Working to Ensure Native Culture Remains Part of the Regional Identity
Tribes in Washington State place a high priority on enhancing and preserving their rich and vibrant cultures, which have thrived in this region for thousands of years. Thriving tribal communities with arts and culture are critically important.
Tribes are working to ensure native culture continues to be an integral part of our regional identity, for the benefit of American Indians and non-Indians alike. This is achieved by investing in tribal community building efforts such as museums, art and cultural centers, elder programs, school programs, song and dance, language programs, carving and weaving, and restoring traditional foods and medicine programs.
Northwest Coast Indian Mask, at Samish Indian Nation
After a comprehensive and careful regulatory rulemaking process, on July 28 the Washington State Gambling Commission unanimously approved the final rules governing sports betting on the premises of tribal casinos in Washington. Tribes now await the final regulatory step, Federal approval of sports betting compacts, which is expected shortly. The Gambling Commission’s vote means Washington State Tribes remain on track to go live with sports betting on the premises of tribal casinos in the near future.
This series of regulatory approvals highlights the strong partnership Washington Tribes have built over the last three decades with the state to offer safe and fair gaming options to responsible adults, and reinforces that the decision in 2020 by a bipartisan supermajority of the legislature to approve sports betting limited to the premises of tribal casinos was the right one.
“Tribal sports betting will boost our economy and generate much-needed revenue to fund important services for communities across Washington.”
— Rebecca George, Executive Director, Washington Indian Gaming Association
What is Tribal Sovereignty?
Native peoples inhabited North America long before European governments sent explorers to claim lands and resources. As the United States formed its Union, the founders acknowledged the sovereignty of Tribal nations, alongside states, foreign nations and the federal government in the U.S. Constitution. Today, Native peoples and their governments retain fundamental political and treaty rights in their relationship with the U.S. government.
Generally speaking, “Tribal sovereignty” is the inherent authority of Tribes to govern themselves for their own wellbeing. In a legal sense, this means American Indian Tribes have the political status of nations located within the borders of the United States. This allows Tribal nations the autonomy to govern, exercise jurisdiction, and protect and enhance the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens in ways that are culturally appropriate.
We are thrilled to announce that this year’s Northwest Indian Gaming Conference & Expo will be held in-person at the Squaxin Island Tribe’s Little Creek Casino and Resort August 31-September 1. Join Tribal leaders and gaming operators and experts to learn new ideas and connect with fellow industry professionals. Conference attendees will get up-to-date information on cutting edge gaming technology, best management practices, regulatory compliance, economic development, and much more.