Conry Chino settles into new role 4-19-07

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - Former New Mexico Labor Secretary Conroy Chino is taking on a new role as a political, business and planning consultant for American Indian tribes.

Chino is among five partners of The NATV (Native American Tribal Voices) Group, a consulting firm that incorporated in New Mexico in February.

While he wouldn't name the company's clients, Chino said The NATV Group is negotiating contracts with some New Mexico tribes. Most of the firm's clients and potential clients are tribes in Arizona, California and New Mexico, he said.

The NATV Group primarily works to help tribes acquire and protect land and water rights, but it also offers venture-capital and securities-management services.

``One of the things we really want to do for tribes is protect their sovereign status,'' said Chino, who is from Acoma Pueblo.

Chino, 57, resigned as labor secretary after four years. The former investigative television reporter said he continues to work long hours, but he's enjoying his return to the private sector.

He also said his new life means he has to make his own coffee and take out the trash.

``I'm reduced to being my own boss,'' Chino said.

Although Chino's not interested in returning to TV journalism, he recently produced a 15-minute documentary for the National Indian Gaming Association. The documentary is about a 1992 standoff between FBI agents and members of the Yavapai-Apache Nation in Arizona that occurred after federal agents seized tribal gambling machines.

Chino also is negotiating a contract with the state Film Office to help attract minority-run projects to New Mexico.