During the National Indian Gaming Association’s Native Nations Policy Summit held in January, Chairman Ernie Stevens Jr. presented handmade silver NIGA sovereignty staff pins to Gay Kingman-Wapato; Daniel Tucker, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation chairman; and NIGA Chairman Emeritus Rick Hill, as an acknowledgement for their historic and current role in advancing Indian gaming and tribal sovereignty.
“Over 20 years ago, these warriors took on the challenge to build a national presence to Indian gaming,” Stevens said. “Gay, Danny and Rick provided a standard of what our industry means and what it stands for, and that is sovereignty and Indian self-determination. These badges of honor are reminders of our mission and what still needs to be accomplished for our tribes throughout this country.”
The pins were designed by the former chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the late Stanley Crooks, and presented at NIGA’s one-day meeting on sovereignty, tribal economies and taxation in Crystal City, Virginia on the weekend of the presidential inauguration.