National Indian Gaming Association Remembers Congressman John Lewis: Civil Rights Leader and National Hero

Washington, D.C. – July 30, 2020 – Today the National Indian Gaming Association honors Congressman John Lewis as he receives a fitting tribute for the heroic example he has shown all Americans.

During a moving tribute as his funeral procession moved through the Nation’s Capital, Indian Country recalls his contributions in calling for greater social justice in this country.

Congressman Lewis was an ally to the Native American community and Indian Country, standing fast with Tribal Leaders as they confronted injustice.

"Congressman Lewis was never afraid to put his life and freedom on the line for social justice. When Indian Country needed an ally to confront racism and stereotypes, he never hesitated.” said Ernie Stevens, Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association. "

Congressman Lewis’ affinity for the struggles of all Americans was based on a deep understanding of the struggle of people of color in this Nation. "He was always in support of people facing injustice anywhere. He understood the Native American struggle for our land rights, self-determination, and collective human rights that are central to all Americans.”

John Lewis was born the son of sharecroppers on February 21, 1940, outside of Troy, Alabama. He grew up on his family's farm and attended segregated public schools in Pike County, Alabama. As a young boy, he was inspired by the activism surrounding the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In those early years, he made a decision to become a part of the Civil Rights Movement. John Lewis would remain at the vanguard of progressive social movements and the human rights struggle in the United States. Mr. Lewis was the last remaining speaker from the iconic 1968 March On Washington.

“John Lewis is and remains an inspiration to all Americans. His courage, candor and passion for justice have left its mark on the minds and hearts of Indian Country," said Chairman Stevens.

The National Indian Gaming Association celebrates with the rest of the Country the many accomplishments and the lasting impact John Lewis has left on citizens around the world.