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2014 State of Indian Nations | National Congress of American Indians

State of Indian Nations | National Congress of American Indians
1/30/14 | Delivered by President Brian Cladoosby

On Thrusday January 29th, 2014, the National Congress of American Indians hosted the 12th Annual State of Indian Nations event. It was the first SOIN presented by the new NCAI President Brian Cladoosby. As usual, the event followed the State of the Union by a few days.  Hosted at the Newseum in Washington D.C.; the event is streamed live and posted for viewing later (see the rebroadcast here).  Listen to an interview with President Clasoosby on NPR here.

Jacqueline Johnson-Pata, NCAI’s Executive Director, provided a contextual set up and introduction for the President and Senator Jon Tester gave the Congressional Response following the NCAI President.

President Cladoosby, also the Chairman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, gave a brief overview to many of the topics that NCAI is working on in 2014.  These included, the effects of sequester, lack of broadband services in tribal homes, the need for infrastructure investments, mascots, public safety issues, natural resources on Tribal lands, and energy production. All of these issues were framed within the context of self-determination.

He stated that, “If all of Indian Country were a state, it would be the fourth largest state in the nation…but, more than 60 % of tribal roads are unpaved.”[1] Cladoosby called on Congress to “treat tribal governments the same as states and local governments… [so that tribes may] provide services to their citizens and stimulate local economies…”[2]

Cladoosby highlighted the fact that tribal populations are young with 42% being under 24 years old.  He exclaimed, “Our children, our Native youth – brilliant, energized, focused – represent our brightest hopes. That’s why tribes are committed to investing in their potential.” [3]  He went on to explain that in the past 30 years, Native student enrollment has more than doubled.

 


[1] National Congress of American Indians. (January 2014) State of Indian Nations Testimony. http://www.ncai.org/resources/testimony/2014-state-of-indian-nations. Retrieved 2/1/14. Brian Cladoosby.

[2] Ibid

[3] ibid