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In The Hoop
APRIL 30, 2001

Welcome to In The Hoop, Indianz.Com's occasional column about assorted Indian issues.

Another NCAI Departure
In what may be a sign of events to come, yet another official has departed the National Congress of American Indians for greener pastures.

Jack Jackson, director of government affairs, announced his resignation from the nation's largest and oldest Indian organization in an email last Thursday. His exit comes on the heels of JoAnn Chase as executive director, who left earlier in the week.

Jackson specifically praised Chase's work at NCAI but he didn't outright cite her departure as the reason for his. Like the upbeat press release announcing Chase's resignation, Jackson said his experience at NCAI was "one of the most rewarding" in his career.

But In The Hoop knows no exodus comes without controversy. Sources said Chase resigned after allegations she misused NCAI's credit card, which -- if proven true -- wouldn't necessarily go over well with member tribes who pay up to $1,000 a year for the privilege of attending NCAI's many conferences.

Thanks, but no thanks...
Word on the street is that Sue Masten, NCAI President and Chairwoman of the Yurok Tribe of California, and Ron Allen, NCAI Vice-President and Chairman of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe of Washington, offered their organization's top job to Tim Martin.

But despite being passed over to head the Bureau of Indian Affairs had a simple answer for the pair: No way. Martin's already the executive director of United South and Eastern Tribes, why become another another figure head?

So instead it looks like Jackie Johnson is up for the spot. In case you don't remember, Johnson was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing under President Clinton. In late 1997, she was brought in to clean up the mess Dom Nessi left for her at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Nessi is now at the BIA, sending out memos claiming trust reform is in a mess. Pre-emptive strikes?

Smoky Signals
Speaking of brain drain, there were grumblings at the Gathering of Nations over Saturday night's "performance" by actress Irene Bedard.

After showing up, literally, the Miss Indian World contestants by riding into The Pit on a Harley motorcycle chauffeured by husband Denny, the Smoke Signals actress appeared rather Farrah Fawcett-like. She missed her cues, had trouble reading from her script, and was generally in the clouds.

Backstage, In The Hoop understood why. Red-eyed and fidgety, Bedard reeked of fire water. "This Indian went to space!" she said of her upcoming appearance on Outer Limits.

In The Hoop wonders if she is still there.

There's Still Time!
You still have time to enter In The Hoop's whatchutalkinbout Bruce Babbitt caption contest coming! We'll keep the contest open until Chinese hackers replace the photo with one of Deng Zao Ping.

In Your Hoop
Got a tip? Have some insight? You might be published here. Email In the Hoop.

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