- By Levi Rickert
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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