President of Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation dies - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

President of Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation dies

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Posted: Sunday, July 7, 2013 11:11 am | Updated: 8:16 am, Thu Jul 11, 2013.

FOUNTAIN HILLS — The longtime leader of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation who was well-known in the tribal gambling industry has died.

Tribal Vice President Bernadine Burnette says Clinton Pattea died Friday morning at his home in Fountain Hills.

His family held a celebration last month to honor his legacy, knowing his health was failing. They said a scholarship fund will benefit Pattea's passion for education, culture, health and wellness.

Pattea served on the Tribal Council for more than four decades.

His refusal to give up small slot-machine operations when the state under former Gov. Fife Symington declared them were illegal led Arizona into compact negotiations with tribes. Now, tribes operate about two dozen casinos in Arizona.

The Arizona Indian Gaming Association says Pattea's courageous actions protected tribal sovereignty.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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