Native Village Youth and Education News
September 2009


American Indians open D.C. embassy of their own
By Krista J. Kapralos

Indian Hall of Nations

Washington D.C.- Dozens of countries have embassies in Washington, D.C. That number increased by about 560 after a new embassy representing over 500 American Indian tribes opened its doors.

The National Congress of American Indians has moved into an $8,000,000 building near the capital's Embassy Row. The new building will be called the Hall of Indian Nations.

"We're stepping into that international arena now," said Ron Allen, NCAI secretary. "We have so many domestic needs and challenges, but the international forum will become a higher priority."

The embassy will draw together experts on all issues in Indian Country. While many tribes may be politically powerful, others don't have advocates in D.C.

The embassy will help ensure that those tribes aren't forgotten. They will also work with indigenous peoples across the world to address concerns affecting them all.  "We can share our systems and structures with indigenous people of other countries and other areas throughout the world and show them, 'Here's what you can do,' " Allen said.

Tribes nationwide contributed to a $3,000,000 down payment on the embassy building. Allen expects that more tribes will donate as NCAI pays down the remaining $5,000,000 on the building.

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