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NTAA - National Tribal Forum on Air Quality (NTFAQ)

NTFAQ 2012

2012 National Tribal Forum Brings Togther Tribal Air Professionals from Far and Wide
The National Tribal Forum formally began on a wonderfully hot day in Tulsa Oklahoma on Tuesday, May 22, 2012. However, due to the loss of Angel McCormack our friend a few days before the start of the NTFAQ, the conference was held in her honor to celebrate her and her many contributions to Tribal Air Programs.

There were sessions held on Monday, prior to the official start of the conference and these various sessions were on topics such as Tribal consultation and indoor air quality. The sessions were attended by several early participants. This optional day ended with site visits to the Tar Creek Superfund site at Quapaw Nation and second choice to visit the Cherokee Nation's NCOR monitoring site.

Cherokee Nation hosted a spectacular event at their own Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The opening prayer was delivered by Mr. Larry Scrapper, Cherokee Nation Environmental Program and opening remarks were delivered by Ondrea Barber, NTAA Program Director along with Ann Marie Chischilly, Esq. Executive Director of ITEP.

The NTAA Executive Committee then delivered a new 2012 Tribal Priorities presentation with perspectives from both the national and regional levels. A question and answer session was held to solicit more feedback from NTFAQ attendees.

NTAA Executive Committee at 2012 NTF
The NTAA Executive Committee Delivers the 2012 Tribal Priorities at the NTFAQ.

Also during the first day, a conversation was held between Tribes and EPA Leadership. In attendance were Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, Janet McCabe Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, Greg Green, Office of Air Quality Planing and Standards, Jeff Besougloff, AIEO and Annabelle Allison, CDC/ASTDR.

The break out sessions were well attended and topics during the tree day conference focused on topical areas such as policy and regulations, technical and outreach, indoor air quality and climate change. The days were jam packed with information and events for all attendees.

The second day, the Eco-Cafe was held and it appeared that many attendees enjoyed the change to network and to interact with presenters. Directly after the Eco-Cafe, the Virgil Masayesva Award Ceremony was held along with a special drum song for Angel McCormack.

Brandy Toft of Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and NTAA's own Vice-Char was the recipient of the award.

Brandy Toft 2012 Recipient of the Virgil Masayesva Award
Brandy Toft 2012 Recipient of the Virgil
Masayesva Award

Bill, Gina, and Darrel

The final day of the conference had NTAA member Tribes meeting for a working lunch to hear more about NTAA offerings and to interact with their NTAA Regional Representatives on the Executive Committee.

Overall, the conference appeared to be a hit with attendees and there was much information shared during the week. Look for a potential site for the 2013 NTFAQ to be in Arizona. See you there in 2013!