TITLE: Expansion of the Promise Zone Initiative
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 Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Pine Ridge Reservation (Thunder Valley), the Spokane Tribe of Indians, and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in collaboration with the Spirit Lake Tribe (Pride of the Great Plains Promise Zone) are designated as tribal Promise Zones, with eighteen other Promise Zones in urban and rural areas around the country; and
WHEREAS, beyond these tribal designations, NCAI recognizes that Tribal citizens live in all urban, tribal, and rural Promise Zones around the country; and
WHEREAS, NCAI recognizes that the Promise Zone initiative is positively impacting Indian Country and tribal members through federal funding preference and technical assistance; and
WHEREAS, NCAI also recognizes the current limitations of the Promise Zone initiative, which only extends to 42 competitive programs across the federal government. This is only 2.5% of all competitive grant programs across federal agencies.
WHEREAS, it is crucial that in an effort to fulfill the intent of the Promise Zone initiative, Promise Zone preference points must be expanded to all competitive grant programs across all federal agencies.
WHEREAS, as new Promise Zones have come on board and with the upcoming change in Administration, it is imperative to continue improving the Promise Zone initiative and ensure its successful implementation for the full ten year designation of the zones.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NCAI urges Congress to act to implement the Promise Zone across all competitive grant programs across all federal agencies to effectively serve Indian Country. This will provide clarity and consistency to the program, as well as serve areas of high need across the country. This will provide preference points to the twenty-two Promise Zone designees (both tribal zones and those zones serving tribal members) who apply for any federal competitive grants, technical assistance funds, and other capacity building opportunities.
The foregoing resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2016 Midyear Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Spokane Convention Center, June 27 to June 30, 2016, with a quorum present.