TITLE: Calling Upon the President to Issue a New Executive Order on Native Nations
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, Indian nations and tribes were independent sovereigns prior to the formation of the United States; and
WHEREAS, through treaties, agreements, statues and executive orders, Indian nations and tribes were offered the protection of the United States, guaranteed the sanctity of our homelands, and reserved our original inherent rights to tribal self-governance; and
WHEREAS, in the Constitution, the United States recognized the sovereignty of Indian nations and tribes over our members and our territory; and
WHEREAS, the original policy of the United States was to respect Indian nations and tribes as sovereigns, with inherent rights to self-government, liberty, and possession and control of our Indian lands and territory and to deal with Indian nations and tribes on a Nation-to-Nation basis founded on mutual respect, mutual consent, and deference to internal tribal self-governance.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NCAI calls upon the President to issue a new Executive Order on Native Nations, which
• Acknowledges Indian nations and tribes as original Native Nations, with sovereign authority over our members, territory, native homelands, and sacred sites;
• Directs Federal Departments and Agencies to defer to Native Nations on matters of internal self-governance and deal with Native Nations on the basis of nation-to-nation relations based upon mutual respect, and mutual consent and free and prior informed consent;
• The U.S. shall work with Tribal nations to implement the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and recommendations contained in the Outcome Document from the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples; and
• Direct Federal Departments and Agencies to adhere to the essential principles of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including:
o Respect and protection for Indian lands and territories;
o Respect for Indian Self-Determination and free and prior informed consent;
o Support for Native Education, Health Care, Housing, Economic Development, Transportation, and Infrastructure;
o Respect for Native religions, cultures, language, and traditional identities;
o Respect for Native lifeways; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the President should direct the White House Council on Native American Affairs to meet quarterly with Native Nations to discuss intergovernmental concerns on a nation-to-nation, government-to-government basis; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that President Obama should affirm Executive Order 13175 on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments; 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 2015 Midyear Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the St. Paul River Centre, St. Paul, MN, June 28 to July 1, 2015, with a quorum present.