When Stevens asked closing thoughts, Macarro said, “I look at our youth now and am so in awe of them. Every single one who stands up and protests and shows up and shouts that we’re getting our land back not as like we’re going to take the land your house is on but as the meta-narrative of what land back means”. She concluded, “It’s our land, our culture. It’s our songs and our prayers. Our youth seem to have so much passion for all those things. Just know nothing holds them back, and it’s super inspiring to see that on this Indigenous People’s Day.” Chairman Milanovich said, “When tribes stick together, we’re much stronger. Right? I try to say that when we have a united Indian Country, we have a strong Indian country. We are in charge of our destinies. I think about all the hard work of generations before us, and their sacrifices are what put us where we are today. And although I think they would be proud to see where we’re at now, they wouldn’t want us to let up. We must keep moving forward.” Last week, President Biden issued an official proclamation on Indigenous People’s Day. He said, “On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we honor the sovereignty, resilience, and immense contributions that Native Americans have made to the world; and we recommit to upholding our solemn trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribal Nations, strengthening our Nation-to-Nation ties.”
Stevens concluded, “I hope that we all take a moment to celebrate this Indigenous People’s Day by making an effort to understand the true history of Native America, erase the myths and legends, not to dwell on the past, but to educate, heal, and honor the gifts that our ancestors have given us all. Former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell provided a wealth of history to the audience that led to the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Campbell was one of the five co-sponsors of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988. He shared, “None of us who could have ever thought it [Gaming] was going someday to be a 39 billion dollar a year business, hiring thousands of employees and helping so many communities.” The Senator concluded, “Overall, the Indian gaming industry has helped millions of people, both Indian and non-Indian, and I was proud to be a small part of it.” Holly Cook-Macarro shared her thoughts on the recognition of Indian Country through Indian Gaming. She said, “The recognition Indian Country has today, with our allies and all of those relationships that we’ve built throughout the years, shows how hard we’ve worked to be visible and educate mainstream America about Indian country and who we are as contemporary people. A lot of that is under the specter of Indian gaming.” Chairman Reid Milanovich added, “It is important to look at what gaming has done. For tribes, for my tribe, gaming generated the ability to operate our government member benefits, health care, housing, and education. It allows us to protect our natural resources and our culture.” Milanovich said, “So what gaming revenue has given my tribe and many other tribes the opportunity to do what we need to do. We have a seat at the table now.”
Chairman Stevens joins fellow panelists for the “Honoring Indigenous Peoples’ Day: A Special Look at Tribal Gaming,” at G2E. In the photo L-R: Reid D. Milanovich, Chairman, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Holly Cook Macarro, Political Consultant & Strategic Advisor, and the Honorable Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Former U.S. Senator, Colorado .
7 | INDIAN GAMING UPDATE - OCT - DECEMBER 2022 EDITION
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