TITLE: Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians Land Restoration Legislation
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, the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians were restored to Federal Recognition pursuant to the Tribes’ Restoration Act of October 17th, 1984 (Public Law 98-481); and
WHEREAS, the Tribe’s ancestral homeland comprises 1.6 million acres in the Siuslaw, Lower Umpqua, and Coos River watersheds, in addition to seaways and waterways; and
WHEREAS, in 1855 a treaty was negotiated by the Federal Government and signed by the Tribes obligating the United States to provide services and benefits to the Tribes in exchange for relinquishment of the Tribes’ ancestral lands; and
WHEREAS, the Federal Government never ratified the treaty it had negotiated and never fulfilled the promises it made to the Tribes; and
WHEREAS, the Federal Government never paid any compensation to the Tribes for the loss of the land and resources, and imprisoned many Tribal members on the Coast Reservation for many years; and
WHEREAS, although diminished by starvation, disease, and hardships endured during their forced removal to the Coast Reservation, Tribal members removed to the Coast Reservation eventually rejoined Tribal members who had remained in their ancestral territories; and
WHEREAS, continuously from the establishment of the Oregon Territory in 1849 to the present, the United States has asserted its jurisdiction over the Tribes and throughout the Tribes’ ancestral lands; and
WHEREAS, the establishment and maintenance of Tribal ancestral homelands is considered by NCAI to be one essential foundation upon which the preservation of Tribal culture and sovereignty is established.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NCAI does hereby support the introduction and passage of Federal legislation restoring certain identified lands that interfere with no other Tribe’s land claims and that are within the ancestral territories of the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians; and
BE IT FURTHER 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 2012 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Sacramento Convention Center from October 21-26, 2012 in Sacramento, California, with a quorum present.