TULSA, OKLAHOMA – The Governors’ Interstate Indian Council (GIIC), designed to address issues of state-tribal relations, reinforce the importance of networking, and provide opportunities and strategies to work cooperatively, convened on September 27, with two DHHL staff, Dre Kalili and Niniau Simmons, along with Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Rowena Akana representing the State of Hawaii. Governor Neil Abercrombie designated these three delegates to participate in the GIIC 64th Annual General Assembly in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Annual General Assembly is the primary gathering of officials and staff, designated by each state’s governor, from Native Affairs state departments or agencies. Delegates from eight states engaged in discussion on a broad range of issues including self-governance and state-tribal interfacing, and keynote speakers addressed critical issues in Indian Country including state and tribal taxation, tourism, and advocacy. The delegates also adopted Resolution 2013-01, “Supporting Native Hawaiian Self-Determination” that affirms the GIIC’s commitment to protecting the rights of Native Hawaiians and supports efforts to reaffirm Native Hawaiian self-determination. At the conclusion of the conference, the three delegates from the State of Hawaii were elected to the Council’s Board of Directors. Maika’i no!
The mission of the GIIC is to promote and enhance government to government relations between the tribes and states; respect and recognize individual sovereignty of the tribes and the states; support the preservation of traditional Indian culture, language and values; and encourage socioeconomic development aimed at tribal self-sufficiency.