National Congress of American Indians
Mark Macarro is a leader in California’s American Indian community. He is serving his 14th year as tribal chairman for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. Mark Macarro concurrently serves on the board of governors for the National Congress of the American Indians (NCAI).
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the nation’s oldest organization representing the interests of American Indians and Native peoples. It advocates for beneficial policies and initiatives on a consensus basis, considering the viewpoints and concerns of tribes and tribal governments throughout the United States.
While the NCAI routinely fights against discriminatory and inflammatory conduct, it does not typically respond to name calling and inflammatory dialogue in politics. In May 2017, however, the wholly bi-partisan organization released a statement condemning particularly insensitive remarks made by the nation’s president.
President Trump used the name Pocahontas as an insult to attack Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of his political opponents. Stakeholders at the NCAI object to the use of her name as a racial slur. Pocahontas was a real American Indian, and her legacy is very important to the Pamunkey Indian Tribe in particular. The NCAI statement condemns this behavior and expresses hope that the current administration will work positively with American Indian stakeholders in the future.
Pechanga TANF Program
Mark Macarro serves as tribal chairman for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians in Temecula, California. Currently in his 14th year as chairman, Mark Macarro is a respected leader in the local community.
The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians can trace its roots in California’s Temecula Valley back more than 10,000 years, and the band is one of seven that calls the area home. They have persisted through considerable adversity, from massacres to evictions to discriminatory legislation. Today, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians provides a wealth of valuable cultural and community services in the greater Temecula area.
These valuable services include the Pechanga TANF Program, a service that supports families from low-income backgrounds. This program is dedicated to promoting traditional two-parent families and helping those families become self-sufficient. To this end, it offers assistance with childcare and employment as well as providing some cash aid.
Qualifying families must live within the Pechanga Indian Reservation, have children, and meet financial guidelines. To learn more about these and other services available, visit: www.pechanga-nsn.gov.
Native American Rights Fund
For more than a decade, Mark Macarro has served the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians as elected councilman and tribal chairman. Dedicated to tribal advocacy, Mark Macarro sits on the board of the Native American Rights Fund (NARF).
For more than four decades, NARF has provided legal counsel to help Native individuals and groups need to uphold their rights. Concurrent to this important work, the organization has focused much of its attention on sustainability. Through its Green Office Committee, NARF continually tracks its environmental impact at its main headquarters and two regional facilities in areas such as waste minimization and paper and energy use. In 2010, the organization also began working with the non-profit Trees, Water, & People to neutralize the carbon emissions that it produced due to its resource consumption.
As a result of these efforts, NARF has been able to reduce its paper and electric use with each passing year. In addition, the organization achieved a perfect balance of CO2 production and offsets in 2016.
In the same year, these impressive results helped NARF receive recognition from a number of sustainability organizations. Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE) named the organization’s Boulder, Colorado headquarters as a Certified Partner for its dedication to scaling down its waste. Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bestowed upon NARF headquarters its EnergyStar certificate and awarded it an impressive sustainability score of 93 percent.
Native American Rights Fund
The tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians in Temecula, California, Mark Macarro has offered significant contributions in making tribal gaming acceptable to the public. Mark Macarro serves as a board member of the Native Americans Rights Fund (NARF).
NARF is the biggest and oldest nonprofit law firm committed to upholding and safeguarding the rights of Indian tribes, individuals, and organizations throughout the country. One of its five priority areas is protecting tribal natural resources. Indian lands hold a diverse range of natural resources, including timber, gas, and oil.
The government, as stated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, presently holds in trust 56.2 million acres of land for individual Indians as well as tribes. NARF’s focuses its efforts in upholding tribal resource rights and safeguarding these resources from destruction and misuse by non-Indians. Among the major resources the organization protects include water rights, land rights, fishing and hunting rights, judicious development of mineral resources, and environmental rights.