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Kolby KickingWoman
Indian Country Today

The National Congress of American Indians held a first of its kind election for its executive board positions this week at the organization’s 78th annual convention — it was virtual.

Like many conferences and events held during the pandemic, the organization gathered via Zoom rather than in person.

On Thursday, Mark Maccaro, chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians was elected as 1st vice president, obtaining more than 5,300 votes out of 10,290 cast.

He beat out Juana Majel-Dixon, Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians, and Lance Gumbs, Shinnecock Nation.

“I’m deeply grateful for the support, trust, and confidence from Indian Country. I especially thank Lance Gumbs and Juana Majel-Dixon for their candidacies and voices,” Macarro said in a statement. “I’m ready to get to work with NCAI and look forward to serving Indian Country in protecting and advancing our tribal sovereignty and communities.”

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The other three executive board positions ran unopposed — president, secretary and treasurer. They were elected by unanimous acclamation, following the organization’s election rules.

Fawn Sharp, Quinault, was elected to a second consecutive term as president. Aaron Payment, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, elected as recording secretary and Shannon Holsey, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, as treasurer.

Sharp was humbled to accept a second term and said she will commit to being a voice for every tribal nation and the organization will continue to work to seize every opportunity for Indian Country.

“I just feel at this moment so incredibly honored to serve the National Congress of American Indians for another two years,” Sharp said.

The executive board was sworn-in shortly after the announced final results and each will serve two year terms.

The board is joined by regional vice presidents and alternates from the 12 NCAI regions. The 2021-2023 regional area vice presidents and alternates are listed below:

Alaska Vice-President: Mike Williams
Alaska Alternate: Rob Sanderson, Jr.
Northwest Vice-President: Melvin Sheldon, Jr.
Northwest Alternate: Leonard Forsman
Great Plains Vice-President: Harold Frazier
Great Plains Alternate: Kevin Killer
Western Vice-President: Stephen Roe Lewis
Western Alternate: Bernadine Burnette
Southwest Vice-President: Joe Garcia
Southwest Alternate: J. Michael Chavarria
Southern Plains Vice-President: Gonzo Flores
Southern Alternate: Nita Battise
Midwest Vice-President: Rebecca Crooks-Stratton
Midwest Alternate: Shelley Buck
Eastern Oklahoma Vice-President: Norman Hildebrand
Eastern Oklahoma Alternate: David Woerz
Pacific Vice-President: Jack Potter
Pacific Alternate: Erica Rae Macias
Northeast Vice-President: Lance Gumbs
Northeast Alternate: Rodney Butler
Southeast Vice-President: Reggie Tupponce
Southeast Alternate: Lora Ann Chaisson

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