The National Congress of American Indians voted to keep non-federally recognized tribes as full voting members of the organization.
The vote took place at the Constitution Convention during NCAI’s 69th Annual Convention in Sacramento, CA. Of the nine amendments proposed at this year’s convention, the most controversial was a proposal to limit NCAI tribal membership to federally recognized tribes and restrict state recognized tribes from voting membership. The proposal was reportedly defeated by a vote of 390 to 20.
NCAI President Jefferson Keel appointed a five-member committee to review proposed amendments to the Constitution and make recommendations. The committee urged a “no” vote for restricting the voting rights of non-federally recognized tribes.
In a briefing paper, the committee wrote that the “NCAI has always been an inclusive organization that advocates for interests of all Indian tribes and Indian people. In addition, this proposed change would put the power of recognition exclusively in the hands of the federal government.”