National Congress of American Indians President Gives Annual State of Indian Nations Speech
February 11, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
A tribal leader hands NCAI President Joe Garcia a silver-headed cane called a "Lincoln Cane." The canes represent the recognition of tribal sovereignty, authority, and honor.
Native Americans are hopeful that their concerns will be a part of the new administration's agenda this year.
During the annual State of Indian Nations speech yesterday, Joe A. Garcia, president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) laid out the Native American community's four main priorities for the new administration in 2009:
- Include Native American communities in the economic recovery plan, particularly funds for tribes to build roads, schools, and health care facilities;
- Reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act;
- Ensure that the federal government helps Native Americans fight crime in their communities; and
- Ensure that the federal government invests in tribal community schools so that Native Americans children can get a good education, which will strengthen Native American communities.
Read the speech (PDF)
Listen to an NPR interview with NCAI's Jacqueline Johnson Pata on the impact of the recession on Native Americans.