On November 26, Turkish Ambassador Namik Tan hosted for the second year in a row a reception celebrating Native American Heritage Month. The event was co-hosted by TCA, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), and National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) with support from the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD).
Ambassador Tan praised TCA and the other partner organizations for their dedicated efforts, and expressed that this year’s program was a testament to Turkey’s growing and deepening ties with Native Americancommunities across the nation. Emphasizing that the advancement of trade andeconomic relations, as well as cultural interactions, will not only benefitTurkey and the Indian Country, but will also bring a new dimension to the “strategic partnership” between Turkey and the United States. Ambassador Tan reiterated Turkey’s determination in continuing to pursue these endeavors.
The dynamic event featured traditional Turkish performances by the Kardelen Turkish Dance Ensemble, Varol Saatcioglu, Sinan Yasar and Ahmet Kilic, and Native American performances by Keith Colson’s Dance Troupe. The event concluded with a sampling of traditional Turkish food prepared by the Embassy.
“This event highlights the importance of building global ties. If we want to see tribal nations build sustainable, economically viable communities then they must be able to become a part of the global network,” said TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy. “Turkish Americans have not only taken the initiative in building bridges between Turkey and Indian Country, but between Indian Country and other nations as well.”
Other speakers and guests included leaders from a variety of Native American and Turkish organizations, including Sherry Salway Black, NCAI Director of Partnership for Tribal Governance; Mellor Willie, Executive Director of NAIHC; and Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Indian Nation.
Several ambassadors, diplomats and Congressional staff also attended this second annual event celebrating centuries of Native American culture and the community’s growing ties with Turks and Turkish Americans.