From childhood, Leela Abrahamson has traveled the Powwow Trail with her family, as they danced their way from reservation to reservation and city to city in the U.S. and Canada. Like her sisters, she started dancing at an early age and has enjoyed the cultural experience and closeness of traveling together.
Her normally nomadic tendencies have succumbed to the loving ties of Eastern Idaho and with a sense of pride, Leela Abrahamson is an example of giving back to the people who built her.
Through a series of life changing challenges and opportunities, Leela has become a highlight of what the Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel Management Team is poised to unleash in the region.
From receiving a personal scholarship from a local Thoracic Surgeon, to study at Georgetown University, receiving an education scholarship from a local philanthropist, to representing the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes on a National stage, Leela Wastay-Wea Star Abrahamson has always conducted herself professionally.
In 2007, Leela appeared in the Teen Vogue Feature, “My Life” and became the first Native American model to appear in that publication. The story focused on her efforts to fund raise for local charities, work to curb teen violence in her school and promote academic achievement.
Leela was crowned Miss Shoshone-Bannock in 2008, which led to a series of national appearances representing the Tribes both ceremonially and as a voice for Native Young Women.
Although initially Medicine was the goal, a Business career eventually became exciting, as Leela realized the importance of economic growth for the sustainability and health of her Tribe.
Leela joined Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel, in the Gaming Machine Department, in 2011. She quickly rose into a standout employee and was promoted to Director of Player Development. At that time, the new department was created to be responsible for acquiring, developing, reengaging, and maintaining strong relationships between well established players and the casino. Now in its third year, Leela and her team ensure the confidentiality, security, and accuracy of guest’s records, all while promoting a positive guest relationship. She has established an outstanding team that strives for excellence within the organization. Guests continually ask to speak with Leela, just to say hello. She is constantly engaging guests in intellectual and meaningful conversations to build better relationships. Leela is a strong team member to have, she is always supporting her staff and fellow departments with a smile.
Through the encouragement of the Casino Hotel Executive Team, Leela has served on the Pocatello-Chubbuck Leadership Curriculum Committee, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Festival Committee, the National Gathering of Nations Horse Regalia Preservation Committee and a few others.
With the women in her life stressing the importance of education and prioritizing it themselves, Leela has always believed it is her obligation to finish her formal education. This semester, Leela returns to Idaho State University as a junior while participating in the continued success of the Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel. She still enjoys dancing in powwows with her children, Mika and Tate, partner Terrence Johnson and the rest of her family.