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WASHINGTON - Jefferson E. Keel, president of the National Congress of American Indians will deliver the State of Indian Nations Address on Thursday, January 26 at 10:30 am est at the Newseum, located at 555 Pennsylvania in Washington DC.
President Keel is currently elected to his third term as the Lt. Governor of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, and previously served two terms as NCAI's First Vice President. President Keel is firmly committed to the service of Indian Country and actively supports the self-reliance of his people. The welfare of American Indian people is his first priority. He is keenly aware of the roles and responsibilities expected of tribal leaders and earnestly believes in the policy of "helping our people through honorable public service."
President Keel also represents Indian Country on numerous national committees and often assists tribes and other groups in cultural and historic preservation activities. In addition to his work as Director of Social Services and Special Assistant for Cultural Affairs for the Chickasaw Nation, he has served as Chair of the Indian Health Service Policy Advisory Committee, the Centers for Disease Control Tribal Consultation Advisory Committee, and the Department of Justice Tribal Advisory Group. President Keel also works on the Self-Governance Advisory Committee, the National Indian Child Welfare Association Board of Directors, and the Health Research Advisory Council for the Department of Health and Human Servicesâ€™ Office of Minority Health.
President Keel is a retired US Army officer with over 20 years active duty service. He served three years of service in Vietnam, and received numerous awards and decorations for heroism, including two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star with "V" for valor, and the Army Commendation Medal with valor. He is a former Airborne Ranger, infantry platoon sergeant and platoon leader, and served as an instructor in the elite US Army Rangers.
President Keel earned his Bachelor's degree from East Central University and Master's degree from Troy State University. He is a Master Mason and a member of the East Central University Board of Directors. He is active in his church and community. President Keel and his wife, Carol, have three children and eight grandchildren.
posted January 14, 2011 8:20 am est
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