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    National Congress of American Indians records, 1933-1990 (bulk 1944-1989)
     
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    Creator: 
    National Congress of American Indians
    Title: 
    National Congress of American Indians records, 1933-1990 (bulk 1944-1989)
    Phy. Description: 
    251 linear feet
    Digital Reference: 
    Finding Aid
    Bio / His Notes: 
    The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is a major American Indian advocacy organization, designed to serve as a link between tribal governments and the United States government. NCAI was founded in 1944, in Denver, CO, as a membership organization for “persons of Indian blood.” In 1955, group membership was limited to recognized tribes, committees, or bands. The organization is overseen by an Executive Council, which selects a five-member Executive Committee and an Executive Director. The Executive Director is then responsible for managing the organization’s staff and overseeing its initiatives and everyday operations. Since 1944, NCAI has held annual conventions in the fall to elect officers and pass resolutions, which become the basis for the organization’s policy positions. Beginning in 1977, a mid-year conference in May or June was added to provide further opportunities for in-depth exploration of issues.
    Since its inauguration, NCAI has worked on a wide variety of issues facing Indians in the US. Some of those issues include voting rights, land claims, education, economic development, natural resource protection and management, nuclear waste, repatriation, and government-to-government relations with the federal government. In 1954, NCAI organized an emergency conference to protest the US government’s newly-announced termination policy. NCAI has also frequently worked closely with other Indian organizations, such as the Native American Rights Fund and National Tribal Chairmen’s Association, and with various government bodies, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service.
    Summary: 
    The NCAI records document the organization’s work, particularly that of its office in Washington, DC, and the wide variety of issues faced by American Indians in the twentieth century. The bulk of the material relates to legislation, lobbying, and NCAI’s interactions with various governmental bodies. A large segment also concerns the annual conventions and executive council and executive committee meetings. Finally, the records also document the operations of the NCAI, including personnel, financial, and fundraising material. The collection also includes the records of two of NCAI’s Executive Directors, Charles E. “Chuck” Trimble (1972-1977) and Suzan Shown Harjo (1984-1989). Included are correspondence, publications, reports, administrative records, photographs, and audio and video recordings.
    Organization: 
    Organized into 21 series: 1) NCAI Conventions and Mid-year Conferences; 2) Executive Council and Executive Committee Files; 3) Correspondence; 4) Tribal Filess; 5) Records of Indian Interest Organizations; 6) NCAI Committees and Special Issues; 7) United Effort Trust (UET); 8) Attorneys and Legal Interest Groups; 9) Federal Indian Policy and Legislation Files; 10) Bureau of Indian Affairs; 11) State and Local Government Organizations; 12) Census; 13) General Alpha-Subject Files; 14) Records of Charles E. "Chuck" Trimble; 15) Records of Suzan S. Harjo; 16) Fundraising; 17) Business and Financial Record Files; 18) "Give-Away" Files; 19) Publications; 20) Photographs; 21) Audio and Film Recordings.
    Provenance: 
    The National Congress of American Indians designated the National Anthropological Archives (NAA) as its official repository in 1976. This collection was received by NAA in four accessions between 1976 and 1991. It was transferred from NAA to the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center in 2006.
    Cite as: 
    National Congress of American Indians Records, National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
    Restrictions: 
    Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
    Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
    Subject-Topical: 
    Alaska Natives -- Land tenure
    Indians of North America -- Civil rights
    Indians of North America -- Economic conditions -- 20th century
    Indians of North America -- Government relations -- 1934-
    Indians of North America -- Legal status, laws, etc.
    Indians of North America -- Politics and government
    Indians of North America -- Social conditions -- 20th century
    Indian termination policy
    Radioactive wastes -- United States -- Management
    Trail of Broken Treaties, 1972
    Subject-Name: 
    Bronson, Ruth Muskrat
    Curry, James E., 1907-1972
    Deloria, Vine
    Harjo, Suzan Shown
    McNickle, D'Arcy, 1904-1977
    Peterson, Helen L.
    Snake, Reuben, 1937-1993
    Tonasket, Mel
    Trimble, Charles E.
    Arrow, Inc.
    National Congress of American Indians
    National Tribal Chairmen's Association
    United Effort Trust
    United States. American Indian Policy Review Commission
    United States Bureau of Indian Affairs
    United States. Indian Claims Commission.
    Form / Genre: 
    Administrative records
    Audiotapes
    Clippings
    Correspondence
    Financial records
    Photographs
    Videotapes
    Repository Loc: 
    National Museum of the American Indian Archives, MRC-541, Cultural Resources Center, 4220 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, Maryland 20746. (tel: 301/238-1400; fax 301/238-3038)
    Local Number: 
    NMAI.AC.010
    Item Information
    Repository 
    National Anthropological ArchivesAdd Copy to MyList

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