Native American Casting Director Trish Wood Honored at the Chairman's Luncheon

National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., joins Trish Wood, who received the Chairman's Leadership Award and Faith Holyan, the Chairman's Leadership Luncheon Keynote Speaker at the Leadership Luncheon.

National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., joins Trish Wood, who received the Chairman's Leadership Award and Faith Holyan, the Chairman's Leadership Luncheon Keynote Speaker at the Leadership Luncheon.

San Diego, CA - The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) held its annual Chairman's Leadership luncheon yesterday honoring Native American Film and Television Casting Director Tricia Wood with the coveted Chairman's Leadership Award at the Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention in San Diego, California.

Wood was born and raised in Oklahoma and is a member of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation and Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She studied Architecture at Oklahoma State University before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Wood is an incredible casting director for the Oscar-nominated "La-La Land," "American Pastoral," "Deepwater Horizon," "Eye in The Sky" and "My Week with Marilyn,"  "Fracture," "Twilight" and over 100 other motion picture films throughout her career.  Additionally, her casting experiences in television hits include "The Shield," and "Dexter."

NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., said, "We honor Trisha for her hard work and dedication to the highly competitive film and television industry.  She exemplifies the strength and outstanding work ethic of our Native American women.  We are proud of her representation of Indian country and her exceptional contributions to the mainstream film industry."

Upon receiving her leadership award, Wood said, "This is such an honor, and I humbly accept this recognition."  Wood acknowledged and thanked her parents and grandparents who instilled in her the importance and power of education. "I have had a great career, and I am so thankful they were there to guide me," added Wood. She also urged others to pursue education in the arts field.

Native American Youth Ambassador and two-time World Champion Indian Cowgirl Faith Holyan served as the Keynote Speaker.  Faith is 17 years old and is a member of the Navajo Nation.  Recently Faith was selected as a Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) Champions for Change.

Faith shared a powerful message to the tribal leadership about the generational communication breakdown and #codepurple, a suicide awareness campaign that was started by Faith as a social media peer to peer campaign among Native American Youth.

Faith shared that many of our Native households have four generations under one roof.  In these situations communications and understanding is key for families.  "...what we need most is to help each other figure out together howto get through the tough times, stated Faith."  As part of her role with the Center for Native American Youth, Faith will be taking her message across Indian Country.

Wood joins past distinguished recipients such as Lynn Valbuena, Chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, LaDonna Harris, Founder and President of Americans for Indian Opportunity and Steve Ortiz, Chairman of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and Stanley Jones, Sr. former Councilman of the Tulalip Tribes, to name a few.