National Indian Gaming Association Mid-Year Conference & Expo to host 20th Anniversary Reunion of Smoke Signals

Reunion will feature cast members Adam Beach, Gary Farmer, Evan Adams, Elaine Miles, Irene Bedard and director Chris Eyre


Washington D.C., September 18, 2019 - The National Indian Gaming Association announced that they will be hosting a discussion and screening of the award winning movie Smoke Signals during this year’s annual Mid-Year Conference & Expo taking place September 25-27 at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, CA in honor of the film’s 20th anniversary. For the first time since the movie was released in 1998, cast members and the director will come together to celebrate the cultural touchstone, which was the first feature film to be produced and directed by Native Americans as well as showcase an almost exclusively Native American cast.

National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. commented, “We are so proud to be able to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Smoke Signals next week, which is such a strong display of Native American talent and culture. The movie allowed Indian Country to tell our story and provide a true representation of our people. We look forward to a great discussion at Pechanga to celebrate this milestone.”

While the film was well received by viewers and critics and took numerous awards and nominations including the 1998 Best Film at the American Indian Film Festival, the Filmmaker’s Trophy (Chris Eyre), Audience Award and nomination for Grand Jury Prize at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, and Best Debut Performance (Evan Adams) at the 1999 Independent Spirit Awards, it has also since become a cinematic cultural touchstone in Indian Country.

The discussion and screening will take place on Wednesday, September 26 at 6:00pm in the Pechanga Theater and will welcome tribal leaders, conference attendees and families for the celebration of Indian Country. Cast members Adam Beach, Gary Farmer, Evan Adams, Elaine Miles, and Irene Bedard as well as the film’s director Chris Eyre, will participate in a discussion moderated by Steve Gaydos, executive director of Variety.

To learn more about the event as well as the education sessions, networking and exhibits happening during this year’s Mid-Year Conference & Expo visit


The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), established in 1985, is a non-profit organization of Sovereign tribal nations with other non-voting associate members representing organizations and businesses engaged in Tribal Gaming. The common commitment and purpose of NIGA is to advance the lives of Indian peoples economically, socially and politically. NIGA operates as a clearinghouse and educational, legislative and public policy resource for tribes, policymakers and the public on Indian gaming issues and tribal community development. For more information visit

September 17-19, 2019
Mohegan Sun
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