Native American Tribe Builds Alliance With Association

Delegation from the NAACP and Eastern Shoshone Indian Tribe pose for members of the Press at Ft Washakie.

September 8, 2006

An NAACP delegation recently met with members of the Eastern Shoshone Indian Tribe at Ft Washakie, Wyoming to discuss building further alliances. Earlier this year they became the first Native American tribe to purchase an NAACP corporate membership.

Tribe Chairman Ivan Posey said they are committed to forming an adult branch and youth council before year's end?making them the first Native American group ever to formally join the Association.

"We identified many areas of alignment between Native Americans and the NAACP's advocacy agenda," said NAACP Chief Operating Officer Nelson B. Rivers III who led the delegation. "They are facing severe problems with health disparities, education inequities, economic injustice and discrimination within the criminal justice system. They are eager for our support, leadership and training in these and other areas, particularly for the development of their young people."

Other members of the NAACP delegation included Jimmy Simmons, president of the Casper, WY Branch which initiated dialogue with the tribe, Rev. Gil Ford, NAACP Region IV director [who coordinates branches in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, North and South Dakota] and Beatrice Madison, president of the Colorado-Montana-Wyoming State Area Conference of the NAACP.

The delegation dined at the Ft Washakie reservation and met with members of the Tribal Council and other tribe members. Formation of Shoshone NAACP units," will not only be historic but an important outreach to a group that faces many of the same problems as our community and really needs our help" Rivers added.

The talks took place during the Colorado-Montana-Wyoming State Conference of NAACP branches' quarterly meeting. This is not the first time NAACP and Native American leaders have come together on issues of importance. The NAACP has passed several resolutions that demand the end of offensive Indian mascots and symbols by professional and college sports teams.

The Shoshone leadership will be in Washington, D.C. later this month and hopes to visit the NAACP national office during their trip.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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