Slot tournament raises a record $24,000
Former NBA All Star and three-time champion A.C. Green is accustomed to winning big, and now he has done it again. Green topped the field at the Fourth Annual Slot Tournament to benefit the Spirit of Sovereignty, a fun charity event that raises money for tribal college scholarships and reservation-based programs serving Native youth. The tournament was held April 21 during the 2022 Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention in Anaheim, Calif. It was hosted by National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. in partnership with IGT. Fourteen contestants took part, competing on IGT’s latest TournXtreme® slot game, Hexbreak3r.
The top three finishers in the event donate their winnings to tribal college scholarships or youth programming of their choice. Denise Harvey, Councilwoman with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, finished in second place. Audrey Martinez, Secretary with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, came in third. IGT also made a generous donation of $10,000 in support of tribal college scholarships.
“After a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was so great to gather again with our friends from across Indian Country for this very special event,” said Spirit of Sovereignty coordinator David Garelick, who noted that the $24,000 raised was the most in the history of the tournament. “A.C. Green is a wonderful guy who has done so much to support and encourage young people. We are grateful to everyone who participated, but we need to give a special thank you to Chairman Stevens and our friends at IGT who have been so supportive of the Spirit of Sovereignty.”
Photo: NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. (right) gets a helping hand from his wife Cheryl Stevens, as Rymax Vice-President of Sales Paul Gordon (left) focuses on the task at hand during the Fourth Annual Slot Tournament to benefit the Spirit of Sovereignty April 21 in Anaheim, Calif. (Photo courtesy of IGT)
SOS recipient is 2019 Student of the Year
A Spirit of Sovereignty scholarship recipient and student blogger for the Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education was named Student of the Year for 2019 at the College of Menominee Nation.
Jasmine Neosh was named Student of the Year for her academic and service work at the Keshena, Wisc. campus. Neosh received her associate’s degree in natural resources at CMN and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public administration. She earned the Spirit of Sovereignty scholarship and is an American Indian College Fund ambassador.
“Jasmine is an outstanding student scholar who would deserve the Student of the Year recognition on that basis alone. Her commitment to her tribe, the global community, and critical environmental issues are bonus points in her favor,” CMN President Paul Trebian said.
Neosh, an enrolled member of the Menominee Tribe, is also student blogger at TCJStudent.org, authoring the bi-monthly blog titled “Rezilience.” Neosh graduated high school in Chicago before attending CMN.
Spirit of Sovereignty Slot Tournament Raises $11,000 to Benefit Native Youth
Published in Indian Gaming Magazine – May 2019
Isaiah Vivanco, Vice-Chairman of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, captured first place at the Third Annual Charity Slot Tournament to benefit the Spirit of Sovereignty, continuing Soboba’s three-year run of success in the event. The tournament was held April 3rd during the 2019 Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention in San Diego.It was hosted by National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. in partnership with IGT on its IncrediBell! slot tournament solution.
The top three finishers in the event can donate their winnings to tribal college scholarships or reservation-based programs serving Native youth. Vice-Chairman Vivanco has directed his $5,000 to be used for Native youth activities in Southern California, including a Youth Council End of the Year Summer Bash Event, and Youth Council Holiday Workshop. Read the article
Native Childrens Holiday Program brought joy to more than 1,700 children in December
Jan. 15, 2019
Meeting the basic needs of our families, communities, and tribes is of paramount importance in Indian Country. We also want our kids to experience opportunities for growth, happiness and joy just like other children. The Native Children’s Holiday Program, administered by ILTF through the Spirit of Sovereignty, offers supporters a unique opportunity to help make the holidays special for Indian children who live in some of our most challenged communities. Thanks to the generosity of individual and corporate contributors, more than 1,700 thankful children received gifts in December.
If you would like to support this important program please make a contribution today at spiritofsov.org/donate
2nd annual SOS charity slot tournament raises $15,000 for Native youth
May 15, 2018
Samantha Urban, CEO of Urban Translations, may have been the official champion of the Second Annual Charity Slot Tournament to benefit the Spirit of Sovereignty, but the ultimate winners are the deserving Native American students who will receive tribal college scholarships as a result. The event was held April 20 during the 2018 Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention in Las Vegas. It was hosted by National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. and his special guest, former NBA All-Star A.C. Green in partnership with NIGA associate member Everi.
The tournament winners were able to donate their prizes to their choice of tribal college scholarships or reservation-based programs serving Native youth. Urban designated her $6,000 in winnings to provide scholarships. Second-place finisher Joe Whitman from the Soboba Band of San Luiseno Indians donated $5,000 to serve Native youth in Southern California. Third-place winner Cris Stainbrook of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation donated $3,000 to a Native youth lacrosse program in South Dakota. “We thank everyone who participated,” said Spirit of Sovereignty coordinator David Garelick, “with a special thank you to Chairman Stevens, his staff, and the people at Everi, who were instrumental in ensuring the success of the event.”
This year’s participants included: NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., and his special guest former NBA All-Star A.C. Green (both sponsored by Klas Robinson); Andrew Cardno, VizExplorer; Duane R. Chapman, Lake of the Torches Resort & Casino (sponsored by TFA Capital Partners); Ed Peters, Everi Holdings; Joe Whitman, Soboba Band of San Luiseno Indians; Kelli Weaver, American Checked (on behalf of sponsor AGEM); Matt Robinson, Klas Robinson; Paul Gordan, Rymax Marketing Services; Rjay Brunkow, Indian Land Capital Company; Russell Witt, Ainsworth Game Technology; Samantha Urban, Urban Translations; Cris Stainbrook, Indian Land Tenure Foundation; David Garelick, Indian Land Tenure Foundation. Additional support was provided by the 29 Palms Band of Mission Indians.
Photo: Former NBA All-Star A.C. Green, tournament winner Samantha Urban of Urban Translations, and NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. (left to right)
Spirit of Sovereignty brings Christmas joy to children at Cheyenne River
January 18, 2018
Thanks to the support of generous donors to the Spirit of Sovereignty Native Children’s Holiday Program, more than 1,500 children and teens on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota received toys and gifts this Christmas. The Spirit of Sovereignty partners with programs working on reservations in the Dakotas, including the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s Annual Christmas Toy Drive, to bring holiday cheer to Indian children and families.
Spirit of Sovereignty supports summer camp fun for Soboba families
Oct. 6, 2017
Funds raised at the Spirit of Sovereignty Tribal Leaders Charity Slot Tournament in April were put to good use in Southern California this summer at the third annual Native Youth Gathering summer camp. More than 80 kids attended, including 18 from the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians Summer Youth Academy, which was supported by tournament proceeds. The event was open to students ages 12 to 19, and was coordinated by the Tribal Education Alliance. The kids participated in a variety of fun activities while learning about their culture. The Tribal Leaders Charity Slot Tournament Raised $13,000 in 2017.
Tribal Leaders Charity Slot Tournament raises $13,000 for Spirit of Sovereignty
April 17, 2017
Native American students and youth were the real winners April 13 as participants in the Tribal Leaders Charity Slot Tournament in San Diego raised $13,000 for the Spirit of Sovereignty. National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Chairman Ernest Stevens, Jr. hosted the event during the 2017 Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention in partnership with NIGA associate member Everi.
“It was a terrific event,” said Spirit of Sovereignty coordinator David Garelick. “The 13 players were so enthusiastic and the crowd that gathered to watch was impressive. We can’t thank everyone enough for participating.”
The top three finishers in the Tournament were able to donate $8,000, $3,000 and $2,000 respectively to their choice of tribal college or reservation-based program serving Native youth. “Chairman Stevens and his staff were instrumental in the success of the event, along with the great people at Everi and Urban Expositions,” Garelick said. “The funds raised will help many more young people in Indian Country achieve their dreams.”
Scholarship winner named Haskell University Student of the Year
March 8, 2017
Senior Samantha Milk, a Spirit of Sovereignty scholarship winner in 2016, has been selected as the 2017 Haskell Indian Nations University Student of the Year. Milk, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in Pine Ridge, S.D. is majoring in Environmental Science. In addition to her excellent academic resume, Milk has participated in numerous clubs and activities on the Haskell campus, including Pte Oyate Club, and coordination of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Kansas Water Science Center event at Haskell. Samantha was a keynote speaker for “Lawrence Stands with Standing Rock,” and has won many honors, awards and scholarships. Samantha will speak May 19 at Haskell’s commencement ceremony.
Read more about Samantha on our Success Stories page.