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Guest Speakers Named for Governor’s Native American Summit – 26 July 2013

For immediate release                      

26 July 2013

Guest Speakers Named for Governor’s Native American Summit


SALT LAKE CITY — The Division of Indian Affairs, in partnership with Utah Valley University, is proud to announce Annette Nikki Borchardt, Xavier Garcia and Elsie Meeks as its guest speakers for the 8th Annual Governor’s Native American Summit (Aug. 14-15 at Utah Valley University).
Governor Gary Herbert, who started this event eight years ago while he was Lieutenant Governor, will be the keynote speaker on the first day (Aug. 14). Lt. Governor Greg Bell will serve as summit host.

Annette Nikki Borchardt, is a successful attorney and a member of the Indian Peaks Band of Paiutes. She holds a Juris Doctor degree and a Certificate in Indian Law from Arizona State University College of Law. Borchardt also holds a B.A. and M.A. in Cultural and Social Anthropology from Stanford University, where she graduated with honors. She has worked in many aspects of Indian law, including cultural property and cultural heritage issues.

Xavier Garcia is a member of the Cedar Band of Paiutes. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Cedar Band Corporation and on its Audit and Finance Committee. He also works both as a wild land firefighter and lead supervisor of the Cedar Band’s Drug Elimination Program. Garcia also directs an after-school tutoring program for Paiute children and young adults. He has earned a Bachelor in Business Management from Southern Utah University.

Elsie Meeks was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama as state director of USDA Rural Development in South Dakota. Prior to her appointment, Meeks was the president and CEO of First Nations Oweesta Corporation, a Native asset and wealth-building organization. She has over 20 years of experience working in Native community development.

Meeks will be speaking on the first day (Aug. 14). Borchardt and Garcia will be speaking on the second day (Aug. 15).

The Governor’s Native American Summit provides a forum for Utah’s American Indian population to network with state agencies and other organizations, and more importantly, a chance to strengthen relationships with the eight Sovereign Tribal Nations of Utah.

The Governor’s Native American Summit will be held August 14-15, 2013 at Utah Valley University. Please register at:

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