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October 16, 2009
NCAI, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Partner to Launch NCAI’s Partnership for Tribal Governance
NCAI, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Partner to Launch NCAI’s Partnership for Tribal Governance

PALM SPRINGS, CA --October 14, 2009--The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation today announced the official launch of the Partnership for Tribal Governance (PTG) at NCAI’s 66th Annual Convention.

“The PTG will focus and coordinate resources to support tribal nations’ self-determined efforts to strengthen their institutions of governance and exercise tribal sovereignty," said NCAI President Joe A. Garcia. “Building on a decade of work with the Kellogg Foundation, NCAI views the PTG as a long-term commitment to improving the health and well-being of our Native youth and our communities as a whole through strengthening tribal governance. We do this for our children.”

NCAI’s Annual Convention brings together tribal nations’ political leaders, tribal intergovernmental and Native organization leaders, federal and state government representatives, policy leaders, and Native peoples to set an agenda on critical issues for Indian Country.

The PTG, a multi-year initiative with generous support from the Kellogg Foundation, will work through partnerships with tribal nations, tribal and national Native organizations, academic and policy centers, other governments’ leaders, and key policymakers. Financial investments will be made in self-determined tribal efforts, technical assistance, training, education, research, policy development, and advocacy.
“We believe that strong tribal governments, as supported through this partnership, are critical to the health and well-being of Native children,” said Dr. Gail Christopher, vice-president for programs at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “This effort has the potential to dramatically improve the life chances and opportunities of future generations of Native children.”

The Kellogg Foundation has partnered with NCAI in other efforts including tribal welfare reform implementation, exploring the feasibility of adapting the Alaska Dental Health Aide Therapist program in tribal communities in the lower 48 states, and in improving government-to-government relationships with the states.

In 2007, the NCAI and the Kellogg Foundation, along with leading national Native organizations, put forth the Native Children’s Agenda – a landmark plan stressing that “improving the overall well-being of Native children must be a national priority.” The PTG builds on this foundation and guides the development.

NCAI convened more than 30 tribal and Native organizations in Palm Springs to discuss better communication and coordination and more collaboration on common concerns. On the Convention agenda are five sessions to support tribal leaders in their efforts to strengthen governance.

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