Chino led the Mescalero tribal council between 1953 until his death in 1998. Due to his strong leadership style, some observers have referred to him as autocratic. Through his no-nonsense style, he tirelessly worked to promote Mescalero self-determination and economic self-sufficiency. Projects such as the Inn of the Mountain Gods were a central part of his vision. In the early 1990s his support of a plan to store nuclear waste on tribal lands created controversy and deeply divided members of the tribe.
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