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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

2015 Mid Year Policy Update

This "Policy Update" was released at NCAI's 2015 Mid Year Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Jun 24, 2015

2015 Executive Council Winter Session Policy Update

Released in conjunction with NCAI’s 2015 Executive Council Winter Session, the “Policy Update” provides an overview, legislative updates, and administrative updates for a range of areas including: land and natural resources; economic/community development; public safety; human resources/social services; tribal governance; infrastructure; appropriations; international issues; and White House initiatives.

Feb 19, 2015

FY 2016 Indian Country Budget Requests: Promoting Self-Determination, Modernizing the Trust Relationship

This NCAI FY 2016 Budget Request offers recommendations for ways the federal government, partnering with tribes, should meet the educational needs of Indian youth; provide adequate health care via the Indian Health Service, for both direct and self-governance tribes; ensure responsible resource development for the future; provide safe and secure tribal communities; and supply the long-term investments in tribal public infrastructure and services required to ensure every American Indian and Alaska Native enjoys a decent quality of life and has an opportunity to succeed.

Jan 22, 2015


Tribal Nations and the United States: An Introduction

The guide "Tribal Nations and the United States: An Introduction" developed by the National Congress of American Indians seeks to provide a basic overview of the history and underlying principles of tribal governance. The guide also provides introductory information about tribal governments and American Indian and Alaska Native people today.

Jan 15, 2015

NCAI Tribal Transportation Report

Transportation infrastructure development is critical to economic development, job creation, and improving living conditions for individuals and families in American Indian/Alaska Native communities, and the millions of Americans who travel through our reservations every day.

Nov 13, 2013

Ending the Legacy Of Racism in Sports & the Era of Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascots

The report details a range of issues: the harm stereotypes have on Native Youth and the overwhelming support for ending harmful mascots by organizations, tribal governments, the NCAA, high schools, community groups, and individuals. The report also reviews in depth the well-documented legacy of racism in the Washington football team’s history, including factual rebuttals to the Washington football team’s false claims that NCAI leadership at one point endorsed the use of the “Redsk*ns” mascot.

Oct 10, 2013

Analysis of the Sequester: Betraying the Trust Responsibility and Slowing Tribal Progress

If Congress does not replace or avert the sequester scheduled for March 1, 2013, forced spending cuts will undermine the trust, treaty, and statutory obligations to tribal governments that are funded in the federal budget. Not only would it sacrifice the federal trust responsibility to tribes, but it would thwart tribes’ ability to promote economic growth or plan for the benefit of future generations. The Office of Management and Budget estimates the effective percentage reduction will be approximately nine percent for non-defense programs because the reduction will be implemented over the remaining seven months of the fiscal year (FY).

Feb 27, 2013


Securing Our Futures Report

Released in conjunction with the 2013 State of Indian Nations, this report shows areas where tribes are exercising their sovereignty right now, diversifying their revenue base, and bringing economic success to their nations and surrounding communities. The path to securing our future – from education to food security, climate change to workforce development – is illuminated by the proven success of tribal nations. While the circumstances of each tribal nation are unique, the promising practices contained in the report offer a way forward to secure tribal economies and sustain prosperity for future generations.

Feb 14, 2013

Policy Insights Brief - Statistics on Violence Against Native Women

In this Policy Insights Brief, the NCAI Policy Research Center synthesizes available data on violence against Native women to guide policy decision-making and media reporting. This brief aims to provide detail on previously reported statistics and original sources of data used often in policy discussions.

Feb 06, 2013

Voter ID Laws & the Native Vote

Native American Voting & "States of Concern" Report. Alaska. Alaska, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin Identified as States of Concern for Native Voter Access. Voter protection efforts increased in Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

Oct 15, 2012

Honoring the Trust Responsibility in the Federal Budget - September 18, 2012

Congress will soon debate how to avoid the "fiscal cliff," the term for a series of deadlines at the end of 2012 when tax cuts expire and automatic spending cuts – known as sequestration - will take effect. The Congressional Budget Office warned Congress that doing nothing could lead to another recession. Decision-makers should avoid any more harmful cuts to Indian programs which would threaten the health and welfare of Indian people. Under the Budget Control Act (BCA), most federal programs will face a destructive across-the-board cut of 8.2 percent in January 2013 if Congress fails to enact a plan before then to reduce the national debt by $1.2 trillion. As the nation faces critical choices about how to address the deficit while preventing another recession, tribal leaders urge decision-makers to sustain funding in ways that honor our trust, support our people, and strengthen America.

Sep 18, 2012