NOVEMBER 16, 1944


In Denver, Colorado, in 1944, close to 80 delegates from 50 tribes and associations in 27 states came together to establish the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) at a Constitutional Convention. Founded in response to the emerging threat of termination, the founding members stressed the need for unity and cooperation among tribal governments and people for the security and protection of treaty and sovereign rights. The Founders also committed to the betterment of the quality of life of Native people. The initial organization of the NCAI was done largely by Native American men who worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and represented many tribes. At the second national convention, Indian women attended as representatives in numbers equal to the men. 

Source:  “Mission & History,” NCAI.  Retrieved 5/28/2022, Mission & History | NCAI
Photo:  U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 11/1944. 

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