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NCAI Holds Events for Tribal Leaders Around White House Conference

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) will be hosting two events surrounding the 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference.
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The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) will be hosting two events surrounding the 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference that will be held on November 13.

According to NCAI the conference allows tribal leaders from across Indian country to interact with Native and non-Natives allies in discussions on a wide variety of policies facing the original inhabitants of Turtle Island.

The events started this afternoon with a Tribal Leaders Preparatory Meeting that were not open to the press. The meeting was followed by the release of a new report by the Indian Law and Order Commission entitled “Strengthening Justice for Native America: A Roadmap.” The ILOC is a national advisory board to the President Barack Obama and Congress on criminal justice issues created by the Tribal Law and Order Act according an NCAI release.

The goal of the commission as cited in the report is “to end the public safety gap – the legacy of failed Federal laws and policies – that makes Native American and Alaska Native communities frequently less safe, and often dramatically more dangerous, then the rest of our country.”

 “American Indian and Alaska Native communities and lands are often more dangerous than the rest of our country, and outmoded federal laws and policies are largely to blame,” stated Commission Chairman Troy Eid.

Within the report were recommendations on specific legal and policy including these jurisdictional reforms:

-- Give tribes freedom to exit the Federal criminal justice system entirely, except for laws of general application, and guarantee that same freedom to tribes in P.L. 83-280 States.

-- Ensure a direct appeal from tribal court to new Federal court – the U.S. Court of Indian Appeals – for all criminal defendants for alleged Federal Constitution rights violations.

-- Apply the Federal Speedy Tribal Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 3161, to all tribal court criminal proceedings.

-- Amend the Indian Civil Rights Act to permit tribal governments to define their own criminal laws and sentences.

Later tonight, NCAI will be holding a Grant Award Ceremony at 8:30 p.m. where Turkish Ambassador to the United States Namik Tan will mark the first development grant awarded to tribal nations. The grant, which is the first by the Turkish Agency for Cooperation and Coordination, will benefit the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon. The funds will be used to construct a water tank for the reservation’s elementary school project. This is the TACC’s first grant within the United States and speaks to the growing ties between Turkey and Indian country according to the NCAI release.

The final event of the week hosted by NCAI will be on Thursday, November 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. where Native and non-Native political figures will participate in a Violence Against Women Government-to-Government Consultation.