NIGA 2018 Annual Report


G reetings and thank you for taking the time to read my report. This will be my first full report since taking the Vice-Chairman’s position last spring after Kevin Leecy, Bois Forte Tribe, stepped down after 12 years. His experience and devotion to NIGA is greatly appreciated and I hope to honor his legacy. Certainly, over the past year NIGA experienced a number of changes as did all of Indian Country. In this era of political change from one party to the next, Indian Country’s greatest strength remains our ability to adapt to any situation and look for new opportunities to exercise our Sovereignty and protect our Tribal Citizens. With new political leadership in Washington D.C., and a new sense of change at the Federal Agencies, NIGA focused on staying in motion on many policy fronts, seeking to avoid going backwards after eight years of hard work with the previous administration. NIGA is moving forward and pursuing new paths for legislative and regulatory policies that will strengthen Tribal Governments and Tribal self-determination. At the top of the list in 2017 and in 2018, is the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (TLSA). Tribal Governments should not rest until we restore our recognition as governments under the National Labor Relations Act. Many in Congress understand that to be sovereign means you must have jurisdiction over your lands without exception. State Governments and U.S. Territories did not accept unionization of their employees under Federal law, and Tribal Governments were granted this same deference for over 80 years until it was taken away by regulatory decisions at the NLRB and unfortunately upheld by some Federal Circuit Courts. NIGA’s outreach on TLSA has been greatly enhanced by our incredible state of the art facility steps away from Capitol Hill. NIGA is now able to reach more Congressional Representatives and Senators than ever before as our new Headquarters has established itself as a unique events location. Both political parties have utilized NIGA’s conference room and we are able to host numerous fundraisers without the exorbitant costs of renting hotel space.


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