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NCAI often releases policy papers on key topics, legislation, and milestones related to Indian Country. These policy papers are provided to inform tribal leaders, the general public, and members of the media about these aspects of NCAI’s work


Most Recent Policy Papers

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Tribal Workforce Development: A Decision-Framing Toolkit

NCAI's Partnership for Tribal Governance (PTG) is pleased to announce the release of its new Tribal Workforce Development toolkit for tribal leaders and key decision-makers! Check out the toolkit here, and connect with PTG for guidance on how your nations can use it!

Jun 06, 2018

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VAWA 2013's Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction Five-Year Report

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has released a new report summarizing results of the first five years of tribal government-expanded criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians under the tribal provisions of the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA 2013).

Mar 20, 2018

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2018 Executive Council Winter Session Policy Update

Indian Country’s strong voice and tireless advocacy on the issues that impact our tribal communities will be crucial. Working together, we can advance tribal priorities that will ultimately improve the lives and well-being of tribal citizens. At NCAI, we are humbled for the continued partnership and support as we conduct our advocacy on behalf of Indian Country.

Feb 12, 2018

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2016-2017 Annual Report: "We Are Strong Nations"

EVERYTHING THE POWER OF THE WORLD DOES IS DONE IN A CIRCLE. In the old days all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation; and so long as the hoop was unbroken, People flourished.

Oct 16, 2017

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2017 Annual Policy Update

This year has shown how important it is for Indian Country to have a strong voice and advocacy strategy on those issues that impact our tribal communities. It takes all of us – Tribal Nations, NCAI, our regional partners, issue organizations, and members to ensure that tribal priorities are advanced at the tribal, federal, state and local level.

Oct 16, 2017

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2017 Mid Year Policy Update

January of 2017 marked the beginning of the Trump Administration and the 115th Congress and the first time both the Congress and the White House have been Republican-controlled in a decade. Presidential transitions always have an impact on policy, not only in the Administration but also in the Congress, as early legislative priorities are often centered on action around the President’s goals for the first 100 days in office. This has been the case as most of the major policy initiatives have centered on priorities put forth by the President during the campaign and in filling key Cabinet positions.

Jun 10, 2017

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NCAI Analysis of the FY 2018 President's Budget

This broadcast provides a preliminary analysis of the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget request, highlighting impacts on funding for Indian programs. Appropriations committees have already held hearings on the outline of the proposals. NCAI urges tribal leaders to review the proposals in the President’s budget and voice support for tribal programs with direct communication to the Appropriations Committee and Subcommittee leadership and members in both the House and Senate.

May 24, 2017


NCAI Infrastructure in Indian Country Report

The following initial report presents a data-supported sampling of the nature and gravity of the unmet infrastructure needs that Indian Country currently faces, and the vast economic promise that Tribal Nations can unlock when properly resourced and properly equipped with the right instruments for self-determined, effective action. It is intended to serve as foundational context for the emerging dialogue between Tribal Nations and the new Administration and Congress about how best to revitalize and empower the infrastructure of Indian Country and the nation as a whole, and the seminal role that Tribal Nations can and should play as primary decision-making partners in this process.

Apr 06, 2017

ICWA Lexi Case Update

Last Friday, a California Court of Appeals affirmed, upon its third review, a lower Court’s decision to place an American Indian child named Lexi, an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, with her extended family in Utah. The court’s decision is an affirmation of the fundamental principles of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), that the preference for placement with family members is strong and is in the best interests of children, and that good cause to deviate from those preferences should be found only in unusual cases, not through application of a generalized “best interest” standard.

Jul 12, 2016

2016 Mid Year Policy Update

This "Policy Update" was released at NCAI's 2016 Mid Year Conference in Spokane, Washington.

Jun 30, 2016

NCAI FY 2017 Indian Country Budget Request

This NCAI FY 2017 Indian Country Budget Request developed in coordination with national tribal organizations and tribal partners offers recommendations for ways the federal government should meet its trust responsibility to Indian Country.

Jan 20, 2016

Analysis of Cities and Towns inside Reservations

This analysis includes the overall population, both Indian and non-Indian, living in towns/cities inside reservations, as well as square mileage. According to the Census data in these analyses, there are hundreds of towns and cities within the boundaries of reservations that are predominantly populated by non-Indians.

Dec 18, 2015

FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations

The House and Senate Appropriations committees filed a $1.15 trillion FY2016 omnibus spending bill early Wednesday morning. The bill (HR 2029, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016) rolls all twelve of the regular spending bills into one, providing updated funding and guidance to federal agencies through Sept. 30, 2016. The Interior-Environment bill funds the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Indian Health Service (IHS), among other tribal programs. The Labor-Health and Human Services bill funds SAMHSA, Administration for Children and Families, and Department of Education. The links to explanatory statements for relevant divisions of the bill are below.

Dec 16, 2015