NIGA makes annual commitment to Native American Rights Fund – challenges member tribes to join in this annual commitment


Pictured above – NARF Assistant Director of
Development Don Ragona, NARF Executive Director
John Echohawk, and NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr.

The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) has received a commitment for $5,000 annually from the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), to be used for general operating expenses and special projects.  The announcement came on May 13 during the general session at NIGA’s annual trade show and conference in San Diego. Simultaneously with the announcement, NIGA issued a challenge to its tribal membership to match their annual commitment to NARF and if possible to give more annually.

“This generous challenge grant will help provide NARF much needed funding for and focus on our legal work insuring the survival of tribes and their ways of life,” said Executive Director John E. Echohawk. “Our deepest thanks go to the National Indian Gaming Association and their dedication to the legal rights of Indian Country.”

NIGA’s challenge to its tribal membership is a testament to the value and impact of NARF’s work.  Tribal contributions are extremely important to help underwrite NARF’s vital efforts on behalf of Indian country.  NIGA’s tribal membership, through its own action, is taking the lead in helping to ensure NARF’s future.

“The National Indian Gaming Association is committed to Native rights and the preservation of tribal sovereignty,” said NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr.  “This cornerstone gift to the Native American Rights Fund and challenge to our Members tangibly expresses our belief in the importance of the outstanding work that they do.”

The Native American Rights Fund is a non-profit organization that has been protecting the legal and sovereign rights of tribes and Native people within the American legal system for more than 44 years.  NARF is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, with offices in Anchorage, Alaska, and Washington, D.C.  Since its founding in 1970, NARF has represented more than 275 tribes in 31 states in matters that have had a significant impact on the rights of all Indian people throughout the country. NARF works to empower tribes so they can continue to live according to their Native traditions, enforce their treaty rights, insure their independence on reservations, and protect their sovereignty. NARF strives to enforce and strengthen laws that are designed to protect the rights of Native Americans to practice their traditional religions, use their own languages, and enjoy their cultures. NARF also works with tribes to improve education for and ensure the welfare of their children.

The National Indian Gaming Association, established in 1985, is a non-profit organization of 184 Indian Nations with other non-voting associate members representing organizations, tribes, and businesses engaged in tribal gaming enterprises from around the country. The common commitment and purpose of NIGA is to advance the lives of Indian peoples economically, socially, and politically. NIGA operates as a clearinghouse and educational, legislative, and public policy resource for tribes, policymakers, and the public on Indian gaming issues and tribal community development. For more information on NIGA, click here.

For more information, please contact Donald M. Ragona, NARF’s Assistant Director of Development/Development House Counsel at (303) 447-8760.