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NEW ORLEANS — With a record number of registered attendees of over 2,000, the National Congress of American Indians' 80th Annual Convention and Marketplace officially began on Monday, November 13, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Bolstered by a new logo, leaders of the largest Native American national organization in the United States, say this convention signifies the start of a new chapter as the organization celebrates its 80th Anniversary of advocacy work across Indian Country. The recent reveal of its new visual identity marks a monumental period for the organization’s history.

On Thursday, NCAI will elect a new president to move the organization forward. Current President Fawn Sharp (Quinault Indian Nation) is term limited and cannot seek reelection.Three candidates are vying for the top posiiton: Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, chairwoman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah; Mark Macarro, tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians; and  Marshall Pierite, chairman of  the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana.

NCAI President Fawn Sharp

President Sharp gave an impassioned address to encourage attendees to keep fighting for sovereignty and to stay united.

So, my friends and relatives, my concluding thought to you is ourfuture is bright as ever. But we also know we live in a world that is deeply divided, deeply conflicted, deeply hurt, deeply broken spiritually. And we are the only ones remaining on a planet that are true to who we are. Nobody was true to the way our Almighty Creator created us, the only ones that carry generations of DNA of our values of recognizing that it's not all about us, it's about," President Sharp said.

 

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Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi "Calm Before the Storm" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected].