EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT JASON GILES Muscogee (Creek) Nation
W elcome to beautiful San Diego as the National Indian Gaming Association (Indian Gaming) kicks off what will be successive years in Southern California. In 2018, Indian Gaming completed its second full year in our refurbished headquarters on Capitol Hill. Indian Gaming owns one of the most unique properties in Washington, D.C. Listed on the National Historic Registry as the “Watterson House,” construction started shortly after the Revolutionary War in 1791. Built entirely with slave labor, as were most buildings in D.C. during that timeframe, the Watterson House served as the residence for the first Librarian of Congress. The house avoided destruction during the War of 1812 when the British General, who oversaw the burning of D.C., made the three-story high Watterson House his headquarters for the advantageous site lines. The Watterson House changed owners several times over the centuries until we finally purchased the property in 1994. The Watterson House was all but abandoned when Indian Gaming’s pioneering founders, Tim Wapato and Rick Hill, impressed upon Tribal Leaders that Indian Gaming needed an enduring presence on Capitol Hill. Today we have that presence. Our expanded offices serve as a hub for tribal leaders and other tribal organizations as they conduct business on Capitol Hill. 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 the National Indian Gaming Association. I would also like to note that in 2018, we picked up three more major building sponsors with generous gifts from: Puyallup Tribe of Indians Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians VGT (an Aristocrat Company) These donations are helping to pay down our construction mortgage debt and strengthen our operating budget. After a second year of operation, Indian Gaming’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.
16 INDIAN GAMING - ANNUAL REPORT 2019
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