LAS VEGAS - Now that the National Museum of the American Indian has opened
in Washington D.C., ambitious plans are being unveiled to build a permanent
headquarters for the National Congress of American Indians not far from the
Addressing conventioneers on the final day of the Global Gaming Expo in Las
Vegas Oct. 7, NCAI President Tex Hall said he plans to pull back the
curtain on a multi-million dollar project to construct a home for the NCAI
complete with a tribal "hall of nations" where each of the 562 recognized
tribes would be represented. Hall said the $11 to $13 million building
would also include a library and record archive.
Hall said conceptual drawings have been completed and it's now time to find
a source of funding to get the idea off the ground. More details about the
project were expected to be released during the NCAI's 61st annual
conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Oct. 10 - 15.
"I certainly believe we have a growing influence in Washington, D.C.," Hall
told a packed room. "We now have a permanent foothold in Washington, D.C.
within a stone's throw of the United States Capitol, so obviously the
spotlight is on Indian country, and will continue to shine on Indian
country. It's time to expand our growing influence."
Hall added, "We need to make sure our own people understand the
ramifications, the implications of being in Washington to make sure we're
talking with members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on
issues that effect you and your tribe in Indian country. If you're not
there somebody is going to make a determination on your bills or your
legislation that does not include the rights of tribal sovereignty."
Hall also weighed in on the American Indian museum discussing his likes and
dislikes after touring it the opening week. Hall's opinion, "When you go to
the Holocaust Museum you know you're at the Holocaust Museum," he said. "It
tears at your heart. I didn't see much at the American Indian Museum about
that holocaust that happened to us, so I'm hoping that comes there as well.
We need to let the American people know what really happened to the first
Americans in this country."