Executive Board

NCAI Executive Board

Jefferson Keel
President, NCAI
Lt. Governor, Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma

NCAI President,
Jefferson Keel

Jefferson Keel serves as the 22nd President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native tribal government organization in the country. President Keel was elected on October 2017 at NCAI’s 74th Annual Convention to serve a third nonconsecutive term as President of NCAI. 

As a proud Native American, President Keel is firmly committed to the service of Indian Country. Serving his fifth term as the Lt. Governor of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma he is keenly aware of the roles and responsibilities expected of tribal leaders and earnestly believes in the policy of “helping our people through honorable public service.” 

President Keel also represents Indian Country on numerous national boards and committees including serving on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Native American Youth, created by former Senator Dorgan at the Aspen Institute. In addition, he was appointed as one of nine commissioners to serve on Tribal Law and Order Commission established under the Tribal Law and Order Act in 2010.

President Keel has previously served as Chair of the Tribal Interior Budget Committee, on the Indian Health Service Policy Advisory Committee, the Centers for Disease Control Tribal Consultation Advisory Committee, the Self-Governance Advisory Committee, the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee, the Health Research Advisory Council for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, and the Department of Justice Tribal Advisory Group. 

President Keel is a retired U.S. Army officer with over 20 years active duty service. He served three years of service in Vietnam, and received numerous awards and decorations for heroism, including two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star with "V" for valor.  He is a former Airborne Ranger, infantry platoon sergeant, platoon leader, and served as an instructor in the elite U.S. Army Rangers.

President Keel earned his Bachelor’s degree from East Central University and Master’s degree from Troy State University. He is a Master Mason and a member of the East Central University Board of Directors. He is active in his church and community. President Keel and his wife, Carol, have three children and eight grandchildren.

Aaron Payment
1st Vice President, NCAI
Chairman, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Secretary, Aaron Payment     

Chairperson Aaron Payment is serving in his second term as Chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. With 42,000 members, his Tribe is the largest east of the Mississippi. He has served as a Tribal Council Member, Vice-Chairperson, and is now in his second four-year term as Chairperson.

Chairperson Payment has been in tribal elective office for nearly 14 years. Prior to serving as Chairperson, he worked in higher education directly serving fellow Native Americans. He has also spent six summers coordinating the Michigan Anishnaabe Future Leaders youth training programs and 16 summers as a summer camp counselor for Upward Bound, a TRiO program which served up to 40% Native Americans. For over twenty years, he has provided annual training on Tribal Sovereignty & Government-to-Government relations to future Michigan legislators (16 current serving) through the Michigan Political Leadership Program which is housed out of Michigan State University.

Chairperson Payment is a high school drop-out who earned a G.E.D., Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s in Public Administration, and coursework for two additional Master’s degrees in Education Administration and Education Specialist and completed his coursework and comprehensive exams toward a doctorate in Educational Leadership. He believes in giving back and affording other Native Americans and disadvantaged people opportunities to overcome adversity and the impacts of past United States Federal policy of forced assimilation.

Over the last year, Chairperson Payment has joined the fight to STOP SEQUESTRATION by raising awareness at all levels. One approach has been through the “It’s a Trust Thing” campaign to remind Congress of the Federal Trust Responsibility to uphold the obligations contained in the treaties between the United States Government and tribes which provide for “health, education and social welfare for as long as the winds blow, grass grows, and rivers flow”.

Chairperson Payment serves on the HHS Secretary Tribal Advisory Council, Health Research Advisory Counsel, Vice-President of M.A.S.T., and Vice-Chair of the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan.

Juana Majel-Dixon
Recording Secretary, NCAI 
Pauma Band of Mission Indians

Recording Secretary,
Juana Majel-Dixon

Juana Majel-Dixon has served as the Traditional Legislative Councilwoman for the Pauma Band of Mission Indians since 1970.  In this capacity, she has been involved in several Native American issues, which includes but are not limited to the following: Public Law 280, Self Determination (63E), Indian Education Act, Native American Religious Freedom Act, Native American Graves Protection Regulatory Act, the Indian Child Welfare Act, Violence Against Women Act and Tribal Law and Order Act.

Ms. Majel-Dixon has been employed as a professor at Palomar College since 1981, where she provides Instruction to college-aged students in areas of Federal Indian Law and U.S. Law, American Indian Philosophy and Religion, and Introduction of American Indian Culture prior to contact and California Indian.  She previously taught at San Diego State University and Mesa College. She also serves as the Natural Resource Director at Pauma Band of Mission Indians where she responsible for the environmental operations of the Tribe, which includes the land, watershed and air shed.  She also serves as the Policy Director at the Pauma Band of Mission Indians since where she is responsible for the overall tribal policy development and tribal response to Congress and the Federal operations, including governmental response to criminal and civil issues.

Ms. Majel-Dixon has served on the trust reform task force during both Clinton and Bush's administrations. She has served as Co-Chair with Chief Tillman to the first Trust Reform group with Kevin Gover, NCAI Chair for Violence Against Women Act. Chair of the Cultural and Religious Concerns Committee, NCAI Liaison for Medicare/Medicaid Case Management and the Tribal Technical Team, NCAI Liaison for Alcohol Substance Abuse Summit, Co-Chair of the task force to Stop Violence Against Native Women, CA Rep to SAMSHA, and Co-chair to the Tribal Justice Advisory Group. 

Ms. Majel-Dixon has a Joint Doctorate in U.S. Policy and Education at Clairmont Graduate School and San Diego State University, and a Master of Science in Counseling, Master of Arts in Community Block Development and a Bachelor of Science in Human Behavior. 

W. Ron Allen
Treasurer, NCAI
Chairman, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe

Treasurer, W. Ron Allen

As the Tribal Chairman, (serving 1977-present), Ron Allen is responsible for representing the Tribe as the elected leader and for addressing political and policy issues and/or positions at the national, state and local levels. As the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) (serving 1982-present), he is also responsible for the executive administration of all the Tribe's programs including education, career development, social services, housing, health, economic development, natural resource management, and cultural/traditional affairs.

As Tribal Chairman/CEO, he is responsible for leading the Tribe from a zero resource base in 1981 to a current annual budget of over $80 million; and from a landless reservation base in 1981 to over 1800 acres without federal assistance.  Additionally, he has led the Tribe in establishing its economic base including numerous business enterprises, e.g. Seven Cedars Resort & Casino, The Cedars Golf Course, Northwest Native Expression Art Gallery, JKT Development including Jamestown Excavating and Storage Units, and Jamestown Seafoods, Inc.