TAHLEQUAH — The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the tribe to become a member of the National Congress of American Indians.
NCAI is the largest and oldest Native advocacy organization in the U.S. It is organized as a representative congress of Native Americans and Alaska Natives who serve to develop consensus on national issues that impact tribal sovereignty and are considered a priority.
“The National Congress of American Indians provides Native leaders an opportunity to speak with a unified voice on issues that are so critical to American Indian and Alaska Native communities, including the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Murphy Supreme Court case, land into trust and other issues,” said Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd, who is also vice president of the eastern region of NCAI. “NCAI allows tribal nations to focus on policy and legislation that will preserve our heritage and our traditional values.”
Principal Chief Bill John Baker is Cherokee Nation’s delegate to NCAI, with alternates that include tribal councilors, members of the chief’s cabinet and other tribal program directors.
During NCAI events, delegates chosen by member tribes consider issues of pressing concern in accordance with their tribal governments’ policies, goals and needs. NCAI members consider resolutions relevant to NCAI’s position on a broad range of issues.
In other business, the Tribal Council also confirmed the nomination of Rick Doherty, of Stilwell, as a Cherokee Nation Election Board commissioner.
The next meeting of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council is 6 p.m. Nov. 13, at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah.