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National Congress of American Indians opens annual meeting

The National Congress of American Indians kicks off its 70th annual convention today.

More than 3,000 representatives of tribes across the nation are meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to discuss key issues affecting Indian Country. Hot topics this year include the shutdown of the federal government, the sequestration of the federal budget, the Indian Child Welfare Act and the election of a new president of the organization.

The election takes place on Thursday. Candidates include: Brian Cladoosby, the chairman of the Swinomish Tribe; Juana Majel-Dixon, a council member for the Pauma Band of Mission Indians who currently serves as NCAI's first vice president; Joe Garcia, a council member for Ohkay Owingeh and a former NCAI president; and George Tiger, the chief of the Muscogee Nation.

The winner succeeds Jefferson Keel, the lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation. He is wrapping up his second consecutive term in office, the limit set by NCAI rules.

Highlights of the week follow:
Monday, October 14
9:10am - Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin
1:45pm - Tribal Supreme Court Update
2:45pm - Suzan Shown Harjo on Racist Mascots

Tuesday, October 15
11:30am - Honoring Dusten Brown, Cherokee Nation father
1:30pm - Breakout sessions on sovereignty, Keepseagle settlement, the Native vote and more

Wednesday, October 16
10:15am - Nominations and speeches for NCAI election
11:30am - Just Move It! walk through downtown Tulsa
1:30pm - Breakout sessions on Tribal TANF, Affordable Care Act, water rights, taxation and more

Thursday, October 17
10:30am - Election!
12pm - Google training for tribal businesses and organizations
2pm - Update on ICWA cases
7pm - Banquet

Friday, October 18
9:30am - Swearing in of new NCAI officers 12pm - Conference closes

Get the Story:
Major Native American conference draws state and federal political leaders (KRMG 10/13)
Congress of American Indians meeting in Oklahoma (AP 10/13)
American Indian tribal reps from across U.S. gather in Tulsa for 70th annual congress (The Tulsa World 10/13)
Chief Of Creek Nation George Tiger Seeks NCAI Top Job (News on 6 10/12)
NCAI’s 4 Presidential Candidates Discuss Issues Within Indian Country (Indian Country Today 10/11)

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