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National Congress of American Indians in California for big meet

Participants gathered for a health walk at the National Congress of American Indians annual convention in October 2014. Photo from Facebook

The National Congress of American Indians is holding its 72nd annual convention in California this week.

Thousands of tribal leaders are expected at the event, which kicks off today at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego. They will hear from federal officials, members of Congress and their peers about a wide range of health, education and policy issues affecting Indian Country.

Highlights of the opening day include an update on the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices have so far agreed to hear three Indian law cases and tribal leaders and their advocates are paying close attention.

Attendees also will get into the 2016 presidential campaign this afternoon. Although none of the candidates are appearing in person, Democrat Hillary Clinton has sent three representatives to address tribal leaders. Bernie Sanders, also Democrat, and Republican Ben Carson will deliver video messages to NCAI.

Later in the week, NCAI will hold its election. Nominations for executive board seats takes place on Wednesday and ballots will be cast on Thursday. Brian Cladoosby is seeking a second term as president of the organization.

The conference concludes on Friday.

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