NIGA’s congressional outreach is also focused on the Trump Administration’s infrastructure plan to ensure that it will bring opportunities for Indian Country to improve their transportation systems , repair water systems, expand broad band access, and promote Tribal economic self- sufficiency. To ensure Indian Country continues to march forward on these important initiatives, I urge Tribal Nations to remain united behind our core key principles: protection of tribal sovereignty; and fostering economic activity on the reservation. I want to thank NIGA’s Member Tribal Nations for your support over this past year. I look forward to continue my work with the NIGA Board of Directors, Tribal and Associate Members, and all of Indian Country as we face our challenges in 2018. My message as Vice-Chairman will remain the same, “Stay in motion…Forward Motion.” I hope we can continue to work together and protect Indian Gaming and all Tribal industries for the betterment of our generations to come. “United,” Indian Country can confront any challenge and embrace every opportunity, while always moving forward. For many years the US government made decisions for Indian Tribes, and it was not until the era of Self-Determination that we were able to flourish by making decisions that were best for our own communities. With this Congress, we will have the opportunity to push forward the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act to restore the recognition of tribes as governments to set their own labor laws under the National Labor Relations Act. The infrastructure plan will bring opportunities for Indian Country to improve their transportation systems to foster economic growth, to repair water systems, and to expand energy developments on Indian lands to promote economic self-sufficiency. The Administration, through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, has begun the consultation process to update the Indian Trader Statutes, which must be amended to prevent dual taxation in Indian Country and will open the door to more development, especially when coupled with the infrastructure plans. To accomplish this, we, as individual nations, must remain united behind key principles: protection of tribal sovereignty and self-determination, and advancing policies that promote economic self-sufficiency. With many new faces in Washington, we have to educate our new Administrative officials, Congresspeople, and Senators on our unique relationship with the US Government and our issues. I want to thank the member tribes for your support over these past years to the NIGA organization, and to me as your Vice Chairman. I look forward to continue working with the NIGA Board of Directors, Tribal and Associate Memberships, and all of you as we face the challenges in the upcoming years and work together to protect and grow Indian Gaming that we have already fostered into a $30 billion industry. If we stand united, we will fight off any threat and embrace every opportunity.
INDIAN GAMING - ANNUAL REPORT 2018 11
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