Published October 18, 2017
MILWAUKEE – The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) members will cast their votes tomorrow to be president the nation’s oldest and largest American Indian organization. The NCAI president serves for a two-year term.
This year there are three candidates running to take the helm from Brian Cladoosby, who is term limited after serving two terms as president of the NCAI.
The three candidates, Fawn Sharp, president, Quinault Nation; Harold Fraizer, chairman, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; and Jefferson Keel, lt. governor, Chickasaw Nation, made their pitches to the general assembly on Wednesday morning.
Fawn Sharp is the current president of the Quinault Indian Nation in Taholah, Washington. Her past positions included managing attorney and lead counsel; and staff attorney for the Quinault Indian Nation, administrative law judge for the Washington state Department of Revenue – Tax Appeals Division, Quinault Tribal Court Associate Judge, and Counsel for Phillips, Krause & Brown.
“I am an advocate; I am passionate. One mission I have been telling caucuses is that I will work to ensure that every tribal nation lives as the Creator intended on the lands gifted to our ancestors. We live in place where their is much infringement on our rights.
Harold Fraizer is chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. He received his AAS in Ag Business from Eastern Wyoming College in 1989. Fraizer worked for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe until 1998 when he was elected as District 4 Cheyenne River. After one term as council member, he was elected as the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal chairman. During his first chairmanship, he was elected as the Great Plains Area Vice-President of NCAI.
“Are you ready for a change? We are governed by two parties. We are neither Republican or Democrats. We are Indians. Regardless of who is in power, we need to push for our agenda. These are our lands. We are warriors and protectors of our people. If elected, I will not back down,” said to the those assembled.
Jefferson Keel is the lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation and former two-term president of the National Congress of American Indians, is committed to the service of Indian people. A decorated Vietnam veteran, Keel has served for 18 years as lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation, based in Ada, Oklahoma.
“Strong leadership is absolutely necessary for us to fulfill our duty to Indian Country. In this era of continually descreasing funding to, NCAI must be pro-active, well organized and dedicated to restoring adequate funding for tribes,” said Keel.
Voting takes place on Thursday, October 19, 2017. Results should be known by noon.[contact-form]
Jefferson Keel is the
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