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NCAI delivers State of Indian Nations; 2010 budget request

WASHINGTON - Joe Garcia, president of the National Congress of American Indians, delivered his final State of Indian Nations Feb. 10 at the National Museum of the American Indian.

The speech, titled “The Timeless Promise of America: Renewed Hope in Indian Country,” was the eighth NCAI State of Indian Nations; it was streamed live on several radio stations and online.

Garcia spent a majority of time talking about his hopes for the Obama administration.

“I look forward to new respect for tribal sovereignty, and a new focus on the importance of nation?to?nation relationships. I look forward to Indian country’s greater inclusion and greater respect in this new vision for America and there is still much work to be done.”

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Garcia listed four priority agenda items for the coming year:

• A place at the table for Indian nations in the economic recovery of the nation;

• Transformational improvements to health care;

• A fundamental, federal commitment to public safety; and

• A new federal priority for the education of Native children.

“We seek a better world for Native people,” Garcia said. “We also seek to more fully participate as citizens of the country we love, the United States of America – our home. With these new winds of change in the land, and a new administration committed to positive change, I sense a great opportunity for us all.”

To coincide with the address, NCAI released a detailed fiscal year 2010 budget request. View the 57-page document.