“Chokma,” said National Congress of American Indians President and Lt. Governor of the Chickasaw Nation Jefferson Keel offering a greeting at the opening of the State of the Indian Nation address on February 11 at the Newseum in Washington, DC.
“I stand here today to proudly proclaim to you, Congress, the Administration, and the world: The State of Indian Nations is STRONG, and we GROW STRONGER every day.
“From our cultures and languages to our economies and political power, tribal nations are crafting a GREAT RESURGENCE that is forging brighter futures for our communities and generations yet to come.
“Despite facing strong headwinds and resistance, we are elevating our presence and voice in this country’s public and policy discourse, at a time when it’s most needed.
“We are claiming our rightful place as the original pieces in the mosaic of America, and our rightful
role as key contributors in charting its future course.
“The signs of our resurgence are EVERYWHERE.”
For all of us at Running Strong for American Indian Youth® this is wonderful news, as we continue our 30-year mission of assisting Native children and youth to succeed and achieve their dreams, and provide basic needs including supplemental food to families on the Pine Ridge Indian and Cheyenne River Sioux reservations in South Dakota.
But, Keel noted, there is more to be done.
“Indian Country has a long way to go, but in more and more places, we are becoming primary drivers of economic growth, fostering a better quality of life for all,” he said.
To read NCAI President Keel’s full remarks,visit: http://www.ncai.org/about-ncai/state-of-indian-nations/SOIN2019_President_Keel_FINAL_Remarks.pdf.
To view the video of his remarks, go to https://vimeo.com/315952063.
Photo courtesy of the National Congress of American Indians (http://www.ncai.org/).