The National Congress of American Indians
TITLE: Call upon Food and Nutrition Service to Remedy Food Shortages in the Food Distribution on Indian Reservations Program and Purchase Traditional Foods for Food Packages
WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Congress of American Indians of the United States, invoking the divine blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants the inherent sovereign rights of our Indian nations, rights secured under Indian treaties and agreements with the United States, and all other rights and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise promote the health, safety and welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and
WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments; and
WHEREAS, diet-related diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity are near epidemic proportions on most Indian reservations; and
WHEREAS, American Indian and Alaska Native citizens in over 270 tribes rely on the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservation (FDPIR) food packages to meet their daily food needs and FDPIR has seen a sustained rise in participants since October 2013; and
WHEREAS, the sustained rise of participants in the program, coupled with the budget and management of the FDPIR program, has caused irregular food purchases and shortages of foods normally available in the food package; and
WHEREAS, our traditional foods have great potential to address the current health conditions of American Indian and Alaska Native citizens and that it is important that FDPIR participants have access to the traditional foods for their health, well-being, and nutrition; and
WHEREAS, the Congress, through the 2014 Agricultural Act and the previous Farm Bills has authorized the purchase of traditional foods in the FDPIR program.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI does hereby call on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to immediately and completely restore FDPIR food packages and that USDA use all available authorities to ensure that food shortages are immediately remedied and that currently unavailable foods be secured for the food package for FDPIR; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI additionally calls for all traditional foods to become a permanent part of the FDPIR food package and that those foods be purchased from Native American-owned companies and producers; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.
The foregoing resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2014 Mid-Year Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Dena'ina Civic & Convention Center, June 8-11, 2014 in Anchorage, Alaska, with a quorum present.