In case you missed it: The state of Indian nations is strong, National Congress of the American Indian president Jefferson Keel said during the 2011 State of Indian Nations address on Thursday.
But it is also standing at a crossroads. In the approximately 25 minute speech, Keel issued a call to tribal governments to join together to help build the “new era.”
The new era is possible because of the new and stronger partnership between federal government and the Tribal nations. However, more improvements are necessary and the work is not done. The state of economy means self reliance is a necessity, and tribes need to capitalize on this, Keel said.
To fully realize the new era, nations need to continue to work to secure full economic potential of the nations, Keel said.
Keel noted the passage of things like Tribal Law and Order Act, the Indian health and Improvement act, the settlement of Cobell and Keepseagle lawsuits, and the adoption of the declaration of the rights of indigenous people as keys to improving life in Indian Country.
“These achievements set the stage for a new era in Indian Country,” Keel said.
Sen. Lisa Murkowsi read the response from Congress following Kee’s speech.