No Longer the Only Tribal Women in the Room

Although our industry continues to evolve, myself and the two other founders of the United Women of Tribal Gaming, Margo Gray and Sonya Nevaquaya, have been involved in Tribal gaming for over 50 years combined, during a time when women have perhaps been underrepresented. We have experience on the vendor side, frontline and all levels of casino executive operations management. We have all been in the position many times of being the “only female in the room,” and most certainly the only Native woman in the room.

Over a year ago, we formed the United Women of Tribal Gaming with the mission of supporting all women in the Tribal gaming industry. We feel strongly that women, in particular, thrive when united and certainly can and should support each other in a way that has not always been apparent in Tribal gaming. We are Tribal gaming professionals supporting other Tribal gaming professionals. As one of the few female CEOs in Tribal gaming at that time, I felt a responsibility to help other women be the best they can be in our industry. There is so much opportunity, and sometimes we just need to be reminded that we can do it.

During this time, we have held several inspiring meetings and events that give us the assurance that together we can and will have a positive impact on the talented women who work each day to strengthen our people, communities and businesses. In order to move forward, we know the importance of also honoring outstanding women who cleared the way for all who embark on our own journeys today.

NIGA 2020 provides us with an opportunity to highlight a handful of the outstanding women in Tribal gaming during a powerhouse panel of leaders as we take a thoughtful look at the progress of women in Tribal gaming on March 25 at 2 pm, “The Evolution of Women in Tribal Gaming.” The panel, moderated by Margo Gray, brings together a diverse panel of female leaders whose work has inspired each of us, including A. Gay Kingman Wapato, Executive Director, Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association; Elizabeth Homer, Attorney, Principal, Homer Law; Shannon Holsey, Tribal Advisor, Blue Stone; Mia Tahdooahnippah, CEO, Comanche Nation Entertainment; and myself, Pamela Shaw, Chairwoman, United Women of Tribal Gaming. For more information on the United Women of Tribal Gaming, please email

Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort – Charity Golf Tournament

For the second year in a row, the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort held its annual Charity Golf Tournament to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Burlington and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Community Partnership Fund.

The Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home for families with sick children. People from all walks of life are impacted by the charity. Parents of babies in the NICU, parents of small children with leukemia/cancer, soon-to-be moms who have to seek refuge in the Ronald McDonald House until they deliver their babies. Of the guests who populate the Ronald McDonald House on a yearly basis, 65 percent were from Upstate New York, primarily from St. Lawrence County and Franklin County. For some the stay could be for a week, for others it could be months. Whether for a short stay or for weeks at a time, they provide families with the comforts of home, as well as the support of their dedicated staff and volunteers. Many Akwesasne residents have utilized the Ronald McDonald House.

The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort, which is wholly owned by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, is the economic engine for Akwesasne. The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council strives to create partnerships and relationships with its neighbors within the surrounding areas, and this goal is carried to its gaming establishment. Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort values its community, its neighbors, its partnerships and entities that provide services to its community members, such as the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort 2nd Annual Charity Golf Tournament, held on June 27th, was able to raise $84,000. The recipients of the Golf Tournament are the Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Community Partnership Fund. On June 25, 2020, the Golf Tournament will be held once again. For more information, please contact Emily Lauzon, Assistant General Manager, at

Angels of the Wind

Angel of the Winds Casino Resort – Saving Lives One Pint at a Time!

Each year we try to find new ways to give back to our community. We have fundraisers, food drives and roadside clean-ups, but last year we partnered with Bloodworks Northwest to help save lives one pint at a time! Bloodworks Northwest is a local non-profit organization that came on-site, and our team members got the opportunity to donate whole blood. The event brought 62 participants and 28 first-time donors! Part of our mission statement is to make a positive contribution to the Stillaguamish Tribe, our team members and our community. All donations collected by Bloodworks Northwest help provide blood supply to over 90 hospitals in or near our community.

We were able to raise 45 pints of whole blood. Each whole blood donation is divided into three components, red cells, platelets and plasma, which can help three different

patients. Our whole blood donations from the blood drive helped save up to 135 patients! This event allowed us to come together and donate in a unique way. And to be quite honest, it just makes us feel pretty darn good helping to save lives! Due to the success we had in 2019, we will be holding multiple blood drives throughout the year. For more information, please contact Kelsey Benoit, HR Manager, at or 360-572-3811.

Gold River Casino/Delaware Nation – 2019 School Supply Drive

Gold River Casino and its team members firmly believe that working together builds strong bonds between the communities and the Tribes. One of the many ways that they work with their community is their annual school supply drive.

In July of last year, Gold River Casino held its third annual school supply drive. Guests were encouraged to bring in a donation of school supplies on Wednesdays in July. Gold River Casino would double their donation in free play up to $50. Last year they collected almost $10,000 in school supplies for the Anadarko Public Schools. This helps not only the families with their back-to-school expenses, but it also benefits the teachers because they can use their budgets on other more important items for their students.

Per Nancy Mace, Director of Marketing & Players Club, Lenape Entertainment, LLC, the casino will hold the school supply drive for 2020. “Our players club team members really enjoy this promotion. They work very hard to verify all donations. The guests enjoy giving back to the schools, and our teachers are so thankful for our efforts. It’s important for us to be involved in our community and give back whenever we can. We’ve had several companies offer to put together packets for the drive, but we have declined because our guests enjoy purchasing the items and dropping them off.” To donate or find out more about how to do a supply drive for your local school, please contact Nance Mace at