'We need to do some healing'

New leader of National Congress of American Indians vows unity at milestone convention


November 21, 2023

National Congress of American Indians President Mark Macarro, left, poses with Fawn Sharp, the organization's immediate past president, at NCAI's 80th annual convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 17, 2023. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana - The new leader of the nation's largest inter-tribal advocacy organization is calling for unity and healing following a well-attended but sometimes contentious milestone meeting here.

In his first remarks as president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), Mark Macarro vowed to lead with consensus as the organization concluded its 80th annual convention on Friday. The weeklong event, which drew more than 2,000 people to Louisiana's largest city, featured a closely-watched election and debate on controversial amendments that some viewed as divisive.

"We've had some tough discussions this week," Macarro, the long-time chairman of the Pechanga Band of Indians, said after being sworn in as NCAI's president at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. "We need to do some healing. We need to create a way to move forward together."



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