GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The parent company of Native News Online today unveiled plans for a new publication devoted to covering tribal economic development, Indigenous entrepreneurism and related government and policy issues that affect the economy in Indian Country.  

The new publication — called Tribal Business News — will debut on Oct. 1 with a mix of news, analysis and research for Native and non-Native subscribers, according to executives at Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Indian Country Media LLC. The new publication’s business journalism will be provided to readers via a paywall-protected website ( as well as a daily e-newsletter and social media channels.  The publisher also expects to launch a print edition, specialty publications and a podcast in 2021.

levi 450pxLevi Rickert, editor/publisher of Tribal Business News“The tribal economy is a $130 billion economic sector that’s hidden in plain sight,” said Tribal Business News Editor and Publisher Levi Rickert (Prairie Band of Potawatomi). “Most people equate tribes with casinos, but that is only a part of the picture. Over the past two decades, tribal investment in non-gaming economic development and the rise of entrepreneurism among Indigenous peoples have grown significantly, and that’s also spurring economic growth and new jobs for American Indians and Alaska Natives. We intend to shine a light on this emerging economy with Tribal Business News.”  

The new publication will report on a variety of industry sectors in Indian Country, including agriculture, energy, finance, federal contracting, gaming, manufacturing, real estate, technology, tourism and other industries. Tribal Business News will also track startups, entrepreneurism, merger and acquisition activity, business expansions, best business practices, business strategy, economic data and other information relevant to business readers, according to Rickert, who is also the founder, editor and publisher of Native News Online, one of the most-read general news sites covering Indian Country.  

Tribal Business News will be launched in partnership with MiBiz, a 32-year old regional publication that covers business and economic news in Western, Southwestern and Central Michigan. Three executives from the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based business publisher will play key roles in daily operations for Tribal Business News

  • Brian Edwards, owner and publisher of MiBiz, will serve as associate publisher of Tribal Business News with responsibility for business operations.  
  • Joe Boomgaard, a veteran business journalist who has covered tribal economic development for a decade and a half, will serve as the managing editor of Tribal Business News, with responsibility for newsroom management and editorial quality. 
  • Richard Tupica will serve as sales director of Tribal Business News with responsibility for advertising sales, subscription revenues and marketing partnerships.   

“The MiBiz team brings a depth of experience in business journalism and entrepreneurial publishing endeavors,” Rickert said. “I've enjoyed working with them to expand and enhance Native News Online in 2020 and look forward to their help in launching and growing Tribal Business News. They share the overall vision of changing the narrative about Indian Country by providing high-quality journalism that’s fair, balanced, accurate and insightful.”

For more information or to register for the free e-newsletter, visit

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Author: Native News Online Staff