NIGC Remembers Core Values of National Native American Heritage Month

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Mark Gaston
(202) 632-7003

NIGC Remembers Core Values of National Native American Heritage Month 

WASHINGTON, November 30, 2016 – As November draws to a close, the National Indian Gaming Commission will continue to recognize the core values of the National Native American Heritage Month (NAHM).

In 1986 President Ronald Reagan was the first to recognize the importance of Native American heritage and cultures by designating the week of November 23-30 as “American Indian Week.” President Reagan stated in his proclamation: “We look to a future of development of economic independence and self-sufficiency, and an enhanced government-to-government relationship that will allow greater Indian control of Indian resources.” Every president after President Reagan, including President Barack Obama and his 2016 Proclamation, has expanded on this with similar statements supporting strong tribal communities and declaring the month of November as a special month to learn about and remember the contributions of Native Americans.

President Reagan saw the value in self-sufficiency and strong tribal communities throughout his presidency and in 1988 signed into law the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). IGRA’s mission and goals are to promote tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments, recognizing tribes’ inherent sovereignty to regulate tribal gaming.

IGRA also created the NIGC to regulate the Indian gaming industry in partnership with tribes and tribal regulators. The NIGC works with over 6,000 tribal regulators to ensure that tribes are the primary beneficiaries of their gaming revenue. And while November is an important month to honor the sovereignty and contributions of Tribes and individual Native Americans, the NIGC will continue to uphold the values of tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments as the standard in our everyday work every month.

“These values are at the core of NIGC’s mission and everyday operations; we will continue to support thriving and stable tribal communities through Indian gaming revenue all year round,” said Chairman Jonodev Chaudhuri.

As we continue to celebrate National Native American Heritage month and our mission, we understand the importance of strong Native leadership within tribes and the NIGC. The NIGC has made efforts to foster and encourage leadership in Indian country. We would like to take this time to acknowledge some of our own staff for their leadership. Vice Chair Kathryn Isom-Clause was awarded the 40 under 40 award by The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development for young leaders on November 16th and Ms. Shannon O’Loughlin, Chief of Staff was appointed to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee on September 30, 2016. Both O’Loughlin and Isom-Clause exemplify what it means to hold our values as the standard when completing their everyday work.  Additionally, the NIGC has also announced its first ever Technology Leaders Fellowship opportunity in order to foster future tribal leaders in Indian gaming.


The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act created the National Indian Gaming Commission to support tribal self-sufficiency and the integrity of Indian gaming.  The NIGC has developed four initiatives to support its mission including (1) To protect against anything that amounts to gamesmanship on the backs of tribes; (2) To stay ahead of the Technology Curve; (3) Rural outreach; and (4) To maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and with its tribal regulatory partners.  NIGC oversees the efficient regulation of 497 gaming establishments operated by 244 tribes across 29 states. The Commission’s dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the growing $29.9 billion Indian gaming industry. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.