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to take a hand in this. It has been one of my prime projects to see an organization in existance for the American Indian. I know what- ever takes place here is going to have a bearing on meetings with the Arizona tribes to assist them in such an organization. My tribe has been what I call the "forgotten Indians". We are behind this organi- zation because there is a great many there and they are gong to bene- fit by such a great organization as this. I know they are going to be one hundred per cent behind it and see that it is good. I am surely glad to have met so many of the boys from the other tribes which I think will be very helpful in my line of work as Chairman of my tribe. The new ideas I get from the other tribes will help me in my work to get my tribe working toward the point of being independent, carrying on his own affairs as he wants them. My prime project is to get the tribe to take over its own business with out having to depend on the Indian Department or anybody else. That is the main object of the tribe to run the tribe without any assistance of any kind.That is to go out and carry on the business to such and such a place of the service with the object that they do these things without having to go through a lot of red tape that we have to go through today. My people are ready to take over the responsibility if they are given the chance. Adjourned for lunch. Minutes of the NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS Convention held in Denver, Colorado November 15 - 18, 1944 November 15, 1944 - Afternoon Session Mr. Charles E.J. Heacock opened the afternoon session by reading the following letter from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Mr. Mark L. Burns, President, National Council of American Indians 214 Federal Office Building Minneapolis l, Minnesota Dear Mr. Burns: Right off, I must express regret that seemingly it will be im- possible for me to attend the Denver convention of the National Council of American Indians. My choice would have been to accept your invitation, as I indicated to Mr. McNickle some days ago, had I not already been committed to attending the hearings in the Southwest of the Subcommittee of the House Indian Affairs Committee. My thoughts in any case will be with you, and I shall have great hopes for you. Not since the treacherous days of some twenty years ago has there been in Congress, and in some segments of public opinion, such dangers to Indians, to their property, and to their wholeness of being. I say that there is this danger, and that it is a greater danger than has existed at any time since the Harding-Coolidge era, and -6-
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