PORTLAND, Ore. — The Cherokee Nation will maintain a presence on the executive board of the National Congress of American Indians.
Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden was elected vice president of NCAI’s Eastern Oklahoma caucus Thursday morning at the organization’s annual national conference.
As area vice president, Crittenden will serve on the organization’s executive board, representing 20 of Oklahoma’s 39 federally recognized tribes. He succeeds Tribal Council member Cara Cowan Watts.
“I am very proud that we were able to retain a leadership role within NCAI,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “As the country’s largest tribe, the Cherokee Nation has a duty to be a leader. Councilor Cowan Watts did a superb job as regional vice president and I’m certain that Joe will continue that hard work.”
Founded in 1944 in response to federal termination legislation, the National Congress of American Indians is the country’s largest Native American government organization. NCAI monitors public Indian policy and works to preserve tribal treaty rights.
The Cherokee Nation will host the organization’s 2013 conference at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Catoosa, Okla.