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Tribal Education Initiative

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is situated on the traditional homelands of the Nuwu (Southern Paiute) peoples. The Numa, the Newe, the Nuwuvi, Wasi siw, and Pipa Aha Macav have stewarded the lands of the Great Basin for generations. Please visit the Nevada Indian Commission to learn more about the 28 Tribal Nations, Bands, Councils, and the 62,000-plus urban American Indians who call Nevada home.

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and UNLV Tribal Education Initiative

The Tribal Education Initiative at UNLV, funded by a grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, was established to provide Native American students with the knowledge, skills, and competencies they need to excel in management roles within Tribal gaming and hospitality enterprises. Housed within the top-ranked Harrah College of Hospitality at UNLV, this unique Initiative taps into the college’s deep well of gaming and hospitality expertise to create unique learning opportunities for both degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students interested in Tribal gaming and hospitality careers.

Program Highlights

The Tribal Education Initiative is devoted to helping students learn the nuances of Native American business enterprises, such as casinos, hotels, cultural centers, etc., while addressing the specific educational needs of Tribal citizens. Students range from recent high school graduates to working professionals. Offerings include:

  • Undergraduate and graduate degrees in Hospitality Management (online and on-campus) from the top-ranked Harrah College of Hospitality
  • World-class education that infuses both commercial and Tribal aspects into the curriculum
  • Annual summer camps for Native high school students
  • Opportunity to participate in Tribal-focused internship and mentorship programs
  • Campus-wide support network for Native students
  • Annual executive education program for professionals already working in Tribal gaming or hospitality
  • Custom training and certificate programs for Tribal enterprises

Tribal Education Initiative Mission

Prepare current and future generations of American Indians to be leaders in the Tribal gaming and hospitality industries.


  • Provide innovative, comprehensive Tribal-focused educational opportunities through the top-ranked UNLV Harrah College of Hospitality
  • Build relationships and partnerships with Tribal Nations, enterprises, colleges, and high schools.
  • Engage Native students in their home communities while resourcing families
  • Cultivate academic, cultural, and transitional support services for Native students at UNLV
  • Strengthen alumni commitment to the tradition of reciprocity

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians (SMBMI) is committed to helping tribal communities achieve sustainable economic independence through education. With support from SMBMI, UNLV’s Tribal Education Initiative is fulfilling that vision by making hospitality and gaming education more accessible and more relevant to the needs of tribal citizens everywhere. Additional funding from SMBMI goes toward the UNLV Boyd School of Law’s Indian Nations Gaming & Governance program to support J.D. and L.L.M. students, academic and policy research, and conferences and symposia examining current issues in tribal gaming and governance.

Upcoming Events

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How Can You Get Involved?

If you wish to learn more about the learning opportunities through the UNLV Tribal Education Initiative, please send an inquiry to program director Tammi Tiger (email: tammi.tiger@unlv.edu / phone: 702-895-3334).

Meet the Team

Tammi Tiger

Portrait of Tammi Tiger
A citizen of The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and descendant of Muscogee and Seminole people, Tammi Tiger is a community organizer supporting Indigenous-led programming in Las Vegas, the state of Nevada, and across the nation. She has 25 years experience in public service, coming to UNLV after working as an administrator for one of the largest counties in the U.S. In 2021, Tiger was appointed by…

Vince Eade

Gaming Project Coordinator
Portrait of Vince Eade
Vince Eade boasts nearly 30 years of experience in higher education, HR consulting, hospitality and gaming leadership development, employee training, and executive development programs. In addition to serving as the founder and managing director of the UNLV International Gaming Institute, Professor Eade was a faculty member at the Harrah College of Hospitality for 28 years. He is the author of a…

Support UNLV Tribal Education

The Harrah College of Hospitality invites you to be part of the Tribal Education Initiative by making a philanthropic gift. Your contribution helps support tribal outreach efforts as well as scholarships and professional development opportunities for Native students. Please contact Harrah College of Hospitality director of development Amanda Behnke to find out how you can get involved.