TEMECULA, Calif., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A crowd of over six hundred comprised of tribal leaders and other assorted guests gathered at the Pechanga Resort & Casino for the 12th Annual Western Indian Gaming Conference to watch California Nations Indian Gaming Association Chairman Anthony Miranda give the annual State of the Tribal Nations Address. "You can be proud that our industry -- which you built -- employs more than 56,000 Californians. You can be proud that Indian gaming is bringing hope and opportunity to tens of thousands across the state," said Chairman Miranda during the Address. Chairman Miranda listed the tribal accomplishments over the past year while also cautioning that tribes still have a difficult time ahead before all of California's tribal nations can realize the promise of self-reliance. Among the tribal accomplishments of the past year that Chairman Miranda outlined in the address was the opening of dialogue with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, which resulted in a commitment to create a tribal liaison in the governor's office. Other accomplishments include tribes joining forces with the state's business and labor communities to approve infrastructure bonds. On the federal level, Miranda noted the joint effort with the National Indian Gaming Association to block attempts to amend the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Miranda issued five initiatives for the coming year: 1. Alluding to the efforts of President Franklin Roosevelt to ease economic disparities, Miranda issued a challenge to extend economic benefits to all California Indians. 2. Miranda also asked for the "members of CNIGA to create an Economic Development Task Force in the coming weeks composed of representatives from academia, business and government to come up with recommendations to improve the economic conditions of tribes in California." 3. Ensure that the promise of revenue sharing with non-gaming tribes continues to be fulfilled and is backfilled in case of a shortfall. 4. Address the issue of problem gaming in a comprehensive manner, with all segments, and not just Indian gaming, at the table. Currently, Indian gaming is the only sector that subsidizes problem gambling programs and Miranda would like other gaming sectors to become involved to create a more comprehensive program. 5. Create broad-based and lasting coalitions and find common ground with other organizations and groups. Miranda also issued a plea for tribal unity and cited past successes to illustrate how much more effective the results have been when tribes worked together than when they go it alone. "Worthy goals require patience, commitment and courage." Miranda concluded his speech with an acknowledgement that not all tribal ills will be erased in the coming year, however, he pointed to the progress that has already been made and asked whether California tribes will seize the tremendous growth potential in California, in the coming decades. "Our home state of California expects to grow 30 percent over the next 20 years. Will our tribes be positioned to seize the opportunities that such tremendous growth provides?" The entire text of the speech is available on the web at: http://cniga.com .
SOURCE California Nations Indian Gaming Association