American Indian Graduate Center alumni win executive board roles in National Congress of American Indians election

The National Congress of American Indians voted in three AIGC alumni to their leadership team.

AIGC Alumnus, Aaron Payment

AIGC Alumna, Fawn Sharp

Clinton Lageson with Angelique Albert

Albuquerque, New Mexico – October 28, 2019 – Three American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) alumni were elected to the National Congress of American Indians’ executive committee last week where they will serve for the next two years.  

Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Nation, overwhelmingly won the presidency earning nearly 62% of the vote in a field of four candidates. She will serve as the organization’s 23rd president, although she is only the third woman to lead the intertribal congress. Aaron Payment, chairman of Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, was re-elected first vice president and Juana Majel-Dixon of the Pauma Band of Mission Indians was re-elected as the secretary. Clinton Lageson of the Kenaitze Tribe, friends of AIGC, ran unopposed for the treasurer position.

“AIGC is proud of our scholars representing the Native community in such an influential and impactful way. Their success is a testament to our 50-year legacy of dedication and commitment to supporting American Indian and Alaska Native students throughout their higher education journey and beyond,” said Angelique Albert, AIGC Executive Director.

“At this moment I am incredibly overwhelmed with excitement. I’m still in disbelief. But I’m also incredibly honored to be here in this place at this time,” Sharp said.

“This is a new day and a new chapter and I’m so looking forward to spending this next chapter of my leadership and calling to serve all of Indian Country.”

NCAI is organized as a representative congress of American Indians and Alaska Natives that serves to develop consensus on national priority issues that impact tribal sovereignty. Members elect their executive committee via popular vote.

About American Indian Graduate Center 

American Indian Graduate Center is a national private 501(c)(3) non-profit providing scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduate, graduate, and professional students throughout the United States. American Indian Graduate Center and American Indian Graduate Center Scholars are the largest scholarship providers to Native students in the United States. They award over $15 million in scholarships annually and have awarded more than $200 million in scholarships since inception. They are proud to empower Native students from over 500 Tribes in all 50 states through educational funding and support services.

About the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)

NCAI is a non-profit organization that advocates for a bright future for generations to come by taking the lead to gain consensus on a constructive and promising vision for Indian Country. Founded in 1944, NCAI is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaskan Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities. Their diverse membership consists of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments, tribal citizens, individuals, and Native and non-Native organizations.