NIGA honors Coeur d'Alene leader with sovereignty award

Ernie Stensgar. Photo by St. Maries Gazette Record / Facebook

The National Indian Gaming Association honored Ernie Stensgar, the vice chairman of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe of Idaho, at its mid-year conference last week.

Stensgar received the John F. Kieffer Sovereignty Award for his efforts to promote tribal sovereignty. He helped create NIGA in 1985, Indian Country Today reported.

“I find it difficult to receive this knowing Indian country and all the great leaders in Indian country," a humbled Stensgar told ICT. "There’s probably people out there that have done more than I have that should have received this award.”

Stensgar has served as vice chair of his tribe since 2007. Previously, he served 20 years as chairman.

The award is named after John F. Kieffer, the late former vice chairman of the Spokane Tribe of Washington. Kieffer helped establish NIGA and was a close friend of Stensgar.

Get the Story:
A Modest Ernie Stensgar Honored by NIGA for Selfless Dedication to Sovereignty (Indian Country Today 11/6)
Stensgar receives John F. Kieffer Sovereignty Award (The Coeur d'Alene Press 11/5)
Stensgar recognized for tribe work (The Spokesman-Review 11/4)

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