2015 Executive Council Winter Session

Conference Information


Capitol Hill Reception

Hill Visits

Annual Leadership Awards Ceremony

Consultations & Other Events


Date: Feb 23, 2015 - Feb 26, 2015

Where: Washington, DC

View Agenda >>

About the Event:

Session Agendas

Monday, February 23rd
Affordable Care Act: What Tribal Leaders Need to KNow for 2015 - Agenda
DOI/IHS Joint Listening Session on Contract Support Costs - Invite Letter
Exploring Tribal Marijuana Policy - Agenda
TANF Task Force - Agenda
Task Force on Federal Acknowledgment - Agenda
Tax - Agenda
Tribal Homeland Security and Emergency Management - Agenda
VAWA Task Force - Agenda 

Thursday, February 26th
Annual FCC Dialouge Session - Agenda
Bureau of Indian Education Transformation Update - Invite Letter
Housing Improvement Program Consultation with the Department of the Interior - Invite Letter, Proposed Rule, Proposed Rule Correction
One USDA: Food, Sovereignty, Agriculture, Housing, and Education - Flyer
Small Business Administration Consultation - Invite Letter

Draft Agenda at a Glance now available!

Youth Agenda now available!


Online registration is now closed. Registration will be available onsite, click here to download the registration form.

Press Registration
Click here if you would like to register as a credentialed member of press. 

Hotel Information

1001 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

To reserve your room please call: 202-393-1000
Room Block: NCAI Executive Council Winter Session

Waitlist Information

The host hotel room block is now full; if you need assistance making alternative accommodations, feel free to contact Marilyn Matthews at 202.289.2220 ext 101 or mmatthews@formeetingsolutions.com.


Interested in being an NCAI Sponsor? Please fill out our Sponsorship Form. For information regarding Sponsorship please contact Bernida Humetewa at bhumetewa@ncai.org.


Capitol Hill Reception

Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian
Fourth Street & Independence Avene
Washington, DC 20005
Event Date: Tuesday, February 24

Event Time: 6:30 PM - 8:30PM

Reserve your spot with Kellcee Baker at kbaker@ncai.org.  

Don't forget to schedule Capitol Hill visits. Indian Country has major priorities to advance during this Session of Congress. It is important for our membership to meet with their representatives, both new and returning members, to continue educating them on issues and making them strong advocates for Indian Country.  


If you wish to meet with your representatives in either the House of Representatives or Senate, please submit your meeting request in writing to the representative's office and follow-up to ensure your request was received.


To find your House Representative, please click here  


To find your state Senator, please click here.  


For assistance in scheduling a Hill Visit please contact Cesareo Alvarez at calvarez@NCAI.org

Congressional Leadership Award – This award is to recognize those individuals who are elected to the United States Congress who have demonstrated leadership and are champions on issues important to tribal nations.

Public Sector Leadership Award – This award is to recognize partners outside of the governmental sector and outside of Indian Country who work for the advancement of tribal issues and who support Native causes.  

Governmental Leadership Award – This award is to recognize partners in government service who are critical to tribal issues and who serve as champions in their institutions.  

Native American Leadership Award – This award recognizes a Native individual who has helped transform Indian Country through their efforts and long term commitment and whose leadership and work benefits and influences at the national level.

Special Recognition Award – This occasional award recognizes significant lifetime achievement on behalf of Indian Country.  


2015 Honorees


Congressional Leadership Award
U.S. Representative Devin Nunes
Representative Devin Nunes has served in the House of Representatives since 2003 and currently represents the 22nd District of California. Time magazine named him one of the rising stars of American politics, in their list of “40 under 40” and he has been a great friend to tribal nations. In this last year he was particularly successful as the lead sponsor of H.R. 3043, the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act, which was signed into law at the end of 2014. The passage of this law was a great victory for tribes because it prevents the IRS from taxing the programs and services provided by tribes to their tribal members. The new law is also notable because it specifically requires that it be interpreted in a manner that is deferential to tribal government decision making. Representative Nunes is also notable for working across the aisle with his Democratic counterparts to get the legislation completed.

Governmental Leadership Award
Jodi Gillette
Jodi Gillette, a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, has been a consistent presence throughout the Obama Administration – advancing our nation-to-nation partnership and ensuring the priorities and concerns of tribal nations are included in the work of the federal government. Jodi served from the very beginning of the Obama Administration as Deputy Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Associate Director of Public Engagement. She then served as Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs for Policy and Economic Development in the U.S. Department of the Interior before returning to the White House to serve as Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs. Recently Jodi was elevated to the role of Special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs. She played a key role in the White House Tribal Nations Conference in 2009 and 2010 and has been instrumental in the work of the newly formed White House Council on Native American Affairs.

Special Recognition Leadership Award
Robert Burnette

Robert Burnette has been a long-time supporter of the work of NCAI, securing funding for key NCAI priorities including the Native Graduate Health Fellowship. His ongoing partnership has been critical to NCAI’s capacity to engage with a range of private sector and individual donors to support core elements of our work.

Native American Leadership Award
Suzan Harjo

Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee) has been the President of The Morning Star Institute since its inception in 1984. She served as the Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians from 1984 through 1989, and continues to serve as Co-Chair of the NCAI Subcommittee on Human, Religious, and Cultural Concerns. Suzan’s career has spanned decades of involvement in Indigenous human rights issues and causes. Her traditional knowledge, extensive capacity for research regarding Indigenous cultures, and her indomitable spirit has led her to significant victories in non-Native arenas, including congressional and administrative venues. She is a founder of the National Museum of the American Indian and Guest Curator and General Editor of the exhibit and book, “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations.” She has been a critical leader on the effort to eradicate derogatory Indian mascots. In November 2014 she was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama – the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Public Sector Leadership Award
National Criminal Justice

The National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) has been an integral partner dedicated to improving public safety in tribal communities. Since 2009, NCJA has partnered with the National Congress of American Indians on a Tribal-State Collaboration and Justice Capacity Building Project, which focuses on relationship building and promoting intergovernmental coordination of key tribal, federal, and state criminal justice stakeholders in Indian country. Under this project, NCJA has provided technical assistance to several tribal-state collaboration projects, as well as launched the Tribal Law and Order Resource Center website. This website contains a number of Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) implementation resources, including a free, ongoing webinar series.


Past Honorees

2014 Honorees
U.S Senator Mike Crapo
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
James Anaya
Kevin Gover
2014 Special Recognition
Chairman Earl Barbary
Juanit Ahtone

2013 Honorees
U.S. Senator Patty Murray
The National Taskforce to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women
Andrew Lee
Administrator W. Craig Fugate

2012 Honorees
U.S. Congressman Don Young
Washington Interships for Native Students Programs
Dr. Eddie F. Brown
Assistant Secretary for Indians Affairs Larry Echo Hawk

2011 Honorees
U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Billy Frank, Jr.
Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli
2011 Special Recognition
Wilma Pearl Mankiller

2010 Honorees
U.S. Congressman Xavier Becerra
Profs. Stephen Cornell & Joseph P. Kalt
Elouise Cobell
Dr. Eric Broderick
Marie Howard

2009 Honorees
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski
Roberta Valente, J.D.
Rachel Joseph
Scott Burns

2008 Honorees
U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman
Friends Committee on National Legislation –Native American Advocacy Program
Alan Parker
Governor Janet Napolitano

2007 Honorees
U.S. Congressman Tom Cole
Wade Henderson
John E. Echohawk
National Council of State Legislatures

2006 Honorees
Claude Allen
Boys and Girls Club
U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan

2005 Honorees
U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch
NMAI Opening Core Team
Dan Lewis, Bank of America

2004 Honorees
U.S. Civil Rights Commission
U.S. Representative Richard Pombo
Federal Communications Commission
2004 Special Recognition
Patricia Zell
Pat Babcock

2003 Honorees
The Late U.S. Senator
Paul Wellstone
Neal McCaleb
John Herrington, NASA Astronaut

2002 Honorees
U.S. Senator Thomas Daschle
Nike, Inc.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

2001 Honorees
U.S. Representative Dave Camp
U.S. Senator Pete Domenici
U.S. Representative Maxine Waters

2000 Honorees
Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante
U.S. Senator John McCain
U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy

1999 Honorees
U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell
U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye
U.S. Representative J. D. Hayworth
U.S. Representative Dale E. Kildee


Date & Time



Monday, Feb 23




Childcare & Development Block Grant Reauthorization
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) office of Child Care (OCC) is conducting Tribal Consultation regarding the reauthorization of Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014.




The Affordable Care Act:  What Tribal Leaders Need to Know for 2015

This session will provide an overview of the Affordable Care Act and provide information on what tribal leaders need to know for 2015.  All American Indians and Alaska Natives need to apply for or claim an exemption from the individual shared responsibility payment in 2015 for the 2014 tax year. Information will be provided on how to apply for or claim the exemption to avoid a fee. Information will also be presented on the employer shared responsibility mandate that went into effect in 2015.




DOI/IHS Joint Listening Session on Contract Support Costs

The President’s budget proposal includes a recommendation that DOI and DHHS fund contract support costs (CSC) as a mandatory appropriation. Representatives from both DOI and the Indian Health Service (IHS) would like to discuss this proposal with tribal leadership during ECWS. Please join us for this important conversation.




Teach for America’s Native Alliance Team Annual Legislative Summit Reception

Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 628


Networking event for education champions, Teach for America alumni, and tribal leaders.
Brief Programming begins at 5:45pm



5:30 – 6:45pm

Dennis Heck Reception

Reception supporting Congressman Denny Heck – DCCC Recruitment Chair Hosted by Chairman Brian Cladoosby. RSVP to 360-359-1514 or jessica@dennyheckforcongress.com



Tuesday, Feb 24



National Indian Women “Honor Luncheon”

The National Indian Women “Supporting Each Other” has been honoring two Indian Women for the past 20 years! This honor has been provided for their leadership at the local, regional & national level. For more information, please contact Julie Johnson at julie2008@centurytel.net


Federal A/B



CNAY Reception

Join Senator Byron Dorgan and distinguished guests for a reception to celebrate the Center for Native American Youth’s Fourth Anniversary. The reception will include an honoring of Native American youth leaders – 2015 Champions for Change and notable speakers celebrating our youngest First Americans. Please contact Josie Raphaelito at josie.raphaelito@aspeninst.org


Federal A/B

Thursday, Feb 26




Annual FCC Dialogue Session
Dialogue with the Office of Native Affairs & Policy on telecommunications needs in Indian Country and developments at the FCC.




Department of Labor Consultation Session

Tribal consultation session with tribal leaders on Department of Labor policies and regulations.

Federal A





Department of Treasury: Access to Affordable Non-Health Insurance in Indian Country
Listening session with the Federal Insurance Office about access to affordable life insurance and property and casualty insurance in Indian Country. For more information contact Beth Sammis at Elizabeth.sammis@treasury.gov.








Bureau of Indian Education – Transformation Update

Monty Roessel and Don Yu will provide an update to tribal leaders & other stakeholders regarding the Department of the Interior’s efforts to transform the Bureau of Indian Education.









State Department – World Conference on Indigenous Peoples Follow Up
A U.S. Consultation in follow-up to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. This session will be for tribal leaders. For more information contact iga_tribal@state.gov or 202.647.7710.




One USDA: Food Sovereignty, Agriculture, Housing, and Education

Come and join representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as they discuss Food, Agriculture, Housing, and Education opportunities for Tribal communities. As we continue to serve Indian Country, we look forward to hearing your projects and how the USDA can partner with you in these endeavors.




Housing Improvement Program Consultation with the Department of the Interior
The Assistant Secretary –Indian Affairs is hosting a consultation with tribal leaders on proposed revisions to the Housing Improvement Program (HIP) rule 25 CFP 256.

Federal A


SBA Consultation on 8(A) Rules

The U.S Small Business Administration is setting up a series of consultations to discuss the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 and Small Jobs Act of 2010. Make plans to join the first consultation.


 Federal B

2:00 – 4:00pm

State Department – World Conference on Indigenous Peoples Follow Up
A U.S. Consultation in follow-up to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. This session will be for non-governmental organization representatives and others. For more information contact iga_tribal@state.gov or 202.647.7710.



3:00 – 4:00pm


Department of Education - White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education

Join us to hear updates and provide dialogue on the White House Initiatives on American Indian and Alaska Native Education.


 Federal B



Richard M. Milanovich Fellowship Reception Please join the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians to commemorate the memory of the late Chairman Richard M. Milanovich with a reception to launch the Richard M. Milanovich Fellowship in Public Policy and Politics at the George Washington University.  Please RSVP to PaaWee Rivera at privera@kilpatricktownsend.com

Invite Letter

Charlie Palmer Steakhouse
101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC