indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Highlights from Day 1 of NCAI winter session in Washington, DC

Filed Under: National | Politics
More on: bia, brian cladoosby, carcieri, dc, don young, house, ihs, kevin washburn, land-into-trust, meetings, ncai, rob sanderson, robert mcghee, scia, senate, suicide, youth, yvette roubideaux
   

The National Congress of American Indians opened its winter session on Tuesday. Here are some highlights.

A New Leader
NCAI President Brian Cladoosby, welcomed all the "tribal chairs, presidents, governors and dictators" to Washington, D.C., as he gave an update on his activities since winning election last October at the organization's national conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Cladoosby, who also serves as chairman of the Swinomish Tribe of Washington, has been quite busy over the last four months. He's met with tribes in Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada and North Carolina, and has attended conferences held by the National Indian Gaming Association, the Tanana Chiefs Conference and the United South and Eastern Tribes.

"Indian Country is alive," Cladoosby told attendees. "The energy is infectious."

More recently, Cladoosby and his wife, Nina, attended the White House State Dinner in honor of French President Francois Hollande last month. The couple stood out in photos thanks to the NCAI leader's distinctive cedar hat and cedar vest.

"Who would have ever thought that a couple of kids from the rez in the Northwest corner of the country would be sitting in the White House one day, having dinner with the president of France and the president of the United States of America?" Cladoosby said.

Cladoosby is serving a two-year term as president of NCAI.

Land-Into-Trust Woes
Land-into-trust is emerging as the biggest issue at the conference and NCAI continues to fight for a fix to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar to ensure all tribes can follow the process.

Five years later, however, a legislative remedy remains elusive. Cladoosby said the Senate Indian Affairs Committee can easily pass a fix but he noted that the problem lies with the full Senate, where concerns over gaming have stymied debate.

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, echoed that sentiment. He vowed to pass a "clean" Carcieri fix in the House but said it will get lost in the "dark hole" in the Senate without significant lobbying from tribes.

"It's very, very inoperative," Young said of the Senate.

With the Carcieri fix in limbo, a new threat has surfaced. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California has opened the doors for anyone to challenge a land-into-trust acquisition long after it has been finalized.

"Without a legislative fix, more and more cases will be filed across the country, raising the possibility that many tribal lands that have been held in trust for decades, or longer, could be taken out of trust status," said Robert McGhee, the treasurer for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama.

Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn, the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tried to bring some hope to the issue. Since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, more than 240,000 acres have been placed in trust for tribes and individual Indians, he said.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has given Washburn a new goal -- 500,000 acres by the end of the Obama administration. “Get those applications in," the BIA leader told tribes.

Suicide Among Native Youth
Nearly every speaker brought up a sensitive issue in light of a front page story in The Washington Post on Monday about high rates of suicide among American Indian and Alaska Native youth.

Robert A. Sanderson Jr., a leader from the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes, said Native villages in southeastern Alaska are seeing a resurgence of the problem.

"The suicide rate is climbing again at an alarming rate," Sanderson told Yvette Roubideaux, the director of the Indian Health Service.

Sanderson said existing solutions -- task forces and commissions -- aren't helping. He urged the IHS to direct more suicide prevention efforts to the tribes themselves.

"It is heartbreaking," Roubideaux said. "It's almost indescribable how horrible this problem is."

Upcoming
The session continues today. Highlights include Hilary Tompkins, the Solicitor at the Interior Department; Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), the new chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee; Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), a member of the Chickasaw Nation; Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson; Gina McCarthy, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

There will also be an update on the Tribal Supreme Court Project.

Related Stories:
National Congress of American Indians set for winter meeting (3/11)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Activists take annual swim to Alcatraz Island (10/21)
Mark Trahant: Alaska Natives ready for conference and election (10/21)
BIA announces consultations for secretarial election regulation (10/21)
Chelsey Luger & Gyasi Ross: From slow suicide to slow healing (10/21)
Bill John Baker: Addressing breast cancer in our communities (10/21)
ICT interview with Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn of BIA (10/21)
Navajo Nation court still mulling decision in presidential case (10/21)
Column: Billy Mills still inspires 50 years after Olympic victory (10/21)
Editorial: Winnebago Tribe's business makes a big contribution (10/21)
Lincoln Indian Center adopts permanent alcohol ban after party (10/21)
Suquamish Tribe shares fish from hatchery at annual giveaway (10/21)
Editorial: Bad move by Northern Arapaho Tribe on joint council (10/21)
Wisconsin court to hear appeal over Oneida Nation waste plant (10/21)
Coeur d'Alene Tribe reaches out to family that lost home to fire (10/21)
Closure of Chukchansi Tribe's casino affects reservation water (10/21)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe considers casino on ancestral Ohio site (10/21)
Town meeting for Lac Vieux Desert Band off-reservation casino (10/21)
North Fork Rancheria won't give up off-reservation casino plan (10/21)
Tohono O'odham Nation was looking for off-reservation casino (10/21)
Poarch Creeks won't confirm or deny talks for gaming compact (10/21)
Tim Giago: Deaths of Native men in Rapid City remain unsolved (10/20)
Charles 'Chuck' Trimble: Let Crazy Horse's spirit rest in peace (10/20)
Mark Trahant: Races come down to turnout in three key states (10/20)
Native Sun News: Billy Mills wows youth at Black Hills Powwow (10/20)
Cedric Sunray: Tribes abandon traditional aspects of inclusion (10/20)
Dustina Gill: Vote for Rick Weiland to protect our sacred waters (10/20)
Ousted Project Runway contestant reaffirms Puyallup heritage (10/20)
White House Tribal Nations Conference takes place December 3 (10/20)
Bryan Brewer: Park helps Oglala Sioux Tribe protect its culture (10/20)
Robert Porter: Don't let tribal issues fall prey to partisan politics (10/20)
Gabe Galanda: Abramoff's playbook still used in Indian Country (10/20)
Jay Daniels: Let BIA make changes to rights-of-way regulation (10/20)
Mike McBride: Sovereign goodwill at a low in tribal tax dispute (10/20)
Top Navajo Nation court holds hearing in presidential dispute (10/20)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe to open resort at ancestral site in Ohio (10/20)
Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas selects Lester Randall as new leader (10/20)
Editorial: Address safety concerns about tribal hunts at night (10/20)
Chukchansi Tribe sends layoff notices to most casino workers (10/20)
Rivals raise nearly $16M to block North Fork Rancheria casino (10/20)
Judge won't let BIA proceed with compact for Pojoaque Pueblo (10/20)
Candidates discuss Menominee Nation's off-reservation casino (10/20)
Opinion: Suckers help Chumash Tribe finance casino expansion (10/20)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.