Joseph Ray (Laguna/Zuni Pueblo, Maidu)
Elder Consumer Representative
Chair, National Congress of American Indians: Disabilities Committee
Joseph, a long-time disability advocate, has been wheelchair-bound for many years. He feels fortunate in that Laguna Pueblo’s leadership is progressive & has provided members with testing and vaccinations. At age 58, he now considers himself an elder. He was elected to the tribe’s election board in November of 2020, which was challenging, as their Dec. election was conducted entirely by absentee voting. He’s aligned with the Native American Disability Law Center in Farmington, NM, and is extensively involved in Indian country’s rationing of care which can discount disability.
He serves as chairman of the NCAI’s Disability Subcommittee. He also serves on the board of the Albququerque/N.M. Native American Voter Alliance, which is conducting an environmental justice campaign re: voter issues.
He joins the Advisory Group enthusiastically, and feels that all its goals are “great.” He feels he can offer significant experience as a stakeholder group advocate with both public health officials and health care providers. He is “continuously advocating” for long-term services and supports.