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Pacific Northwest tribes gathering in Portland

Representatives of tribes from eight states are in Portland, Oregon, this week to participate in the winter conference of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI).

Delegates will consider issues related to education, natural resource management, gaming and economic development, housing, telecommunications, cultural resources and sacred sites protection, transportation, law and justice, veterans affairs, social services and Indian child welfare. Presentations will be made by tribal leaders from throughout the region, as well as federal officials ranging from Victoria Vasques of the U.S. Department of Education to Colonel Wayne Thomas, Chief of the Training Support Division for the Army Environmental Programs Directorate.

The conference is being convened this morning by ATNI President Ernie Stensgar, chairman of the Coeur d' Alene Tribe in Idaho. It will continue until Thursday at the Embassy Suites Hotel near the Portland Airport.

"The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians is devoted to the pursuit, protection and recognition of sovereignty and self determination," said Stensgar. "It is also devoted to the health and well-being of Native people throughout the Northwest, and to the development of meaningful and positive relationships between tribes and the non-Indian community."

ATNI, which is based in Portland, was founded in 1953 and currently represents 52 tribal governments. It provides a forum for the exchange of information and ideas among tribes and a vehicle to support government-to-government interactions with state and federal agencies.

Relevant Links:
Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians -

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