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NEW ORLEANS — Native News Online Publisher and Editor Levi Rickert  will moderate the 2023 Presidential Candidate Forum on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 80th Annual Convention & Marketplace in New Orleans.

Rickert, an enrolled member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, will be joined during the forum by Aaron Payment, Ed.D., a former chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewas Indians.  

The two will interview the three declared candidates for the post of president of the NCAI: 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

The three are vying to become the president of the largest intertribal organization in the country. Current NCAI President Fawn Sharp (Quinault Indian Nation) is term limited and cannot seek reelection.

"The National Congress of American Indians is one of the most influential national Native American organizations in the United States. Key decision makers at the White House and on Capitol Hill pay attention to the positions NCAI takes on policies that impact Indian Country. It is important the NCAI president shows vision to move Indian Country forward," Rickert said. "I am honored to be part of the process to highlight the strengths of the three candidates during the presidential forum.

According to a press release from the NCAI, this convention signifies the start of a new chapter as the organization celebrates its 80th anniversary of advocacy work across Indian Country. The recent unveiling of its new visual identity marks a monumental period for the organization’s history.

The election will take place on Thursday, November 16th. Besides the office of president, other officers will be elected as well, including the tirst vice president, treasurer, secretary, and regional vice presidents.

Sessions throughout the week will create space to discuss critical issues that reinforce NCAI’s commitment to help define, support, and enhance tribal governance. The convention will attract over 2,000 attendees to New Orleans.

The convention and marketplace will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention from November 12-17, 2023.


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