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NEW ORLEANS — Two highly controversial proposed constitutional amendments that would have removed state recognized tribes from full members status to associate members of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) went down in defeat on Thursday at the country’s largest national Native American organization.

The vote followed Tuesday’s three hours of emotional debate on the proposals.  

One amendment would have limited NCAI membership to federally recognized tribes, and only citizens of federally recognized tribes will be eligible for an individual Indian membership. Those from state recognized tribes would have been restricted to associate member status with no voting rights. 

A second amendment would have ensured NCAI board members and regional vice presidents are citizens of federally recognized tribes.

In order for the constitutional amendments to pass, they would have had to garner two-thirds (66 percent) of the vote. Both amendments received about 56 percent of the vote. Therefore, the amendments were defeated.

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About The Author
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].