May 23, 2009

NCAI moves to Embassy Row

American Indians open D.C. embassy of their own

By Krista J. KapralosDozens of countries have embassies in Washington, D.C. Beginning next week, that number will increase by about 560, when an embassy representing American Indian tribes opens its doors.

The National Congress of American Indians, a longtime advocate for tribes, is moving this weekend from its rented space to an $8 million mansion near the capital's Embassy Row, said Adam McMullin, a spokesman for the group. The new building will be called the Hall of Indian Nations.

The embassy signals a new era for tribes, said Ron Allen, NCAI secretary and chairman of the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe on the Olympic Peninsula.

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

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