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Native Brief: PORTLAND - With unanimous and overwhelming support, Jefferson Keel the Lt. Governor of the Chickasaw Nation was re-elected as the President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).
In a historic moment on Wednesday, members of the nation's oldest, largest, and most representative tribal advocacy organization elected Keel to his second term as President of NCAI with no opposition.
Keel's unopposed nomination and election came at the mid-point of the organization's 68th Annual Convention held in Portland, Oregon.
"Indian Country spoke with conviction today and I'm honored to be asked to continue addressing our greatest challenges with real solutions," said Keel. "The message from Indian Country is this: we will not lose ground on the gains we have made."
The election signaled a unified commitment by Indian Country to continue the momentum experienced under Keel's first two-year term.
Elections for the positions of First Vice President, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer will be held on Thursday. The candidates for the positions are; First Vice President - Juana Majel Dixon, Pauma Band of Mission Indians and Michael Finley, Colville Confederated Tribes; Secretary - Terri Henry, Eastern Band of Cherokee and Ed Thomas, Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska; and Treasurer -W. Ron Allen, Jamestown Sâ€™Klallam Tribe and Dennis Welsh, Jr., Colorado River Indian Tribes.
After all elections have been concluded on Thursday, Executive Officers and Area Vice Presidents members will be sworn-in at a ceremony for NCAI members and members of the media on this morning.
Fawn Sharp, the recently elected President of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) and NCAI's Northwest Area Vice President, offered Keel's nomination. The well over 1,000 members in the nomination session gave Keel a standing ovation after the motion to accept a unanimous ballot was passed.
posted November 4, 2011 6:40 am edt
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