American Indian gaming leaders gathered earlier this week in Washington, D.C. to celebrate.
Published June 18, 2016
WASHINGTON D.C. – Monday night, June 13, 2016, marked the beginning of a three-day celebration for the National Indian Gaming Association’s (NIGA) new Capitol Hill headquarters expansion.
The evening’s soft opening was a special thank you to all the Tribes and Associate Members who contributed donations for the project. NIGA’s expansion consisted of joining a historical row house with a carriage house. The project began in 2011.
“There were many challenges because this area of Washington is a ‘historic district.'” said Ernie Stevens, Chairman of NIGA. “There are restrictions and requirements for compliance in the historic district that required additional permitting, inspections and approvals.”
Individuals attending the event were provided building tours, enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and took in memorable words spoken by Tribal leaders. The intimate gathering was the perfect backdrop to show NIGA’s appreciation and gratitude for the generosity of donors.
NIGA is located in historical Capitol Hill area of Washington, D.C.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, who were recognized for initiating the fundraising campaign for the expansion back in 2010, were represented by Chairman Charlie Vig, Vice Chairman Keith Anderson and Secretary/Treasurer Freedom Brewer. A large delegation of the family of Stanley Crooks was also present for the honoring and dedication of the Stanley Crooks Tribal Leaders Center.
The list of donors includes; The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, The Tulalip Tribe of Washington, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Forest County Potawatomi Community, Mohegan Tribe, Seminole Tribe of Florida, International Game Technology (IGT), Jicarilla Apache Nation, The Tule River Tribe, Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Lytton Rancheria – Band of Pomo Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, The Three Affiliated Tribes (MHA Nation – Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara), Downstream Casino – Quapaw Tribe, Redding Rancheria, POB Insurance, Boise Forte Band of Chippewa, Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Tejon Indian Tribe. Their contributions toward this building expansion will make NIGA’s presence on Capitol Hill even more powerful in the years to come and ensure the protection of Tribal Sovereignty and the preservation and promotion of gaming conducted in Indian Country.
Another of the evening’s highlights included a giveaway. Beautiful Pendleton blankets with a Grand Opening logo and plaques of appreciation were given out to all of the generous donors. “In true Native tradition, the sharing of gifts and offering words of encouragement and thanksgiving was truly memorable,” Chairman Stevens said.
The National Indian Gaming Association would also like to thank its sponsors for their support of the evening’s festivities. IGT and 2020 Casino Solutions (Mille Lacs Corporate ventures) provided the food and gift bags. IGT’s team of Mary Hayashi, Dan Farnon, Scott Gunn and Knute Knutson were recognized for their continuing years of support of Indian Gaming.
“NIGA continues looking forward to the days ahead,” Chairman Stevens said. “We will remember the historical journey, the battles that have been waged and fought and celebrate the future progress of Indian Gaming.”