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Jodi Rave: Joe Garcia's down-to-earth leadership

"Joe Garcia strums guitar chords with the same ease that roots him in tribal tradition and the same conviction that inspires him to speak his mind on any issue.

They are qualities that have propelled Garcia to leadership within the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo in New Mexico, and most recently to a top leadership role as president of the National Congress of American Indians.

Garcia never sought a role in politics.

�Basically, I'm not a political person,� he said. �I've never really been involved in tribal government up until '91. I had no intentions at all of serving on the tribal government because our system is (by) appointment. There is no election.�

His first elected leadership position arrived only four years ago, when he became first vice president of the National Congress of American Indians.

Garcia's down-to-earth leadership style help set the stage for his transition from governor of the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, formerly known as San Juan Pueblo, to the top seat at the NCAI."

Get the Story:
Native advocate down to earth (The Missoulian 1/1)

Relevant Links:
National Congress of American Indians -

Related Stories:
Q&A with Joe Garcia, the new president of NCAI (11/28)
Joe Garcia, Pueblo leader, ready to take on NCAI (11/15)
Live from NCAI annual convention in Tulsa (11/03)
Pueblo leader completes National Statuary Hall (09/23)
Leader of New Mexico tribe seeks to change name (09/19)