This year marks the 25th anniversary of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA). Throughout its history, NIGA has remained committed to being the foremost educational, legislative and public policy resource for tribes, policymakers and the public on Indian gaming issues and tribal community development to advance Indian peoples economically, socially and politically. NIGA continues to successfully fulfill its mission of protecting and preserving the general welfare of tribes striving for self-sufficiency through gaming enterprises in Indian country. With the strong commitment and direction of our member tribes, we continue to work with the federal government and Congress to develop sound policies and practices as we advocate on gaming-related issues and protect and strengthen Indian sovereign governmental authority in Indian country.
Every year, the National Indian Gaming Association hosts the Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention as the premier event in which tribes, organizations, businesses and individuals can come together to “get business done” in the Indian gaming industry. This year, NIGA will host Indian Gaming 2010 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif., April 6 to 9.
The major component of this annual event is bringing NIGA member tribes together to discuss and strategize issues impacting the Indian gaming industry as well as Indian country as a whole. Tribal leadership will work together on an aggressive agenda that will establish our voice in moving our message forward on behalf of Indian country.
The Indian Gaming 2010 agenda includes strong training and certification opportunities targeting every aspect of the business and specific to Indian gaming and hospitality. Tribal leaders, tribal gaming commissions and tribal gaming employees, as well as every casino department, will undoubtedly benefit from attending Indian Gaming 2010. With more than 215 hours of gaming-related training and networking sessions taught by more than 100 experts from the gaming industry, attendees will gain powerful and substantive tools that can help improve personal job performance, strengthen tribal gaming knowledge and improve tribal communities. Some of the exclusive trainings features are:
Casino department roundtables—an ever-increasing favorite among NIGA attendees. These facilitated discussions provide ample opportunity to network with colleagues from other Indian casinos, sharing ideas and trends specific to Indian gaming.
The Showcase of Successful Gaming Programs—highlighting successful projects and programs at Indian casinos around the country. This unique opportunity gives NIGA members a chance to share successes so those programs may be replicated in other Indian casinos.
The Executive Leadership Series—trainings designed for tribal leaders to gain “know-how” to effectively handle federal legislative issues ranging from labor issues to health care reform and working with Congress.
Partnerships with government agencies—a generalized training about everything from the 2010 Census to homeland security certifications in threat detections to “going green” and everything in between.
Continuing NIGA certifications including the 12th Annual Commissioner Certification Series – Level 1.
While we have plenty of hard work to accomplish during the week, there is ample time to enjoy what southern California has to offer. Indian Gaming 2010 will feature some of the most dynamic and exciting golf found in the country. This year, NIGA is proud to feature two of the region’s premier—and tribally-owned—golf courses. The Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians and owners of the award-winning Sycuan Resort Golf Courses, will generously sponsor the Chairman’s Tournament at Willow Glen and the Vice Chairman’s Tournament at Oak Glen. Tribal and industry leaders will hit the greens to kick off the annual NIGA event.
The Sovereignty Tournament, sponsored by the Barona Band of Mission Indians, will be held at the Barona Creek Golf Club, named the No. 5 Best Course You Can Play in California by Golf Week Magazine. All proceeds earned from the Sovereignty Tournament will support scholarships for the Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase higher education by providing financial assistance to Native American students.
In the most prestigious event of the Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention, NIGA will deliver the Wendell Chino Humanitarian Award, named in honor of the late Wendell Chino, former Mescalero Apache tribal chairman who dedicated four decades of leadership to advancing Indian country, diligently and gracefully. The award is given to recognize individuals who have diligently worked to benefit not only their tribal communities, but Indian country as a whole through the success of Indian gaming. This year, NIGA is proud to recognize and honor Bill Anoatubby, governor of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma. Anoatubby has served as governor since 1987 and has been an active member of tribal government since 1975. Through his prolific career of civic and tribal duties, Anoatubby’s leadership has empowered the Chickasaw Nation to economic self-sufficiency, making a great difference for the lives of the Chickasaw people and for all of Indian country. Under his leadership, the Chickasaw Nation has been significantly transformed. When he began his tenure as governor in 1987, the tribe had approximately 250 employees and operating outlays of less than $11 million. Today, the Chickasaw Nation boasts more than 15,000 employees and has a capital outlay in excess of $350 million. His success is truly deserving of recognition.
Over the years, NIGA’s trade show has grown to become one of the biggest and best shows in the gaming industry. Our Indian gaming community continues to lead our industry in innovation and technology. With more than $26 billion worth of purchasing power under one roof and more than 300 vendors and exhibitors from all aspects of the gaming and hospitality industry, the trade show will be the place for business, a prime networking platform and a place to enjoy great entertainment and exciting giveaways over four days. Attendees can polish their resumes, create business opportunities and build relationships all in one convenient location.
Of course, Indian Gaming 2010 would not be complete without the great entertainment. As we work through our agenda, from the chairman’s reception to the closing at our cultural event, attendees can expect entertainment guaranteed to make San Diego a great experience.
Come join us as we celebrate our 25th anniversary at the Indian Gaming 2010 Tradeshow and Convention. I hope to see you there.