- By Levi Rickert
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.
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.
- Attendees in the registration line on Monday morning. Attendees in the registration line on Monday morning.
- Welcoming durm Welcoming durm
- Crystal Williams,Vice-Chairwoman, Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana Crystal Williams,Vice-Chairwoman, Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana
- New Orleans Mayoral Assistant with Tunica-Buloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite New Orleans Mayoral Assistant with Tunica-Buloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite
- Elizabeth Reese, Senior Policy Advisor for Native Affairs, White House Domestic Policy Council Elizabeth Reese, Senior Policy Advisor for Native Affairs, White House Domestic Policy Council
- President Fawn Sharp President Fawn Sharp
- Rose Petoskey (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians), Senior Advisor and Tribal Affairs Director, White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Rose Petoskey (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians), Senior Advisor and Tribal Affairs Director, White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
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