PIERRE, S.D. – On Oct. 3, delegates to the Governor’s Interstate Indian Council (GIIC) in Orlando, Florida, elected South Dakota Tribal Relations Secretary Steve Emery to serve as vice president for 2017-2018.
The GIIC General Assembly comes together each year to discuss issues relating to self-governance, state-tribal relations and critical issues in Indian Country.
“The Governor’s Interstate Indian Council is a great opportunity to meet with peers and discuss best practices and challenges,” said Secretary Emery. “I am honored to have been elected as vice president of GIIC.”
The GIIC, formed in 1949, currently has 39 member states and includes state Indian affairs offices, commissions and departments from across the country. Their mission is to promote and enhance government to government relations between the tribes and states; respect and recognize individual sovereignty of the tribes and the state; support the preservation of traditional Indian culture, language, and values; and encourage socioeconomic development aimed at tribal self-sufficiency. According to the Federal Register there are currently 567 federally recognized tribes throughout the United States.
Council delegates elected Nealie McCormick, chairman of Georgia’s Council on American Indian Concerns, as GIIC president; Sherry Rupert, executive director of Nevada’s Indian Commission, as treasurer; and Sally Tuttle, chairwoman of Indiana’s Native American Affairs Commission, as secretary.