Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association

Executive Director of the GPTCA

Meet Our Executive Director

Meet Our Executive Director: ARLOUINE GAY KINGMAN

Ms. Arlouine Gay Kingman, Executive Director

Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association (GPTCA)

Ms. Arlouine Gay Kingman is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. Wacinyanpi Win, a family name meaning “They depend upon her!” was passed to her to recognize achievements accomplished in a manner that honored family and Tribe. She was born and raised at old Cheyenne River Agency on the Missouri River, now flooded by the Oahe Dam. Her career, commitment and dedication to serve the interests and needs of tribes and tribal organizations spans over 50 years. Upon graduating with her 4-year degree, her first teaching position was on the Pine Ridge in 1963.  Ms. Kingman’s distinguished career began after she graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD and later, she graduated with her Masters of Arts degree in Education from Arizona State University. She completed all the coursework for her Doctorate in Education from ASU.

Ms. Kingman has served as Executive Director to the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association since 2003. The GPTCA is made up of 16 Sovereign Nations in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska who signed Treaties with the United States. Tribal Leaders operate in unity to strengthen and promote the common interests of the 16 Tribal Nations. Kingman manages the affairs of the GPTCA, works with Members of Congress and the White House, develops Position Papers & Resolutions, works with the Administration, coordinates with other Tribes, and organizes the meetings and agenda for the Tribal Leaders. Kingman has devised an Internet-communication system to keep the Tribes informed.


In 2011, Kingman Assisted in the establishment and Administration of the Coalition of Large Tribes where she remains as Executive Director. COLT was founded to assist Tribes who have large land base of over 100,000 acres and to advocate and protect their interests.


Ms. Kingman served 25 years in Education and 27 years in Tribal Administration. She has been a teacher, a Principal, a Superintendent, a College President and Indian Ed. Coordinator for Az. Dept. of Education. She is a proponent of Indian Self-Determination & was instrumental in the early Indian Controlled School movement. Her husband and she started the first Indian School in Minneapolis during the American Indian Movement. She went onto establish the Indian Controlled School for the children of students attending United Tribes Technical College. She obtained financing, planned the School where it exists today and served as the First Principal of Theodore Jamerson Elementary on UTTC Campus. She often states, Education is life-long and prepared her for working for Tribes where she has achieved unprecedented influence, friendships and numerous accomplishments as an advocate for tribal sovereignty.


Following receipt of her Masters of Arts degree, she went on to spend two years studying Policy in Washington DC, when she was one of 60 out of 500 candidates awarded a Fellowship with the Institute for Educational Leadership, George Washington University. From 1979 to 1981 she was detailed to the transition team under Pres. Carter to work on the creation of the 13th cabinet, The US Department of Education. At the same time, 1977 to 1980 Ms. Kingman was elected as President of the National Indian Education Association. She was also a Guest lecturer at the Discrimination and Human Rights Symposium chaired by Bishop Desmond TuTu; University of Madrid, Spain. In 1986, her Tribe asked her to be President of the Cheyenne River Community College where she restored the financial stability and developed many programs to assist the students and the Tribe. In 1989, she responded to the request of the Tribes and moved to Washington DC to stabilize the National Congress of American Indians. (NCAI)


From 1986 to 1989 Kingman was elected as Recording Secretary for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), and in 1989 she was appointed by the Board as Executive Director of NCAI serving until 1991.  She was credited for taking decisive actions that stabilized the struggling organization, which is recognized as the oldest and largest national Indian organization, established in 1944 “to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise promote the welfare of Indian people”.  During her tenure at NCAI, she was instrumental in the passage key legislation such as the legislative fix for Duro V. Reina, Indian funding in the Highway Legislation, the Indian Religious Freedom Act, and P. L. 102-201, which change the name of Custer Battlefield to Little Bighorn Battlefield which also established the first Memorial to honor Indian warriors who fought and died while defending their homeland. The Tribes honored Kingman for stabilizing NCAI by passing Resolution #SF-91-133: “THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI does hereby extend its appreciation and gratitude to Ms. Kingman for serving NCAI well and commends her for the hard work to enable NCAI to contribute to the Tribes efforts in defending their Sovereign and Treaty Rights.” “Adopted at the 1991 Annual Convention Meeting of the NCAI, San Francisco, CA.”


In 1993, Kingman and her Husband, S. Timothy Wapato, were asked by the Tribes nation-wide to establish and found a National Indian Gaming Association in Washington DC for Tribes in the Gaming Industry.  Through hard work and long hours, Tim Wapato & Gay Kingman developed NIGA into a powerful national organization. They started out of their home on Capitol Hill, as they succeeded in their work, in 1995, they purchased the NIGA Building where it exists today. The first Indian organization ever to own property on Capitol Hill.  Kingman was Director of Public Relations and founded the Seminar Institute for NIGA.  She is remembered for the campaigns she devised, including the media campaign entitled Schools Vs Yachts, which is credited for stopping bad legislation promoted by Donald Trump and introduced by Congressman Torricelli, to stop the ability of Indian tribes to conduct gaming.  Consequently, the Legislation was killed in Committee and Kingman won a National Media award for her Campaign for ‘Repositioning the Debate.’


Recognition for outstanding service is not new to Kingman.  On Jan. 20, 2013 she received the Lifetime Legacy Award, presented by the American Indian Society of Washington, DC awarded to a Native American whose life's work has led to the improvement and empowerment of Native Americans through social, political, legal, environmental, or educational initiatives. AIS Chairman Peter J. Homer, Jr., (Mohave, Colorado River Indian Tribe) stated about Kingman, “We selected individuals who have shown outstanding leadership and dedication to the improvement of the lives of Native Americans. Who have dedicated their lives to empowering their people, we want them to know that their people recognize their sacrifices and appreciate all they have done.”

Other honors include:


-In 2009, Kingman was a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Indian Gaming Association, Santé Fe, NM.


-She was Honored by receiving the “Women supporting Women Award” in Washington, DC.


-Listed in the “Directory of Significant Contributions by 20th-Century American Minority Women”.


-Received a Secretarial Appointment to serve as Commissioner for 4 years to work on the Little Big Horn Advisory Commission to establish the Memorial to Indian Warriors who fought and died defending their homeland. Kingman’s Great Grandfather was one who fought in the Battle.


-Recipient of the National CIPRA Award; Public Relations Award for Repositioning the Argument. Also received a Regional CIPRA Award for Public Relations.


-Appointment to the SD Civil Rights Advisory Committee. 2009 to Present


-Appointed to the National Commission on Voting Rights: 2014


-Commencement Address: United Tribes Technical College Graduation, May, 2015.


-Honored by Women Empowering Women, Indian Nations: WEWIN, Aug. 18, 2015


-Honored Sept. 2015 by the American Indian College Fund for being one of the Founders of AICF.


Over her wide breath of experience, Kingman has cultivated many positive relationships with National Leaders and Indian Tribal Leaders and earned their respect and friendship for her hard work, commitment and grace under pressure. Kingman has gathered large extended families who work with her in various areas to help Indian people. She is well known for her responsibility, her knowledge, capability and great caretaking ability. A. Gay Kingman remains passionate about all matters affecting Indian Tribes.


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