The 2018 National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA) Conference on Aging in Indian Country is just two months away, and it is the only conference which focuses exclusively on American Indian and Alaska Native Elders. The biennial conference, which will bring in 1,500 to 2,000 American Indian and Alaska Native Elders from all over the country, will be held at the stunning Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California from September 10-13, 2018.
The conference is a one-of-a-kind experience for attendees, especially for American Indian and Alaska Native Elders and those in aging organizations and communities. At the conference, attendees will learn about policy issues that are critical for Elders; learn about new programs and services that other tribal communities are developing to promote aging and support services within Indian Country and urban areas; attend workshops; participate in the elegant and culturally rich events focused on Elders, such as the Elder fashion show; and so much more. Members will also vote for new board members, vote on resolutions, and voice policy recommendations in order to help improve services to Indian Elders.
We are honored to host our event among the people now known as Luiseño Indians who have inhabited the Temecula Valley for thousands of years. They call themselves Payómkawichum (the People of the West), and are made up of seven bands: Pechanga, Pauma, Pala, Rincon, San Luis Rey, La Jolla, and Soboba. The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians has called the Temecula Valley home for more than 10,000 years. Attendees will have the pleasure to meet the Pechanga Elders and learn about their local Silver Feathers – Elders’ Council and the significant role they continue to hold within their tribal community.
NICOA, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1976 by members of the National Tribal Chairmen’s Association that called for a national organization focused on aging American Indian and Alaska Native Elders. The mission of NICOA is to advocate for improved comprehensive health, social services, and economic wellbeing for American Indian and Alaska Native Elders.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.