Three Affiliated Tribes participate in inaugural events

Staff reports
2/3/09

WASHINGTON – Members of the Three Affiliated Tribes attended the American Indian inaugural activities which took place for the 44th United States President Barack Obama.

Chairman Marcus D. Levings wished to express thanks to Democratic North Dakota Senators Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad, in addition to Representative Earl Pomeroy for extending tickets to the TAT Business Council and individuals from the Three Tribes so they could witness a momentous part of America’s history.

Levings said crowds had already reached maximum capacity in certain viewing areas and even though he, and many others, had tickets to attend the swearing-in ceremony, they unfortunately were unable to. Several viewing area entrances were closed to thousands of ticketholders by 8 a.m. the morning of the inauguration. However, the National Museum of the American Indian had viewing spots reserved specifically for tribal leaders and tribal representatives to witness the swearing-in ceremonies from the NMAI conference rooms, which is where many gathered to witness Obama taking his oath of office.

Special activities hosted by the American Indian Society of Washington, D.C. included a pow wow, an inaugural ball and a social brunch the day after the main inaugural activities.

Levings was accompanied by Councilman Scott Eagle of New Town, Councilman Barry Benson of Twin Buttes and Mandan Tribal Elder Edwin Benson. Glenda Rush was involved locally as the Native Vote Campaign coordinator, encouraging many tribal people to vote in the presidential elections, in addition to state and county elections. Alyce Spotted Bear of the Fort Berthold Community College was also involved locally as the tribal coordinator for the Obama Campaign, encouraging all Democrats to support Obama in his journey to presidency. Both Rush and Spotted Bear attended the major activities as a conclusion to their hard work and efforts. Spotted Bear served as the Three Affiliated Tribes Chairwoman from 1982-1986.

In addition to participating in the presidential inaugural activities, Levings, Benson, Eagle and Stella Berquist, TAT Minne-Tohe Health Center CEO met with Robert McSwain, acting director of IHS in Rockville, Md. to discuss funding and policy concerns for the Minne-Tohe Health Center.

United Tribes Technical College also participated in the 2009 Inaugural Parade and tribal members representing the Three Affiliated Tribes in the parade group included: Alyssa Alberts, Miss Indian Nations XVI; Dustin Krueger, U.S. Army National Guard; Justin Fox, U.S. Army Veteran of the War in Iraq; Carlisle Mahto, U.S. Marine Veteran; Vonnie Alberts, Miss Indian Nations Chaperone and Lawrence Baker, Sidrick Baker, Rylan Baker and Phil Reeves, all of drum group. The 4 Bears Casino and Lodge served as a major sponsor for the jackets for the UTTC parade.

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