These donations are helping to pay down NIGA’s construction mortgage debt and strengthen our operating budget. After a full year of operation, NIGA’s Headquarters are now hitting its stride with strong rental income and the incredible political exposure of hosting fundraisers and conferences so close to Congressional offices. NIGA and its staff are off to what should be a great 2018 both fiscally and administratively. Please stop by NIGA’s offices anytime you are in D.C. Our doors are open for Tribal Leaders to come and relax during busy Hill visits, or just to come by, grab a snack in our kitchen, and visit with myself and the staff. NIGA will soon begin renovations in the basement on what is expected to become a Tribal Leaders Lounge meant for all of Indian Country to come and use NIGA’s offices while advocating on important Tribal issues. As we begin 2018, there is a lot of legislative and regulatory work ahead with regards to Tribal labor laws, gaming regulation, and protecting our Tribal Governments from severe federal budget cuts. I am proud to serve NIGA in a role that helps to bring Indian Country’s voice to policy positions formulated in cooperation with all of our incredible Tribal organizations. Working with my peers in D.C. at NCAI, NACA, NIHB, NIEA, NAFOA, and others is a humbling experience. Each organization brings a unique viewpoint to the table, but not once has anyone ever lost focus on protecting Tribal Sovereignty and working to enhance Tribal self-determination. With that, I submit to you NIGA’s 2017 Year in Review. 2017 Year in Review NIGA and Indian Country successfully moved the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (TLSA) through the House of Representatives, the third year in a row House leadership has voted to restore tribal sovereignty over on reservation labor issues. Once again Indian Country owes a special “thank you” to Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN), and of course our leaders from both sides of the aisle that took a strong stand in support of Tribal Governments. A special thank you to Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK), Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM). Unfortunately, the TLSA again faces an uncertain future in the Senate. Indian Country has a true friend in Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) who picked up where former Senator Brownback left off, in standing up for what is right in Indian Country. Senator Moran’s impassioned work on the TLSA has left a positive mark with his Party’s leadership in the Senate. Indian Country is again calling on our friends from both sides of the aisle, including ranking member Senator Udall on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, to make the necessary changes to the National Labor Relations Act and protect tribal sovereignty and restore tribal government jurisdiction over their labor issues. The Future of Indian Gaming The Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (Nos. 16-476, 16-477) stands to potentially break a new policy barrier in gaming. It will have profound implications for not only sports betting in the United States, but it stands to reason there will be renewed pushes by lotteries and states to expand internet gaming. Currently only three states have legalized internet wagering.
INDIAN GAMING - ANNUAL REPORT 2018 17
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