Indian Gaming Association kicks off its Annual Convention with the Chairman Golf Classic this year to advance tribal education and support the Native Forward Scholars Fund

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April 8, 2024

Washington, D.C. – April 8, 2024 – The Indian Gaming Association (IGA) proudly hosted the Chairman’s Golf Classic to advance tribal education this year to support the remarkable initiatives of Native Forward Scholars Fund, a recognized leader in empowering American Indian and Alaska Native students through higher education scholarships.

The sold-out Chairman’s golf tournament, held today at the landmark Tustin Ranch Golf Club in Tustin, California, is in conjunction with the 2024 Indian Gaming Association Tradeshow and Convention, which will take place from April 8th to April 11th, 2024, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.

Hosted by IGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., the fundraising tournament brought together members of the gaming industry, tribal leaders, supporters of Native education, and various stakeholders who share a common vision for uplifting Native communities encapsulated within the spirit of unity and the shared goal of creating brighter futures.

IGA, known for its staunch commitment to promoting and protecting the general welfare of tribes striving for self-sufficiency through gaming enterprises, highlighted the critical role education plays in achieving that mission.

“This partnership with Native Forward is a testament to our belief in the power of education as a cornerstone for progress,” stated Ernie Stevens, Jr., Chairman of the IGA.

“We are incredibly proud to support a fund that not just bolsters academic endeavors but nurtures the next generation of leaders within our Indian Country communities,” Stevens added.

Thanks to the generous contributions of attendees, sponsors, and partners, the event surpassed its fundraising goals, enabling Native Forward Scholars Fund to expand its scholarship offerings and support services.

Since its inception, Native Forward has become synonymous with success in Native American education, offering over $350 million in scholarships to over 20,000 students across the U.S., boasting a remarkable graduation rate much higher than the national average for Native students.

“We are immensely grateful for the support of the Indian Gaming Association and all who participated in this momentous event,” expressed Angelique Albert CEO of Native Forward Scholars Fund. “Every contribution brings us closer to our vision of a world where every Native student achieves their dream of higher education, free from financial barriers. Together, we are not just funding scholarships but investing in the future leaders of Native communities and beyond.”

The funds raised during the event will directly support scholarships, mentorship programs, and culturally relevant resources for American Indian and Alaska Native students nationwide. The focus is on easing the financial burden of higher education while fostering a sense of community and belonging among Indigenous scholars.

Sponsors of the Chairman’s golf event included AGEM, White Hat Gaming, Key Bank, Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprises, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Novomatic, Interblock Luxury Gaming Products, Absolute, Ikasi, Draft Kings and ICE Barcelona.

For more information on how to support Native Forward Scholars Fund or to apply for a scholarship, please visit