The 71st annual convention of the National Congress of American Indians was marred by allegations against Treasurer Dennis Welsh on Thursday.
Jefferson Keel, the lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation, came to the floor with a troubling account of an incident that occurred in Atlanta, Georgia. He said Welsh threatened several people with acts of violence and intimidated a group of young women on Wednesday evening.
“This brings great discredit upon the organization," Keel, a former president of NCAI, said yesterday. Keel said Welsh was apparently "intoxicated" when it happened.
Acting on a motion proposed by Keel and seconded by Juana Majel-Dixon, a council member for the Pauma Band of Mission Indians who serves as co-chair of NCAI's Task Force on Violence Against Women, the organization agreed to convene a panel to investigate Welsh's behavior.
Almost immediately, the panel -- composed of all present and former NCAI presidents in attendance at the convention -- went into a private session at the Hyatt Regency to discuss the situation. They promised to come back with recommendations this morning -- the final day of the week-long event -- about Welsh's future.
"The committee will include president Jefferson Keel, president Ron Allen, president Joe Garcia and myself to review this," Brian Cladoosby, NCAI's current president, said yesterday.
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