TO THE FELLOWSHIP OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
The 23rd NAI-AA Convention Committee would like to extend an invitation to all AA members around the
world to come and celebrate with us our 23rd Annual NAI-AA Convention. The NAI-AA Convention started
23 years ago at the Hacienda Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was held there for the 2nd and 3rd Conventions as well. The
early Conventions had attendance in excess of 1,000 members. The 4th and 5th Conventions were held
in Rapid City, South Dakota. The 6th was held in Seattle, Washington. The 7th, 8th and 9th were held in
Reno, Nevada. The 10th, 11th and 12th were held in Mesquite, Nevada. The 13th was held in Burbank,
California. The 14th was held at Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 15th was held at St. Paul, Minnesota. The
16th was held in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The 17th was held in Billings, Montana. The 18th was held in
Albuquerque, New Mexico. The 19th was held in Green Bay, Wisconsin and the 20th and 21st were held in Las
The 22nd was held in Ft. McDowell, Arizona.
The Convention started in 1991 as the result of a vision experienced by a Paiute Indian man by the name
of Earl L. The purpose of the NAI-AA Convention is to carry the message of Alcoholics Anonymous to the
Native Indian people by organizing an Annual Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous. With the realization
that few natives would realistically make the trip to Las Vegas to hear the beautiful messages of hope and
recovery; the 1993 NAI-AA Convention planning committee voted to make the Convention a travelling
Convention. By 1993, the committee voted to take the message of Alcoholics Anonymous to the people.
The Convention has been travelling and reaching out to the Tribes of this country with a message of hope
that life can be lived without the use of alcohol and that recovery from Alcoholism is possible using the 12
steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
A travelling Convention has been financially difficult to maintain but with all the help from volunteers, the
travelling Convention has survived. The average attendance on the road has been around 300-400
members per Convention. The smallest was 179 two days after the 911 attack. The committee has four
executive positions and numerous sub-committee volunteers to work the Conventions. Because of travel
demands, the Executive Committee is responsible to make sure the Convention continues to prosper.
The volunteers may change each year as the Convention moves to a different location, which we are very
grateful for their service work in the past, present and future. The 23rd Annual NAI-AA Convention would
not be possible if it were not for the support of local AA communities both Native and Non-Native AA
members, the support of our faithful followers that keep coming back and all newcomers who keep the
program going. The NAI-AA Convention Planning Committee has tried to keep the Convention a Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous because of "the tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action."* The intention of the committee is to stay in line with the traditions and principles of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The Convention fees and costs are set according to the total cost of the Convention which
includes the meeting room rentals, round trip airline fees and lodging for AA speakers, printing and flyer
costs, postage for all mailings, maintenance of our website, etc. The actual total cost of the banquet
includes an automatic 22% service fee + 8.5% tax (South Dakota).
We need to sell roughly 400 banquet tickets to help pay for the 23rd Convention, if we are below this
number we will be struggling to make ends meet. If you want to know how we are doing, feel free to ask
any Committee Member how many tickets have been sold to date. If we clear 400 banquet tickets, we are
Remember this is YOUR event, attendance is the key. Any event that does not have support dies. The
Convention lives because YOU support it and keep it going. You may also buy a meal ticket for the Al-
Anon brunch to help them with their costs; remember they have been there for us, as well. If you really
want to help the Convention please pre-register, buy banquet/brunch tickets and stay at the host hotel and you may choose to sponsor another alcoholic’s registration and meal tickets.
There have been many changes in Native communities since 1991. There are currently more AA
meetings on Native American and First Nations Reservations then any other time in AA history. Many
areas have their own major AA activities, conventions, conferences, campouts, roundups, etc. There
have been several AA Forums on Native Reservations with the entire New York General Services Office
Staff participation, a first in AA history. There have been updates to AA Literature targeted for Native
use. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous Fourth Edition has changed the Native stories to reflect a
more modern accurate snapshot of Native American culture. More Native groups are registering with the
General Services Office in New York. At the 2000 Minneapolis, Minnesota World AA Convention, Natives
were included in the World Family of Alcoholics Anonymous. For the first time in AA history, a Native
American Indian, Harold Y. (dec.), a Lakota from Pine Ridge, South Dakota led the 2000 Parade of Flags.
He carried an Eagle Staff representing all the Native Peoples of the world. In 2005, at the World
Convention in Toronto, Canada, a 6 Nations Reserve First Nations Native by the name of Roger L. (dec.)
led the Parade of Flags with an Eagle Staff and posted it along with the other Flags of the World. Also, for
the first time in AA history, a Native American, Rod B., a Navajo from Salt Lake City Utah, currently serves as the Pacific Regional Trustee, which means he is one of the 21 Trustees of the
General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous. The General Service Board is entrusted to manage the two corporations of Alcoholics Anonymous, AAWS (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services), Inc. and the Grapevine, Inc. There are two Native panels at the AA World
Convention, 6 to 8 selected individuals carrying the messages of Alcoholics Anonymous to the world.
There is a Native hospitality suite at the world Convention. The International Native American and First
Nations communities have been accepted by the world fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Gratitude goes out to all AA members Non-Native and Native who have extended a helping hand; YOU have made all these changes possible by carrying the message of Alcoholics Anonymous. Thank You.
PLEASE JOIN US FOR OUR 23rd NAI-AA CONVENTION
(*Reprinted from the Big Book, page 17 with permission of AAWS, Inc.)