NCAI 67th Annual Conference: Strong Tribal Nations, Strong America >>

November 12th, 2010

NCAI 67th Annual Conference: Strong Tribal Nations, Strong America

From Sunday, November 14th through Friday, November 19th, thousands of tribal leaders and their representatives will gather at the Albuquerque Convention Center for the National Congress of American Indians’ (NCAI) 67th Annual Conference. The Conference theme is “Strong Tribal Nations, Strong America.”

Tribal leaders will discuss a number of issues facing their communities, including public safety and justice (meth prevention, violence against women, juvenile justice), health care, youth issues, economic development, housing, and transportation, among others. One focus of the conference will be a Tuesday morning session titled “Essential Conversations about the Future of Indian Country.” During this session, tribal leaders will discuss the future of the federal policy supporting tribal self-determination and the federal trust responsibility. Kevin Gover, Director of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and former Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, will provide the keynote address to kick off the session. Mr. Gover will discuss the history, implementation, and future of the tribal self-determination policy, which reached its 40th anniversary this past June (President Nixon formally ushered in the policy in a special message to Congress in June of 1970). Attendees will also hear from Robert McGhee, Treasurer of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Indian Nation, Jesse Taken Alive, Councilman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and James Ramos, Chairman of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians.

Tribal leaders will also hear from a number of other federal officials, including Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Senator Byron Dorgan (via live video feed), White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Gil Kerlikowske, National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) Chairwoman Tracie Stevens, and DOI Solicitor Hillary Tompkins, among others.

In addition to the presentations, tribal leaders will engage in government-to-government consultations and tribal dialogue meetings on a wide range of issues. On Monday, November 15th, tribal leaders will meet with officials from the Department of Health and Human Services from 12 noon – 2:00 pm and again from 6:00-8:00 pm to discuss implementation of the Indian Health Care reauthorization and the Affordable Care Act. On Tuesday, ONDCP Director Kerlikowske will consult with leaders on how to address illegal drug use and trafficking in Indian country. Tribal leaders will also meet with DOI’s Office of Indian Gaming to consult on possible changes to the Department’s practice of placing land into trust for gaming purposes, which involves implementation of Section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). On Wednesday, the Departments of Justice and Interior will meet with tribal leaders to discuss a long-term plan for incarceration, prevention, rehabilitation, and juvenile justice in Indian country as required by the Tribal Law and Order Act.

Throughout the week, tribal leaders will strategize on how to best engage federal legislators during the remaining lame duck session of the 111th Congress as well as how to move tribal priorities forward with the more than 80 new members of the 112th Congress.

For more details on the NCAI Conference, click HERE

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