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Keeping Continuity and Momentum: Jefferson Keel Unanimously Reelected NCAI President

PORTLAND, Ore. – Jefferson Keel, Lt. Governor of the Chickasaw Nation was unanimously reelected President of the National Congress of American Indians and sworn in November 2 during NCAI’s 68th Annual Convention.

Keel said he is honored to continue addressing our greatest challenges with real solutions. “We will not lose ground on the gains we have made,” he said.

NCAI’s more than 1,000 members in the nomination session gave Keel a standing ovation after the motion to accept a unanimous ballot was passed by NCAI’s election committee chair, said Thom Wallace, NCAI’s Public Information Officer. “It was an historic election in the sense that the reelection came at a time when great momentum has already been achieved,” Wallace said, and signaled a unified commitment by NCAI’s American Indian and Alaska Native leaders to continue that momentum.

Thursday’s November 3 elections will see in the positions of first vice president, recording secretary, and treasurer.

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Juana Majel Dixon, Pauma Band of Mission Indians and Michael Finley, Colville Confederated Tribes are vying for first vice president; Terri Henry, Eastern Band of Cherokee and Ed Thomas, Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska are vying for Secretary; and W. Ron Allen, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and Dennis Welsh Jr., Colorado River Indian Tribes are competing for Treasurer. Newly elected members will be sworn-in at a November 4 ceremony.

NCAI’s weeklong 68th Annual Convention started October 30 and runs through November 4. A critical focus, Wallace said is developing key messages for the 2011 White House Tribal Nations Conference with President Obama set for December 2 in Washington, D.C.