TITLE: Calling on Congress to Support and Pass Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, or Similar Legislation with a Tribal Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account
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, tribal nations have been wildlife managers since timeimmemorial and many tribal governments now operate fish and wildlife programs, promote conservation and recovery of fish and wildlife, and regulate hunting and fishing within their traditional lands and areas; and
WHEREAS, tribal nations collaborate, co-manage, and partner with states on the conservation and recovery of fish and wildlife, but do not receive sufficient federal funding to protect and restore these species; and
WHEREAS, proactive tribal engagement in wildlife management is necessary to conserve, protect and restore wildlife resources and prevent the demise of species to the point of requiring listing under the federal Endangered Species Act; and
WHEREAS, NCAI supports federal legislation meant to protect and restore wildlife species that includes tribal nations, and that resources are obligated to tribal nations for law enforcement, fish and wildlife programs, range and habitat management, and other conservation and recovery efforts that tribal nations deem necessary.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) calls on Congress to co-sponsor and pass Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA), or similar legislation, with the inclusion of a tribal wildlife conservation and restoration account that provides long-term, dedicated, and stable funding for tribal wildlife management in addition to a state account created under RAWA; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NCAI respectfully requests that the legislation ensure a minimum of $97.5 million as an annual allocation for tribal fish and wildlife programs; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NCAI further supports Congressional direction be provided to the federal government to ensure consultation with tribal nations on the development of an allocation process for distribution of these funds; 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 2019 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Albuquerque Convention Center, October 20-25, 2019, with a quorum present.