Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

NCAI Holds 68th Annual Convention and Marketplace in Portland, Oregon

“Footprints into the Future: Our shared journey toward tribal prosperity” October 30- November 4, at the Oregon Convention Center


For the first time in thirty-six years Portland, Oregon will become the focus of Indian Country as the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) hosts its national week long Convention and cultural celebration at the Oregon Convention Center. Starting on Sunday October 30 and running through Friday November 4, 2011, NCAI, the nation’s oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization, will continue its sixty-eight year tradition of convening tribal leaders, advocates, and leading political officials to focus on policies and actions that will strengthen tribal nations.

The national organization will launch a number of initiatives during the Convention including its 2012 Native Vote initiative, and American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month focused on Native youth. The Convention will also include preparations for the 2011 White House Tribal Nations Conference with President Obama scheduled for December 2, 2011, in Washington, DC.

The NCAI Marketplace will feature close to 200 arts, jewelry, clothing, business, and educational vendors. It will open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

It is estimated that the conference will have close to a $1.3 million dollar impact on the region’s economy.

Throughout the week, media will have access to a full range of action oriented policy education events and cultural celebrations. Media should register at:

The following is a list of speaker highlights and media specific events throughout the week:

Featured Speakers throughout the week

- U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR)

- Larry Echo Hawk, Assistant Secretary- Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior

- David Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior

- U.S. Congressman Jay Inslee (WA)

- Jefferson Keel, President, National Congress of American Indians

- Cheryle Kennedy, Chairwoman, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

- Jerry Mackie, former State Senator (AK)

- Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, Director, Indian Health Service

- Fawn Sharp, President, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

- Kimberly Teehee, Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs, White House

- Mark Trahant, Author & Speaker

International Delegation

- Jody Broun, Co-Chair, National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples

- Chief Bill Erasmus, Regional Chief of the Northwest Territories, Assembly of First Nations

- Myrna Cunningham Kain, Member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

- Mark Solomon, Co-Chair, Iwi Chairs Forum (New Zealand)

Featured Media Events (download full agenda):

- Sunday Oct. 30, 2011 - Canoe Landing & Procession – 11:00 am – Portland Waterfront Park Canoes land at south side Hawthorne Bridge, procession to Oregon Convention Center for media event (see included details below)

- Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 - Opening Session – 8:30 am – Oregon Convention Center

Local Welcome by Political Leaders (including Oregon Rep. Blumenauer and Washington Rep. Inslee), NCAI Presidential speech, and International panel of Indigenous leaders

o Press Conference – 12:00 pm – Oregon Convention Center (Holladay Lobby)

Focus: Native Vote Launch & 2012 Election – International Indigenous Leader Panel

- Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011 – General Assembly - – 8:30 am – Oregon Convention Center

Vision for Indian Country: Preparing for 2012 and Beyond

o CORRECTION: Cultural Night – 6:00-8:00pm - Hall B of the Oregon Convention Center

American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month Kickoff – NCAI’s Local Planning Committee will host a cultural night highlighting the Native culture of the area with song and dance exhibitions.

About The National Congress of American Indians:

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit

Additional Information on Canoe Launch:

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

Contact: Phillip Hillaire 503-502-8707

Tribal Canoes to Come Ashore in Portland to Open National Tribal Conference

Portland, Oregon – Traditional canoe drums and songs will be heard and riders on horseback will be staged in downtown Portland on Sunday when tribal canoe families from the Grand Ronde, Warm Springs, and the Cowlitz tribes land at Portland’s Waterfront Park to open the 68th Annual National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)Convention. Canoes are scheduled to arrive at 11:00 am on October 30 on the south side of the Hawthorne Bridge in the bowl area of Waterfront Park.

Grand Marshalls for the historic procession will include the Executive Board of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI), the host organization led by newly elected President Fawn Sharp of the Quinault Nation. ATNI is made up of 57 Tribes from the greater Northwest and is headquartered in Portland.

Following the canoe landing there will be a brief ceremony and comments from the Office of the Mayor. Tribal participants will then proceed through downtown Portland to the Oregon Convention Center where the week long convention will be held. The procession will take participants from the Hawthorne Bridge, North on Naito Way for 16-blocks over the Steel Bridge, ending at the Northeast side of the Oregon Convention Center. Public support and participation is encouraged, including joining in and following the tribal procession.

Once at the Oregon Convention Center, tribal drum groups will sing an honor song to open the NCAI conference followed by an address from Cheryle Kennedy, Chairwoman of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and Local Planning Committee. The procession activities are scheduled to end at 1:30 pm.

NCAI’s membership includes tribes from throughout the United States and is positioned to monitor federal policy and coordinated efforts of federal decisions that affect tribal government interests.

Nearly 30 years have passed since NCAI last held its annual conference here in Portland, Oregon. The theme of this year’s NCAI is “Footprints into the Future.” The NCAI will hold their conference at the Oregon Convention Center October 30 through November 4.

About ATNI: In 1953 farsighted tribal leaders in the Northwest formed the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, and dedicated it to tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Today, ATNI is a nonprofit organization representing 57 Northwest tribal governments from Oregon, Idaho, Washington, southeast Alaska, Northern California and Western Montana. ATNI is an organization whose foundation is composed of the people it is meant to serve — the Indian peoples.


Thom Wallace

Communications Director

National Congress of American Indians

Learn More @

Contact Information

Office (202) 466-7767 ext. 207

Cell (202) 630-1094

Fax (202) 466-7797

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