The news of the dispute settlement between the Tohono O’odham Nation and the State of Arizona is welcome as it concludes a lengthy chapter limiting the progress of Tribal Gaming in our state.
Arizona Indian Gaming Association Chairperson Bernadine Burnette stated that, “Today is a victory for tribes and Arizona. The settlement supports the AIGA and its 15 member tribes’ concerted efforts to advance the lives of Indian peoples – economically, socially and politically – so Indian Tribes in Arizona can achieve their goal of self-reliance.”
“We very much appreciate both the Tohono O’odham Nation and Arizona Governor Ducey’s leadership in making this settlement happen. This has been a very contentious issue for many years, and the efforts of both parties were critical to achieving a fair resolution.”
The Tribal Gaming industry has had a tremendous economic impact on Tribal Nations, neighboring communities and Arizona. The vision of AIGA’s founding Leaders provided the basis for an industry that led to gaming enterprises that have helped Tribes provide a beginning to meet decades of unmet needs and have helped Tribes advance in the forms of much needed jobs, infrastructure, programs and services, among other things, to better the opportunities and the future of Tribal members.
The benefits of Tribal Gaming extend beyond Nations’ borders and the impact can be seen with over 15,000 jobs, both direct and indirect, with revenue sharing funds for needed programs benefiting entire communities and regions, and by creating economic development opportunities and much more.
In 2014, AIGA celebrated reaching the $1 billion dollar mark of revenue sharing contributions since 2003; today the Total Tribal Contributions Cumulative have grown to nearly $1.3 billion with funding designated to Education, Trauma and Emergency Services, the Arizona Wildlife Conservation Fund, State Tourism and Towns, Cities and Counties.
Tribal Gaming continues to be beneficial, not just for Tribes, but for all Arizonans. AIGA will continue to advocate, educate, partner and promote Tribal Gaming to protect Tribes’ sovereign right to operate gaming on their lands throughout Arizona.
Cities & Towns:
On Friday April 1, a ribbon cutting Grand Opening ceremony was held at the casino. CEO Matt Olin along with the management team presided over the opening to the public. There was an earlier ceremony presided over by the Tribal Council on Thursday March 31 along with a flag raising which involved veterans from San Carlos. The ceremony was to showcase everyone who contributed to the creation of the Apache Sky Casino. Tribal dignitaries, local mayors and County Supervisors, San Carlos Apache Enterprise Gaming and Apache Gold management team attended.
These are the first words that visitors see on a sign at the entrance of Tsé Hootsooí Diné Bi’ Olta’, an elementary immersion school that teaches the Navajo language to its 133 students on the capital of the Navajo Nation.
In English, the sign means, “Remember: We are learning in Diné. Please leave your English outside. Thank you.”
Arizona Indian Gaming Association represents 15 tribes representing Indian people living on reservations in Arizona. While four tribes are located near urban areas, most tribal lands are located in remote areas of Arizona.