Two controversial amendments were voted down Thursday at the National Congress of American Indians annual convention.
Rhonda LeValdo has more.
As voting took place early in the day, attendees at NCAI had a wide range of opinions in both support and opposition on the amendments regarding membership.
The two, calling for only federally recognized tribes to be voting members and also for leadership roles, failed to pass.
Darrell Waldron Chief of the Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe was in opposition.
“I thought it was disgusting. The argument, pre-recognition we worked on the recognition applications back in the (19)70s creating it uh… and it was disgusting to hear what I heard today and not today, but this week, and to see a lack of education of the time span that had happened between, you know, first contact and then 200 and something years later, contact. And a lot of the work was done in the middle somewhere, you know, and I don’t believe the intentions were to come across as malice.”
Christopher Tabbee, Vice Chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe, was among tribes in support of the passage of the amendment to limit NCAI’s eligibility criteria.
“I don’t think it’s fair for them to just vote on things that aren’t going to be affecting them and things that they vote on could hurt a tribe somewhere else, a federally recognized tribe, where they’re a state it doesn’t bother them. They’re not party to it. They can just say okay we’ll just go back to our state and deal with them, right. Funds through them or whatever, funnel through them. So I think that it’s important for one thing is important is that we’re not saying, I’m not saying that they’re not Indians or they’re not natives or they have no culture or they have none of that stuff but I’m just saying go get federally recognized and can you come back to the table.”
The next leaders of NCAI were also decided on, including the top position of president.
Mark Macarro, Pechanga Tribal Chairman, won that leadership role and will fill the place of outgoing NCAI President Fawn Sharp.
Marcarro, along with the next 1st vice president, secretary, and treasurer, will be sworn in on Friday as the convention wraps up in New Orleans.
PBS’ Native America had the last episode of its second season air this week.
For the Mountain West News Bureau, Dylan Simard reports the program received positive reception across the country.
Native America is a series that showcases the ways that native people are shaping modern American society – in science, sports, culture, and more.
Native Public Media has done some polling that shows the reaction in Colorado and Alaska has been extremely positive.
Loris Taylor is CEO of Native Public Media, a network of tribal public radio and television stations.
She says the show challenges stereotypes and gives Native Americans more representation in popular media.
“I think if you look at the ecosystem that we have, there’s a lot to share and Native Americans are just beginning to flex their storytelling arm – and it’s really wonderful to see.”
Taylor hopes that enthusiasm among the viewing public will lead to a third season.
Native Public Media and Koahnic Broadcast Corporation, which produces National Native News, worked on events and conducted Native radio station outreach for Native America Season 2.
This week, a small delegation from the Cherokee Nation attended a U.S. Senate committee hearing on the nomination of Sara Hill to serve as a federal judge in Oklahoma.
Hill is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and the tribe’s former attorney general.
The Cherokee Nation is supporting her nomination and advocating for it to move forward.
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