Voice of America: NCAI meets for winter session in DC

"A few blocks from the U.S. Capitol and the White House, a Washington hotel was abuzz with activity, as delegates to the National Congress of American Indians Executive Council Session met to network with each other, and to meet with legislators and policymakers.

Leaders and activisits from many of America's 526 federally recognized Native American tribes discussed strategies for lobbying Congress and the Obama administration on a host of political, economic and social issues, including questions of sovereignty for American Indian nations and tribes.

Janice Mabee of the Sauk-Suiattle tribe of Washington State said she came to press lawmakers to return the forestlands where her tribe once lived. The lands were taken away during the 1930s when their value for timber became known.

"And we really would like to have our land back," she said. Mabee added her tribe would not log the land, which she says is not being used at this time. Her tribe wants to build homes for tribal members on it. "We only have 19 homes right now and we have 200 tribal members that are homeless. So we need homes for our families and our children to grow up in.""

Get the Story:
Native Americans Enjoy Autonomy, But Land Use, Sovereignty Questions Persist (Voice of America 3/10)

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