Reservation Economic Summit 2021 heading to Vegas

Trifecta: Three Native American groups partner for one conference


The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s (The National Center) 35th annual Reservation Economic Summit (RES) will take place July 19-21, 2021, at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.


In addition, The National Center has announced a new partnership with the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and American Indigenous Business Leaders (AIBL) that will allow participants the chance to register for and attend all three events. RES—the largest and longest-running national American Indian business event in the nation—joins forces with NIGA and AIBL in the spirit of resiliency and reinvention to support economic development in Indian Country across all industries.


“We are excited to announce our partnership with the National Indian Gaming Association and American Indian Business Leaders at this year’s Reservation Economic Summit 2021,” said The National Center President and CEO Chris James. “With this new format, attendees can attend three great events focused on economic development in Indian Country. Through resiliency and reinvention, we will bring together leaders from across Indian Country for a unique opportunity to uplift Native-owned businesses. Attendees can expect the same high-caliber networking, educational, and business development opportunities they’ve come to expect at RES – plus access to NIGA’s one-of-a-kind trade show. The National Center, NIGA and AIBL can’t wait to build new bridges of economic opportunities this summer.”


The National Center is moving forward with a hybrid format that will include a live in-person and live virtual experience available to attendees. The National Center will be following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local health guidelines for in-person attendees. RES is the event to attend for high-caliber networking, winning teaming opportunities, business development sessions and one-on-one consulting all centered around the American Indian Enterprise. To register for RES 2021, visit


NIGA’s annual tradeshow and convention serves to deliver new insights and strategies for operators providing them access to industry leaders and cutting-edge trends in order to help them generate new revenues to support their local communities. This goal closely aligns with RES, which features high-caliber networking, business matchmaking, business development sessions and one-on-one consulting, as well as the partnership with AIBL, which features their Business Plan Competition for high school and college students, all centered around the growth and development of American Indian Enterprise.


“We are excited to announce this partnership with the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED), which hosts RES, as well as our new dates and location,” said Ernie Stevens Jr., chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association. “It’s more important than ever for Indian Country to unite and come together at the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention and RES as we continue the rebuilding of tribal businesses following the COVID-19 pandemic. Our two great organizations have a long history of coming together to support one another and in this unique year, the joint venture helps coordinate our two shows in one city and allows for the maximum amount of time for our attendees to secure vaccinations and safely travel. We encourage and look forward to seeing our members in Las Vegas.”


Each day of RES 2021 will feature traditional programming, breakout sessions, Native Edge Institutes, and Small Business Administration training. There will also be unique tracks for agriculture, economic development, finance, natural resources, procurement and workforce development. RES will feature subject matter experts and leaders across diverse fields including e-commerce, taxation, federal contracting procurement, accessing capital, women in business, STEM, agriculture, energy, health care, the SMA’s programs for minority and economically disadvantaged businesses and more.


RES 2021 will also feature the Native American Business Trade Show, giving vendors and attendees the chance to forge new business relationships and find new economic opportunity at the largest gathering of its kind. The popular RES Talks will continue this year, featuring short presentations from Indigenous business leaders from across the country. Attendees can also build those new relationships in the Buy Native Procurement Matchmaking Expo with the opportunity to meet with representatives from large corporations, including Fortune 500 companies.


Native art and hand-made goods will be showcased at RES with the American Indian Artisan Market. This is a unique opportunity for Native American artisans and creators to sell and introduce their products and companies to thousands of Indian Country customers. Spots are limited, so reserve an Artisan Market booth fast.


“The National Center is looking forward to RES 2021, and forming new economic development opportunities for Indian Country through our partnership with NIGA and AIBL,” said National Center chairman Derrick Watchman. “With access to new programming, industries from across Indian Country can take steps to forge their future economic success. We’re also excited that AIBL will be hosting a Student Business Plan competition, preparing our youth to be future business leaders. We hope to see you in Las Vegas later this year.”


Over the weekend prior to RES, AIBL will host the Student Business Plan Competition that simulates the real-world process of seeking start-up funds for competing teams in a high school and college division. For more information, please visit AIBL’s website at


For more information about RES 2021, including how to register and lodging, visit

To learn more about The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, visit

To learn more about National Indian Gaming Association, visit

To learn more about the American Indigenous Business Leaders, visit


Chris James Derrick Wathcman The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development National Indian Gaming Association American Indigenous Business Leaders Ernie Stevens Jr. 2021 RES conference

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