Standing out for her talent and aptitude for administration, being a trailblazer, and collaborating with people for over 60 years, Arlouine Gay Kingman began her career as an educator, earning a Bachelor of Science in education from Northern State University in South Dakota in 1962 and a Master of Education from Arizona State University in 1972. Continuing with Arizona State for her doctoral studies, she later completed all but her dissertation toward a Doctor of Administration in higher education. Over the course of her 25-year career in education, she served as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and college president; spent time as a guest lecturer at the University of Madrid in Spain; and was the elected president of the National Indian Education Association. For her academic excellence, Ms. Kingman was awarded an education policy fellowship at the George Washington University.
Ms. Kingman would spend the next 34 years in administration for tribal organizations. Actively involved with the National Congress of American Indians for many years, she contributed her skills as the elected recording secretary before becoming the executive director of NCAI in 1989. She remained in that role until 1992 when she helped found the National Indian Gaming Association in Washington, D.C. She served as the first director of public affairs and the seminar institute for the National Indian Gaming Association, positions she held until 1999. Over the course of her career, Ms. Kingman has developed significant expertise not only in administration, but in management, education, founding new organizations, rehabilitation and recovery for struggling and bankrupt organizations, and establishing institutional financial controls.
Today, since 1999, Ms. Kingman brings that expertise to her role as the executive director of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association. Her duties include administration, communication, public affairs and advocacy; providing analysis of and recommendations about ongoing lawsuits; legislation for the 16 chairs that make up the association; meeting with the White House and Administration to advocate for Native issues; drafting resolutions; and meeting with tribes about various matters, such as law enforcement, substance abuse and education. In addition to her primary career endeavors, Ms. Kingman has done volunteer work with her local police commission, women’s groups, civil rights groups, and others, where she advises on policy, selections, and other affairs.
Ms. Kingman’s goal in all the work she does is to improve the situation for Native American tribes throughout the United States. Attributing much of her success to the foundation provided by her parents, Augustus Gilbert Kingman and Violet Kingman, she is deeply grateful that she was raised to have a strong sense of culture as an American Indian. The culture and values instilled by her parents have been a major source of motivation throughout her career, and Ms. Kingman hopes to pass them down to her two sons, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
For her excellence, Ms. Kingman has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades. Notably, she was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Sante Fe in 2009 and the Lifetime Legacy Award in Washington, D.C., in 2013, which she considers to be significant highlights of her 60-year career, as they were recognition of her decades of accomplishments. Another incredibly gratifying time for her was the completion of her education while raising a family and working. At 83 years old, Ms. Kingman is still working and in good health, and as she looks toward the future, she intends to write down stories from her life to ensure that the struggles of the past that have led to the successes of today are not forgotten.