NIGA 2019 Annual Report Digital Final


W elcome to San Diego this year and thank you for taking a moment to review our 2018 Annual Report. Over the past year NIGA experienced a number of positive changes that are helping us fulfill our mission to defend Trial Sovereignty and create economic opportunities for our Tribal citizens. Last year, we experienced a political sea change that saw the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in a transformative election year. Indian Country gained new allies in Congress, including the first two Native American women elected to Congress. This new era of women empowerment is inspiring a new generation of women to step out and help lead this Country into a new era. With changing political leadership in Washington D.C., NIGA is focusing on creating positive developments in our industry. 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 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 is unfortunately upheld by some Federal Circuit Courts. My Tribe, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, has employed union labor in the Puget Sound area for decades and like most Tribal Governments, we have provided a safe work environment with competitive wages amongst the highest in Washington State. NIGA will continue to carry this unique message to our union friends and those in Congress that must help Tribes reform what has become an inequitable law targeting Tribal businesses.


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