February events bring native leaders to Washington, D.C.

Several events scheduled for February will promise to bring a number of native leaders to the nation's capital:

On Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, the National Indian Gaming Association presented two days of Congressional visits to promote positive Indian gaming policies and address other concerns facing its members.

Feb. 1 was also the opening of the newest exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian. Listening to Our Ancestors: The Art of Native Life Along the North Pacific Coast explores how Native people along the coast of Washington State, British Columbia and Alaska continue time-honored practices in an ever-changing modern world. The exhibition features more than 400 ceremonial and everyday objects, as well as commentary from representatives of eleven contemporary North Pacific Coast Native nations. It runs through December.

The National Indian Education Association will have its legislative session beginning Feb. 13 will consist of discussions on native education, Congressional visits and their State of Native Education address. This three-day event is also partnering with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium Winter Meeting being held simultaneously.

On Feb. 22 and 23, The Bureau of Indian Affairs will hold its national budget meeting in Arlington, Vir.

Beginning Feb. 27, the National Congress of American Indians will hold its three-day annual Winter Session. Among the topics to be discussed include state and tribal relations, the embassy capitol campaign, getting out the native vote and trust reform.

Finally, on March 2 and 3, "Widening the Communications Circle, 'Who wants to hear our story,' a conference on Communications and Contemporary Native Americans will begin in downtown Washington. The goal of this symposium is to engage more journalists, legislators, academics, religious organizations and opinion leaders with issues affecting indigenous people in urban and rural areas.

(This article originally appeared in the Feb. 1 Navajo Nation Washington Office Newsletter. Michael Wero is Legislative Associate & Communications Specialist for the Navajo Nation Washington Office.)

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