National Indian Gaming Association to honor Women Warriors

31 March 2019

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The National Indian Gaming Association is pleased to announce that the association will be honoring seven outstanding women for their excellence in tribal leadership. The recognition, the “Women Warriors” honoring, will take place at the 2019 Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention in San Diego, California, this week.

This year’s class of honorees are:
  • Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota.
  • Stephanie Bryant, Tribal Chair and CEO for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama.
  • Bernadine Burnette, President of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation in Arizona.
  • Shannon Hosley, President, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians in Wisconsin.
  • Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Indian Nation in Washington State.
  • Lynn Valbuena, Chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in California.
  • Virginia Hill, Indian Country Advocate (posthumously).
This is an amazing panel that continues to follow up on our previous couple of years, where we felt it necessary for the world around us to understand the powerful role that Native women play, not just in leadership, but in life. While our movement in Indian country has always governed by our traditional values, it is vital in today’s society that we highlight the roles that women play, not just in leadership, but in the heart of our traditional community.

In Native tradition, women have always been considered the sacred givers of life. The balance between males and females in decision-making has always been important. Before the official opening of the Tradeshow floor, we invite you to join us for a special Keynote event Women Warriors - Honoring on Wednesday, 3 April at 9 a.m. as the National Indian Gaming Association honors seven of our women elected tribal leaders in recognition of their commitment and leadership for their tribal nations and all of Indian Country.

National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. commended the outstanding Women Warriors and said, “Our women are our strength and our resilience and ensure our future. These great women leaders have without a doubt been strong leaders for not only the tribal communities they represent, but are the greatest example of leaders who have dedicated their lives to the advancement of tribal government gaming and economic diversification, serving as examples for all of Indian country.”

The 2019 Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention will take place 1-4 April 2019 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California.

Related Links
NIGA Indian Gaming 2019 Tradeshow & Convention