By Carolyn Spotted Horse 

22 July 2020

On July 16, 1993, the 4 Bears Casino and Lodge opened its doors, since opening the Casino brought to members of Fort Berthold Indian Reservation; financial security, job security, a place to hold weddings, anniversaries, workshops, celebrations, and other gatherings, as well as a place to unwind.  

Though, it is with great honor I take this time to recognize employees who have chosen to serve the MHA nation by working and growing with our Casino through changes from coin payouts to paper payouts these employees demonstrate dedication and leadership by showing up when times were busy and the ND weather was hot and bearing cold;

Porter Supervisor, Iris Bird Bear Obes, 27 years of Casino Service

Security Director/Porter Manager, Mylo Spotted Horse, 26, years 6, months service

Chief Administration Officer, Spencer Wilkinson, Jr., 27 years

Retired 2020 H. R. Director/Quality Management Director, Susan Hall, 26 years

a look back since opening 4 Bears Casino, how staff progressed in addition to the glowing casino appearance.

When I asked one female porter about a memorable time at work, she remembered most working with supervisor porter, Iris, she reflected back on a time when the water was out. Iris and her swing crew took full buckets of water to flush the toilets to keep the bathrooms open. She recalled the bathrooms were unsightly full of sewage. She said that day was hot but Iris’s positive let get this done attitude kept them going. 

When I worked with Susan in Human Resource, I can say I felt Susan was; open minded, supportive of new ideas and encouraging to work for. Susan had an open-door policy she always greeted staff by name and asked how your day was. Susan was instrumental in developing the 4BCL employee policy and procedure handbook, and Susan was genuinely interested in developing a positive employee atmosphere.

When I asked a former security supervisor, what she remembered most working for security she happily replied “look where I’m at now,” Dixie works with corrections at Bismarck penitentiary. She now holds a master’s degree in criminal justice. She remarked at how the casino made it possible for her to accomplish further goals after leaving the casino and personally thanked Mylo and the security team for her start and career in law enforcement.

Many employees commented Spencer Wilkinson, Jr., demonstrates leadership, caring, a supportive style management and kindness, he looks out for those that work for him. Spencer recognizes his management team as extended family when someone is his casino family experiences; graduations, births, weddings or loss, he takes time to personally call them and offer congratulations or condolences a quality less demonstrated today but Spencer Jr. actively performs. Spencer actively encourages education and supports community events when his time allows.

In closing I believe it is important to recognize Iris and her passion to support the MHA community. As an educator and longtime casino employee Iris has received several employee awards for most hours worked numerous times while working 2 other jobs. Today she currently works 2 jobs since the pandemic. In her spare time, she voluntarily donates her time teaching a cultural parenting class with a cultural emphasis to MHA parents at Children and Family Services. 


CONGRATULATIONS to all casino staff that has stayed and served the Casino and MHA community for as many years as you have. Thank you to the front-line staff, supervisors and management for working today through the pandemic and keeping the casino going.