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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


March 8, 2003 - Issue 82


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National Congress of American Indians Receives $25,000 Contribution from Nike, Inc. to Help Fund the Intern and Fellowship Program


WASHINGTON, D.C. -The nation's oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native advocacy organization in the United States, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), today announced it had received a $25,000 contribution from Nike to help fund its intern and fellowship program.

The NCAI will accept the contribution at a ceremony on Tuesday evening at the Nike Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C. The ceremony is being held in conjunction with the NCAI Executive Council Winter Session, which has drawn hundreds of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the nation's capitol. NCAI president Tex G. Hall, executive director Jacqueline L. Johnson and members of the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will attend the ceremony.

"We thank Nike for investing in the future of Indian Country by supporting NCAI's Intern and Fellowship programs," said NCAI president Tex G. Hall.

"This contribution helps ensure opportunities to participate for the wealth of emerging young talent who are looking to become future leaders."

NCAI fellows and interns gain experience working on the front lines of legislative action and policy development. NCAI offers internships for American Indian and Alaska Native students who are currently enrolled in an institution of higher learning and who wish to spend a semester or summer internship at NCAI. Fellowships of 11 months are also available for individuals with an undergraduate or graduate degree. Nike's contribution of $25,000 will help to support program administration and stipend costs. More information is available at

"Nike is proud to support the NCAI," said Sam McCracken, manager of Native American Business for Nike and a member of the Ft. Peck tribes (Sioux and Assiniboine) in northeastern Montana. "The experiences that these young adults will gain through the intern and fellowship program are invaluable."

Sam McCracken was a key figure in the development of Nike's Native American Diabetes program, which was honored in 2002 at the fourth annual National Congress of American Indians Leadership Awards Banquet.

Nike began its Native American Diabetes Prevention Program in 2000. Working closely with the diabetes program coordinators of nearly 60 tribal agencies, Nike provides product for their fitness promotion programs and partners with these tribes to provide mentoring and recreational events for the tribal population.

Notah Begay III, a successful Native American PGA professional golfer, is a spokesman for the program and works directly with several tribes. He mentors kids* about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, while encouraging them to stay in school and follow their dreams.

Nike is also a sponsor of WINGS of America, a youth development program* aimed at American Indian youth across the United States and Canada. At WINGS, running serves as a vehicle for leadership, self-esteem, wellness and cultural pride among youth ages 5-14.

  • NikeGO: To encourage and enable kids to lead healthy, active lives, Nike has developed NikeGO, a grassroots community affairs program with a mission to increase physical activity in youth. NikeGO offers thousands of kids the motivation to discover the joy of movement and physical activity. For more information about NikeGO, visit

Based in Beaverton, Oregon, NIKE, Inc., is the world's leading designer and marketer of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. For more information, visit

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