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National Congress of American Indians

 

National Congress of American Indians

Official logo

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is an

See also

  • National Congress of American Indians

External links

  • National Congress of American Indians: Constitution, By-Laws and Standing Rules of Order. Found on the official NCAI website, this article was last amended in 2007. It states the purpose of the NCAI, the different types of memberships, and the rules and regulations its members are bound by.
  • Deloria, Vine Jr. Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto. Avon Books, 959 Eighth Ave, New York, New York, 1970. This book talks about the reality and myths surrounding Indians, the problems of leadership, and modern Indian affairs.
  • Johnson, N B. The National Congress of American Indians. Written by the Justice of Supreme Court of Oklahoma and published in the Chronicles of Oklahoma, this article talks about the formation of the NCAI, and the Congress’s reaction to its formation.
  • Report of Activities, American Association on Indian Affairs, June 1945-May 1946. This article discusses the reasons why a nationwide organization of Indians is so crucial.
  • Shreve, Bradley G. “From Time Immemorial: The Fish-in Movement and the Rise of the Intertribal Activism.” Pacific Historical Review. 78.3 (2009): 403-434
  • Cowger, Thomas W. The National Congress of American Indians: The Founding Years. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1999.

Bibliography

  1. ^ Cowger, Thomas W. The National Congress of American Indians: The Founding Years. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1999.
  2. ^ Alison R. Bernstein. American Indian and World War II: Toward a new Era in Indian Affairs (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991) p. 116-119
  3. ^ NCAI by-laws and constitution
  4. ^ Shreve, Bradley G. “From Time Immemorial: The Fish-in Movement and the Rise of the Intertribal Activism.” Pacific Historical Review. 78.3 (2009): 403-434
  5. ^ http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/california-becomes-first-state-ban-redskins-nickname-n442561
  6. ^ "Our History." National Congress of American Indians. (retrieved 20 Dec 2009)
  7. ^ a b Strong Tribal Nations, Strong America, NCAI 67th Annual Convention Program
  8. ^

References

Representatives of various tribes attending organizational meeting, 1944

Past presidents

Notable members

  • "Protection of programs and services to benefit Indian families, specifically targeting Indian Youth and elders
  • Promotion and support of Indian education, including Head Start, elementary, post-secondary and Adult Education
  • Enhancement of Indian health care, including prevention of juvenile substance abuse, HIV-AIDS prevention and other major diseases
  • Support of environmental protection and natural resources management
  • Protection of Indian cultural resources and religious freedom rights
  • Promotion of the Rights of Indian economic opportunity both on and off reservations, including securing programs to provide incentives for economic development and the attraction of private capital to Indian Country
  • Protection of the Rights of all Indian people to decent, safe and affordable housing."[6]

Currently, the NCAI is fighting for improved living conditions on reservations, arguing that 560 tribes are federally recognized but fewer than 20 tribes generate enough wealth from casinos to turn the tribe’s economy around. According to the NCAI website, other current issues and topics include:

Ongoing issues

In the early 1960s, a shift in attitude occurred. Many young American Indians branded the older generation as sell-outs and called for harsh militancy. Two important militant groups were born: the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the National Indian Youth Council (NIYC). The two groups protested several conventions.

Internal policy differences

  • In 1949, the NCAI made charges against Federal job bias towards the Indians
  • In 1950, the NCAI influenced the insertion of an anti-reservation clause to the Alaskan Statehood bill. This clause removes the ban against reservations for Alaskan Natives.
  • On July 8, 1954, NCAI won their fight against legislation that would have allowed the states to take civil and criminal jurisdictions over Indians.
  • On June 19, 1952, a self-help parley was opened in Utah where 50 agents for 12 groups proposed several self-help action plans
  • Indians had conventions nationwide and dealt with various topics such as health care, employment, and safety issues
  • In 2015 The organization successfully lobbied the State of California to ban the term "redskins" which is the name of a pro football team in Washington, from being used by public schools in the state of California. [5]

Members were hot discussion topics and often made headlines in valued newspapers such as The New York Times. The successes of the NCAI over these years have been a policy of non-protesting. As a matter of fact, the NCAI were known in the 1960s to carry a banner with the slogan, “INDIANS DON’T DEMONSTRATE”[4]

Achievements

Every tribe gets a number of votes allocated them specific to the size of each tribe. For example:

Voting

In addition to these four positions, the NCAI executive board also consists of twelve area Vice-Presidents and twelve Alternative Area Vice-President.

The organizational structure of the National Congress of American Indians includes a General Assembly, and Executive Council and seven committees. The up-and-coming executive Board of the NCAI is as follows:

Organizational structure

  • A substantial number of its members reside upon the same reservation or (in the absence of a reservation) in the same general locality.
  • It maintain a Tribal organization, with regular officers and the means of transacting business an arriving at a reasonably accurate count of its membership;
  • It is not a mere offshoot or fraction of an organized Tribe itself eligible for membership
  • It is recognized as a Tribe or other identifiable group of American Indians by the Department of the Interior, Court of Claims, the Indian Claims Commission, or a State. An Indian or Alaska Native organization incorporated/chartered under state law is not eligible for tribal membership.

The NCAI Constitution says that its members seek to provide themselves and their descendants with the traditional laws, rights, and benefits. It lists the by-laws and rules of order regarding membership, powers, and dues. There are four classes of membership: tribal, Indian individual, individual associate, and organization associate. Voting right is reserved for tribal and individual members. According to section B of Article III regarding membership, any tribe, band or group of American Indians and Alaska Natives shall be eligible for tribal membership provided it fulfills the following requirements [3]

Constitution

  • Enforce for Indians all rights under the Constitution and laws in the United States;
  • Expand and improve educational opportunities provided for Indians;
  • Improve methods for finding productive employment and developing tribal and individual resources;
  • Increase number and quality of health facilities;
  • Settle Indian claims equitably; and
  • Preserve Indian cultural values.

Today key goals of the NCAI are:

While the initial organization of the NCAI was done largely by Native Americans employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, at its second national convention BIA employees were excluded from being general officers or members of the executive committee. The first president of the NCAI was Napoleon B. Johnson, a judge in Oklahoma. Dan Madrano was the initial secretary-treasurer, he was a Caddo who was also a member of the Oklahoma State Legislature.[2]

Historically the Indian peoples of the American continent rarely joined forces across tribal lines, which represented language and cultural groups. The National Congress of American Indians was formed to try to organize the tribes to deal in a more unified way with the US government. They intended to respond to the government's failure to implement treaties, to work against its termination policies, and to improve public opinion of and appreciation for Indian cultures.

J.T. Goombi (Kiowa) former first vice-president of the National Congress of American Indians

History

Contents

  • History 1
  • Constitution 2
  • Organizational structure 3
  • Voting 4
  • Achievements 5
  • Internal policy differences 6
  • Ongoing issues 7
  • Notable members 8
    • Past presidents 8.1
  • References 9
  • Bibliography 10
  • External links 11
  • See also 12

forced upon the tribal governments in contradiction of their treaty rights and status as sovereign entities. The organization continues to be an association of federally recognized and state recognized American Indian tribes. U.S. government in response to termination and assimilation policies that the [1]

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