NIGA 2018 Annual Report


W elcome to Las Vegas as the National Indian Gaming Association holds its first ever Tradeshow and Convention in this iconic gambling city. In 2017, NIGA completed its first full year in our brand new Headquarters on Capitol Hill. NIGA owns one of the most unique properties on in Washington, D.C. with a history befitting the development of this Country and its Indian Policies. Since NIGA opened its doors to local rental opportunities and hosting tribal organizations from throughout Indian Country, we have been forced to research the history of the building as NIGA staff responds to our guests questions about how a non-profit came to own a 220 year old building. Briefly, the newly independent United States Government began construction on the “Watterson House” shortly after the conclusion of the Revolutionary War and it was completed in 1804. NIGA’s building served as the residence for the first Librarian of Congress, Mr. Watterson. During the War of 1812, NIGA’s building was one of the few spared from British destruction as the Commanding General of British ground forces used the Watterson House as his headquarters. As the D.C. expanded over the centuries the Watterson House changed hands several times, but gained a place on the National Register of Historic Places. The Watterson House was all but abandoned when NIGA’s pioneering founders Tim Wapato and Rick Hill impressed upon Tribal Leaders that NIGA needed an enduring presence on Capitol Hill. The three year building expansion is something that I believe Mr. Wapato would be proud to see. I again want to thank his wife, Gay Kingman, for her work in founding NIGA and the support she has engendered for the Association. The building expansion could not have happened without Tribal Leader support and certainly not without the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux’s financial commitment and annual donations to NIGA. I would also like to note that in 2017, NIGA picked up three more major building sponsors with generous gifts from: Puyallup Tribe of Indians Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians VGT (an Aristocrat Company)


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