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In a special election held due to the resignation of Sault Ste. Marie of Chippewa Indians Chairperson Aaron Payment as recording secretary last month, the National Congress of Ameican Indians (NCAI) Executive Committee elected Stephen Roe Lewis, governor of the Gila River Indian Community, to fill the position on Wednesday.

NCAI’s Executive Committee is composed of four Administrative Board Officers, and Regional Vice-Presidents and Alternates from each of the 12 NCAI regions.

After being sworn in as recording secretary, Lewis said he looks forward to his new role with NCAI.

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“I am honored to be elected to serve as Secretary of the National Congress of American Indians,” Lewis said. “NCAI holds a special place for me as the history of NCAI is intertwined with our growth as Tribal Nations and as tribal leaders. I look forward to working with Tribal Nations across Indian Country to find ways to unify and strengthen our collective voice in ways that elevate our relationship with our federal partners. After watching NCAI’s recent growth and rebuilding, I decided that I wanted to be part of this strong and committed board and know that, by working together, we will advance tribal sovereignty and usher in a new era of self-determination.”

The NCAI is the largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the United States. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies. 

The Executive Committee will next convene the day prior to NCAI’s upcoming Executive Council Winter Session, the organization’s legislative conference, held virtually on February 14, 2022.

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