MARKSVILLE, La. (The Ehrhardt Group) - The Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, Marshall Pierite, has announced his candidacy for President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) running on a platform of supporting our women and youth, protecting our land and water and restoring accountability to the organization that serves as the voice for over 570 tribal nations across the country.
NCAI members will elect a new executive committee, including a president, during its 76th Annual Convention and Marketplace held October 20-25, 2019 in Albuquerque, NM.
As President of the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization, Chairman Pierite intends to use his expertise and experience to advocate for programs and funding that help tribes create opportunities for their citizens and ensure that women and youth voices are included in shaping impactful policies and solutions for Indian Country.
“I am passionate about listening to and working with tribal communities and advocating for their needs which is why I’m running for this position,” said Chairman Marshall Pierite. “If elected NCAI president, I will use the platform to improve the lives of Native Americans across the country. As Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, I know, firsthand, the difficulties of leading a smaller Tribal community and thus, will work tirelessly to ensure all of our communities, no matter the size, are equally represented in NCAI.”
Pierite’s campaign priorities include strengthening tribal sovereignty at every level of government, expanding programs of support and opportunity for women and youth and protecting the environment by addressing climate change and advocating for sustainable energy. Chairman Pierite also plans to guide NCAI to be a better organization for Indian Country through accountability, accessibility and transparency. Pierite wants to unify Indian Country by “not competing with each other but by completing each other.”
Under Pierite’s leadership, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe has focused heavily on the language program, partnering with Tulane University’s Linguistics Department to collaborate on the revitalization of the Tunica language. Working with graduate students from Tulane, the Tribe has produced an updated Tunica dictionary and is near competition of the Tunica Language Textbook, which will be a vital resource in teaching and preserving the Tunica language.
“I have full confidence in Chairman Pierite. His leadership of our Tribe has been steadfast, progressive and effective,” said Vice Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe, Marshall Ray Sampson Sr. “His candidacy not only means a lot to our Tribe, but it would also mean so much for Avoyelles Parish and Central Louisiana. The support of our local community is what allows us to continue to be successful and the community’s support during this election would be a driving force behind his potential success.”
In his 30 years of service to the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe, Chairman Pierite has served in every capacity on the Tribal Government including Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Council Member and Director of the Social Services Department. His work has focused on government operations, budgeting and economic development and community advancement.
Additionally, as the Tribe’s Chairman, Pierite overhauled the Tunica-Biloxi ethics code to guarantee transparency and accountability for all levels of Tribal leadership. He’s ensured and maintained the rich, diverse economic portfolio of the Tribe, including MobiLoans, Acacia Entertainment and Paragon Casino Resort. Pierite has also made Tribal youth a top priority, creating culturally-relevant and far-reaching youth programming, including a Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Youth Council. Furthermore, as Chairman, his mission has been to create a ‘nation of many’ by better engaging Tunica-Biloxi Tribal members in other areas of the country, including Houston and Chicago. Each of his ventures align with his promise of creating unity through shared values of love, respect and trust.
“Under Marshall Pierite’s leadership, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe has made a huge impact on the local Marksville community as well as the state as a whole,” said Lora Ann Chaisson, Houma Nation Tribal Council Member. “Marshall is an incredible leader and driving force in our state. I have no doubt that he would serve as an excellent president for NCAI and a voice for Native Americans across the country.”
To follow Chairman Pierite on Facebook, click here. For more information on Chairman Marshall Pierite, visit – https://www.tunicabiloxi.org/tribal-info/tribal-council/. A campaign website and social media accounts will be launched in the coming week with more information on Pierite’s campaign.
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