PCI participating in Impact Week

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Representatives of the Poarch Creek Indians are in Washington, D.C. this week for the first official USET Sovereignty Protection Fund (USET) Impact Week Meeting.

PCI Tribal Chair Stephanie Bryan and Tribal Councilmember David Gehman are present at the meeting.

USET SPF is a 501(c)4 organization that places focus and attention on education of Congress and the nation’s administration in regard to issues challenging Indian Country and advocating for the policy and legislation needs of its member tribal nations.

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During the impact week meeting, tribal leadership will once again place focus on renewing their efforts to promote and protect the inherent sovereign authority of tribal nations, according to USET President Brian Patterson.

“Empowering our Indian people is key to making positive, progressive, and visionary change across our tribal nations,” Patterson said. “In doing so, we are promoting and protecting our inherent sovereignty rights and authorities, which will ensure that we have strong, healthy and vibrant communities. Our goal each time we meet is to unlock doors of opportunity for our tribal nations and find the solutions to the challenges that have prevented our tribal nations from thriving rather than just surviving. That is the important and sacred responsibility that we have and it is central to the work we face this week.”

With a year remaining in the current administration, this week USET’s board of directors will discuss its priorities for 2016; discuss implementation of the Tribal Law and Order Act; discuss the updating of the Quiet Crisis Report with the U.S. Civil Rights Commission; discuss the native specific provisions included in the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); and will place focus on taxation issues facing Indian country with the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Additionally, this Impact Week Meeting will also include updates and discussions regarding trust modernization efforts, economic development, housing, health, tribal historic preservation, and gaming.

USET Tribal leadership will also visit with members of Congress this week to discuss a wide range of issues.

USET will take a moment to reflect, remember and honor the life of Catawba Indian Nation Assistant Chief Wayne George, who passed away in January. One of George’s passions during his lifetime was working to ensure opportunities and support to Catawba youth as he understood their success would ensure the success of the Catawba Nation and Indian Country.

This week, USET will continue its tradition of involvement of its tribal youth and focusing on future leadership development.

Students from various USET member tribal nations are in Washington to attend the Tribal Youth Summit.

The week of activities is supported by USET and the Close Up Foundation, who works in partnership to bring an enriching and empowering experience for USET Tribal youth.

The USET Impact week is taking place through tomorrow at the Marriott Crystal Gateway and on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.