by Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
PHOENIX - Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly challenged the members of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) to lower the cost of doing business for American Indian vendors on Tuesday, April 5. NIGA’s annual conference met in Phoenix from April 3 - 6.
(L to R) NIGA Secretary Bernadine Bernette, Navajo President Ben Shelly, NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, First Lady Martha Shelly and Mrs. Cheryl Stevens celebrate Chairman Stevens’ re-election victory
“I believe NIGA should progressively work with tribal and state regulatory agencies to improve the ability of our Native vendors to obtain work and contracts with our Indian casinos for the purpose of putting our Native vendors to work,”
said President Shelly. “Right now vendor licensing fees cost $1,000 regardless of the size of the business. It is also my vision for the new NIGA board coming in to consider reducing Arizona licensing vendor fees. I leave you with that challenge today.”
Indian Gaming has created 628,000 jobs
There are 237 American Indian tribes in 28 states that use Indian gaming to create jobs, fund essential government services and rebuild communities, according the NIGA. Overall, Indian gaming has created 628,000 jobs for American Indians and their surrounding counties and states.
In other significant conference news was the reelection of Ernest L. Stevens, Jr., (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin) to a third term as chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association.
Photos: C. Jackson - Navajo and Scott Collins
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