Published June 21, 2019
WASHINGTON — On Thursday, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) announced the appointment of four tribal leaders to serve as the inaugural Co-Chairs of NCAI’s new Climate Action Task Force. NCAI President Jefferson Keel announced the establishment of the Task Force at NCAI’s Executive Council Winter Session in February. The four Co-Chairs are:
· Melanie Bahnke, President, Kawerak, Inc.
· Brian Cladoosby, Chairman, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
· Beverly Cook, Tribal Chief, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
· Stephen Roe Lewis, Governor, Gila River Indian Community
NCAI President Jefferson Keel gives State of Indian Nations address at Newseum in Washington, D.C. on Monday.
“These leaders oversee cutting-edge initiatives that work to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change on Native communities,” said Keel. “They bring a wealth of knowledge to the Task Force, and will serve as able stewards as the Task Force commences its critical work on this grave challenge to our peoples, places, cultures, and economies.”
The working mission of the Task Force is to “document, inform, and support the climate action efforts of tribal nations and Native organizations, and identify and advocate for policies and funding designed to empower their ability to engage in effective, sustainable climate action.”
The inaugural meeting of the Task Force will take place on Monday, June 24, 2019 at NCAI’s Mid Year Conference in Reno, Nevada.