Marshall Ray Sampson, Sr., vice chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, is awarded the March 2018 Hometown Heroes award by WNTZ FOX 48 and Jarryd Raynes, marketing director of Vaughn Automotive.
Previously, Sampson served on the Tribal Council as a Council Member-at-Large since the spring of 1997. An employee of Paragon Casino since its opening in June 1994, Sampson now holds the position of Assistant General Manager of Operations. He insures that the Tribal Council holds its obligation of preserving the integrity and fiscal responsibility to tribal members with utmost importance.
“The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe is a sovereign nation. We are a government within a government,” Sampson said. The tribe functions as a first nations government unit in order to provide self-governance, education, social services and healthcare to tribe members across the United States. “We have our own laws that allows us to manage our people, manage our departments and to protect our sovereignty for the purpose of our people, to maintain and grow as individuals.”
One major event for the tribe is the Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow, held annually in May. Sampson is heavily involved, which brings tribes from many first nations across the country to Marksville for the multi-day event. “We got a beautiful Pow Wow,” he said. “The Pow Wow is a mixed celebration as we celebrate our culture. It has great food, great dancing, and it has got a lot of competition (events).”
A native of Avoyelles Parish, he has served on numerous community and Native American boards on local and regional levels. Sampson lives in Marksville and has three sons, Marshall Sampson, Jr., Deaontrae Sampson and Dayton Sampson.