NCAI President Delivers Remarks at White House Council on Native American Affairs

Published on Sep 07, 2016

Sept. 7, 2016



WASHINGTON, DC, Sept.7, 2016 | On Tuesday, Sept.6, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) President Brian Cladoosby delivered remarks at the White House Council on Native American Affairs. As the first tribal leader to address the council, President Cladoosby thanked the Obama Administration for strengthening ties between the White House and Indian Country.

In his opening remarks, President Cladoosby also praised the Administration for the cross-agency agreements and programs that have been created.

Among the many successes listed were increased jurisdiction authority through the Violence Against Women Act, the restoration of tribal lands, and President Barack Obama's historic visits to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and Alaska. 

“Tribal nations look forward to working with President Obama and the Administration at the upcoming White House Tribal Nations Conference to secure the progress and the strong legacy that he is leaving in Indian Country,” said President Cladoosby of the upcoming event. 

President Cladoosby also discussed opportunities for the Administration to continue its work in the remaining days of Obama’s presidency, including designating Bears Ears as a National Monument, finding long-term solutions for persistent issues at the Indian Health Service, and issuing a new Memorandum of Opinion on the scope of the federal trust responsibility. 

In his closing remarks, President Cladoosby also asked the council to uphold its trust responsibility in its dealings with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which is currently protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

“What all tribes want to leave to the next generations are our lands, waters, natural resources and sacred places. When these are lost, it does irreversible harm to our tribes,” said President Cladoosby. “The world is watching.”

“For far too long, our lands and resources were seen as disposable and consultation requirements were not fulfilled leaving tribal voices diminished in the larger conversation,” continued President Cladoosby. “All tribes have faced this in one form or another, and Standing Rock has become the symbol for many in a way that has brought Indian Country together.”

In support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, President Cladoosby submitted a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Sept.5 requesting federal monitors and federal law enforcement to protect protestors and sacred places at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.


About The National Congress of American Indians:

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit

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