a member of the Lummi Indian Business Council for nineteen years between the years of 1974 to 1989, and then in 1999 to 2001. He served two years as Chairman from 1974-1975 while serving as the longest serving Chairman from 1981-1989, for a total 11 years as the Tribal Chairman. As a tribal leader, Kinley was instrumental in not only advancing the largest tribal fishing fleet in the world, the Lummi School District, Fisherman’s Cove, the Silver Reef Hotel Casino & Spa, the new Tribal Government administration building, several mini-marts, a processing plant, and many meaningful long-term relationships. He is widely known as a true visionary, who exemplified real dedication with no fear of taking risks.
Larry served as a Board of Director for the National Center for American Indian Economic Development (NCAIED) as well as a founding member of the Northwest Indian College Foundation for over 30 years. He also served on the Sycuan Tribal Development Corporation.
Larry had a B.S. in Business from Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii and served in the United States Army. He was a lifelong commercial fisherman.
Kinley is survived by his wife Eleanor (Ellie) Kinley, his four children, and three grandchildren.
Prayer services will be held on Friday, February 16, at 6:00pm. A Funeral Mass will be Saturday, February 17, at 10:00am. Both services will be held at the Wex’liem Community Building in Bellingham, Washington.