Meetings | Public Relations
NIGA Debate: Interviews with Ernie Stevens Jr and Ivan Makil

The National Indian Gaming Association holds its annual tradeshow and convention on April 3-6 in Phoenix, Arizona, where members will decide who will lead the organization.

Ernie Stevens Jr., a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, has served as chairman of NIGA for 10 years. He is being challenged by Ivan Makil, the former president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of Arizona.

Global Gaming Business interviews both candidates, with Stevens providing a long list of some of the challenges Indian gaming has faced on the state and national level. Makil focuses more on the economic development successes for his tribe, located in the metro Phoenix area.

"I will maintain NIGA’s primary mission, which is to protect and preserve tribal sovereignty and the integrity of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act," Stevens said. "And I’ll continue to do so through building consensus among our member tribes and coalitions with other tribal organizations, and by empowering our tribal leaders and their voices before Congress."

"We need a strategically focused, unified campaign, implemented locally and nationally to correct public opinion-- not only about who we are as tribes and tribal governments, but also about legislation specific to our issues, the value of tribal recognition and the value of land from the tribal perspective," Makil said.

Get the Story:
NIGA DEBATE: Ernie Stevens, Chairman, National Indian Gaming Association (Global Gaming Business News 3/21)
NIGA DEBATE: Ivan Makil, Former President, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (Global Gaming Business News 3/21)