TITLE: Calling For Action to Address the 2013 Reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
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, NCAI advocates for significant amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; and
WHEREAS, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) is federal legislation that governs fisheries off the coast of the United States from three nautical miles to two hundred nautical miles; and
WHEREAS, the fisheries and marine resources off the coast and along the river systems of the United States are important for; sources of nutrition, cultural heritage, and commercial economy to federally recognized tribes; and
WHEREAS, the commercial fisheries off the coast of the United States are also important by providing jobs and contribute to the economy of our Nation.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NCAI calls on the immediate consultation between congress, the White House and federally recognized tribes to address the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI advocates for the following amendments to the MSA;
1. Strengthen the Act to fully recognize conflicts of interest and prohibit voting on issues where a Council member has a conflict
2. Authorize sufficient funds for tribal consultation process for both the regional councils and the National Marine Fisheries Service
3. Language pertaining to conservation will be strengthened in the Act’s National Standards by removing “where practicable” and “to the extent practicable”
4. Increase representation on Regional Councils to include voting seats for federally recognized tribes or appointed officials from tribal governments; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI work across the board with congress, the White House, American Indian/Alaska Native tribes and tribal organizations, non-governmental organizations to achieve amendments to the MSA; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.