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We Still Believe

"NCAI, an organization that was created for UNITY, is battling internal termination"

NCAI, an organization that was created for UNITY, an organization created to bring tribal people together amid termination, an organization to protect tribal sovereignty, is now, once again, battling what I call internal termination. This purism ideology and superiority complex should have no home here at NCAI. It is time that we, as the great body that we are, vote overwhelmingly to defeat these amendments and truly protect our sovereignty. It is time that we vote against internal termination. It is time that the adults in the room, the elders in this room, the leaders in this room, stand up and tell those who feel they are superior to others, and those who feel they have purer blood than others, those who feel that they sit on high and look down on others, it is time we tell them to sit down and we must talk with them and help them to see the error of their ways.

These amendments are the beginning of a slippery slope. If you remove the state tribes, who will be next, tribes without treaties? Tribes without a land base? Tribes that were recognized by Congress? Tribes that can’t take land into trust? Do we kill the federal recognition process all together? When will we have done enough to remove the other imperfect tribes within NCAI in order to appease the tribes who apparently have it all.

These are not bad people; they are our brothers and sisters and we must find a way to heal these wounds and to stand together as one. We have to heal and we have to work together moving forward and not against one another. I am calling on the NCAI executive team, you must help us heal as this is truly a hurtful and harmful time here at NCAI. Too much time and resources have been wasted on these divisive amendments. This is a time for UNITY and not division. We must stand up for UNITY and stand against DIVISION and I urge you all to vote NO on these two amendments. Thank you!”

The NCAI Conference continues throughout the week. Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities.

Lumbee Tribal Chairman Lowery Calls for Unity at 80th National Congress of American Indian
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