Kilmer, Allen Recognized By National Native American Organization

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Derek Kilmer and W. Ron Allen, chairman and CEO of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe of Blyn, have received special awards from the National Congress of American Indians.

Kilmer, whose 6th Congressional District covers 11 Native American tribes, was given the 2020 Congressional Leadership Award for his work in creating economic opportunity in tribal communities and advocating for reforms to ensure the federal government is more responsive to tribal needs, said the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).

“Derek Kilmer has always been a man of the highest integrity and character,” said Allen, who has served as president, first vice-president and, most recently, as treasurer of the NCAI board.

“Early in his life he wanted to understand tribes and our cultures — not just in the northwest corner of Washington state but throughout Indian Country,” Allen said in a press release.

“Even though he is in the early phases of his career in Congress, he has already had an enormous positive impact. He is a friend of the tribes and is making a difference.”

Allen received a special recognition award at the presentation Tuesday for not only his more than 40 years as chairman of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe but also for his work nationally for all tribes.

He has served in a variety of “other boards and leadership positions to help address a variety of issues important to Indian Country such as the budget, fisheries, and government parity,” the NCAI said on its website at www.ncai.org.

NCAI officials said that Kilmer, a Democrat from Gig Harbor, had shown leadership in pushing for the 2018 report, “Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans,” authored by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which examines the federal government’s failure to meet treaty and trust responsibilities to Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

Kilmer was also recognized for his leadership on the Appropriations Committee as well as his commitment to supporting legislation that respects tribal sovereignty and creates parity for tribal communities within existing federal laws.

“Each of the sovereign nations I represent has their own unique culture, traditions and stories that add important threads to the fabric of our region and our nation,” Kilmer said in the press release.

“Their willingness to share their stories, to educate me, to work with me to build a brighter future, gives me hope.”

Kilmer’s office noted that the NCAI is “the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the interests of tribal governments and communities.”

Source: Peninsula Daily News