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UNITED STATES 21-26 Oct 2012 Native Americans hold annual national meeting

The 69th Annual Convention of the National Congress of American Indians falls in a presidential election year, and just 11 d

October 21, 2012 - NULL

UNITED STATES 21-26 Oct 2012 Native Americans hold annual national meeting

The 69th Annual Convention of the National Congress of American Indians falls in a presidential election year, and just 11 days before polling. The message from the convention, in Sacramento, California, to the 565 federally recognized Native American and Alaska Native tribes is "get out and vote," particularly in states designated key Native Vote states. There will be interest in seeing whether President Barak Obama's outreach to the tribes since 2008 translates into votes for him on Nov 6.

Every year key Native Vote states are selected based on

UNITED STATES 21-26 Oct 2012 Native Americans hold annual national meeting

The 69th Annual Convention of the National Congress of American Indians falls in a presidential election year, and just 11 days before polling. The message from the convention, in Sacramento, California, to the 565 federally recognized Native American and Alaska Native tribes is "get out and vote," particularly in states designated key Native Vote states. There will be interest in seeing whether President Barak Obama's outreach to the tribes since 2008 translates into votes for him on Nov 6.

Every year key Native Vote states are selected based on the population of Native voters, positions available and the potential impact of the vote. For the 2012 Election, the key Native Vote States are: Alaska; Arizona; Colorado; Florida; Iowa; Minnesota; Nevada; New Mexico; North Dakota; Oklahoma; South Dakota; Washington; and Wisconsin.

Obama has won praise from tribal leaders for breaking through a logjam of inaction on tribal issues and for giving a voice to their issues with the annual gatherings in Washington DC. He met with them on Dec 2011 at the White House Tribal Nations Conference and signed an executive order establishing a White House initiative on American Indian and Alaska native education. The initiative will be overseen by an executive director appointed by the interior and education secretaries.

He is credited with signing the Tribal Law and Order Act to improve law enforcement and public safety in tribal communities; renewing the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and making it permanent; settling the class-action Cobell lawsuit over federal government mismanagement of royalties for oil, gas, timber and grazing leases and an American Indian farmers discrimination lawsuit; and launching a test crime-fighting program on four reservations that are showing early results.

In the crisis financial situation of the country and climate of rancorous partisanship in Congress, implementing the laws he signed and funding lawsuit settlements could be difficult. (WRITTEN Dec 2011)

RELATED READING:

National Congress of American Indians
http://www.ncai.org/

US Congress Deals Major Setback to Tribal Justice Programs (Native Times 11 Nov 2011)
http://www.nativetimes.com/news/federal/6416-ncai-congress-deals-setback-to-tribal-justice

How Do You Prove You're an Indian? (NYT 21 Dec 2011)
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/21/opinion/for-indian-tribes-blood-shouldnt-be-everything.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha212

First American Indian to be canonized (UPI 20 Dec 2011)
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2011/12/20/First-American
-Indian-to-be-canonized/UPI-32251324409821/?spt=hs&or=tn

Obama: Native American Relations With Administration At Turning Point (Huff. Post 2 Dec 2011)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/03/
president-obama-native-am_n_1127030.html

All Indian Pueblo Council endorses Obama for re-election (AP/Republic 15 Dec 2011)
http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/eef00b0ae4614d5d869ca3c52f06dc2d/NM--Obama-Pueblos/

Date written/update: 2012-10-21