Brian Cladoosby reelected to second term as president of NCAI. Native News Online photo by Levi Rickert
Published October 22, 2015
SAN DIEGO — Brian Cladoosby, chairman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, has been officially re-elected by unanimous acclamation due to running unopposed to serve as president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) for another term. The popular Cladoosby ran unopposed.
Founded in 1944, NCAI is the oldest and largest national American Indian organization in the United States serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities throughout Indian Country.
The popular Cladoosby, known for his traditional woven cedar hat he wears, is viewed as a progressive American Indian leader who works well with federal government officials and non-Natives to move NCAI forward as an organization.
“Never in my wildest dreams as a little Indian boy growing up on a tiny reservation in the Northwest corner of our country did I ever imagine that I could have been given the opportunity to serve an organization like the National Congress of American Indians,” said Cladoosby. “Only through the love of the Creator.”
Brian Cladoosby’s woven cedar hat is one of his trademarks. Native News Online photo by Levi Rickert
Cladoosby said his priorities as NCIA president will remain focused on future generations by strengthening tribal education, health care, mental health and family support systems, by protecting treaty rights, tribal lands and natural resources, and by ensuring that elected officials at the local, state and federal level hear and understand the aspirations and challenges of Indian youth.
“I will work every day to do what I can to make sure that NCAI lives up to the goals of tribal leaders past and that our work is worthy of the hopes and dreams of our children,” said Cladoosby.
Others elected by unanimous acclamation office NCAI offices were: W. Ron Allen, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe of Washington, will serve as treasurer and Aaron Payment, chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, will serve as secretary.
Randy Noka, councilman, Narragansett Tribe, was elected first vice president.
Cladoosby has served for 31 years as a member of the Swinomish Indian Senate. For the last 19 years, he has also served as the Chairman of the Senate, the Tribe’s primary executive office. A passionate defender of tribal sovereignty and self-governance, especially treaty fishing rights, Cladoosby has been an articulate spokesman for Native interests both in Washington State and nationally.
Cladoosby and his wife Nina are blessed with two adult daughters, Mary and LaVonne, son-in-law Tyler, and grandchildren Bella and Nathaniel.