Statement from NCAI President Fawn Sharp on the Passing of Head Councilman Joe Garcia

Published on May 12, 2023

"It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of Head Councilman Joe Garcia, a beloved leader and esteemed member of the National Congress of American Indians family. His untimely departure is a significant loss for Indian Country, as he was a true culture keeper for his people and a dedicated advocate for Native Nations across the Southwest region.

Joe Garcia devoted his life to the service of his community, tirelessly working to uplift and empower all Tribal Nations. As the NCAI Southwest Region Vice President and former NCAI President, he embodied the spirit of unity and strength that we hold dear. His unwavering belief in the mission of NCAI, to foster collaboration and solidarity among all Tribal Nations, was evident in every endeavor he undertook.

Beyond his role as a leader, Joe Garcia was a mentor, a visionary, and a compassionate soul who touched the lives of many. He leaves a profound legacy of service, leadership, and cultural preservation. His commitment to ensuring the well-being and prosperity of future generations will forever be remembered.

During this time of grief, our thoughts and prayers are with Joe Garcia's family, friends, and the Ohkay Owingeh community. May they find solace in knowing that his contributions have made a lasting impact on Indian Country as a whole.

As we mourn the loss of this remarkable leader, mentor, and friend, let us also remember the lessons he taught us – to stand together, advocate tirelessly, and honor our rich cultural heritage. In his memory, we will continue to forge ahead, united and steadfast, to pursue a better future for all Native peoples."

Fawn Sharp
National Congress of American Indians

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