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National Congress of American Indians set for winter meeting

The National Congress of American Indians kicks off its winter session in Washington, D.C., this afternoon.

President Brian Cladoosby will open the meeting at 1pm. This will be his first winter session since winning election at NCAI's annual conference last October.

Tribal leaders are due to hear from Jodi Gillette, the senior policy advisor for Native American Affairs at the White House, and Kevin Washburn, the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. There will also be an update on efforts to address the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar in order to ensure all tribes can follow the land-into-trust process.

The session continues on Wednesday. Highlights include presentations from Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), the new chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and Gina McCarthy, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Tribal leaders will wrap up the meeting on Thursday with messages from Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California), the House Democratic leader, Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs.

The winter session is being held at the Westin Washington City Center.

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