Each year, the president of the National Congress of American Indians presents the State of Indian Nations address to members of Congress, government officials, tribal leaders and citizens, and the American public. Delivered during the week that the president of the United States delivers the State of the Union, the State of Indian Nations is a speech that shares the positive and future-oriented vision of tribal nations. The speech outlines the goals of tribal leaders, the opportunities for success and advancement of Native peoples, and priorities to advance the nation-to-nation relationship with the United States.
In 2015, President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), Brian Cladoosby, delivered the State of Indian Nations Address in Washington, D.C. Wyoming Senator John Barrassom, who is also the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, delivered the congressional response to Cladoosby’s speech. Each year, a member of Congress is invited to deliver a Congressional response to the State of Indian Nations. Previous Congressional speakers have included Senator Maria Cantwell, Senator Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Tom Cole. Previous State of the Indian Nations addresses have included former NCAI Presidents Jefferson Keel, Joe A. Garcia and Tex Hall.
NCAI stresses the need for unity and cooperation among tribal governments for the protection of their treaty and sovereign rights, and it works to inform the public and Congress on the governmental rights of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
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