TITLE: Expressing Support for the American Council of Indigenous Peoples
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 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 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, since time immemorial the lands that are now known as North, Central, and South America have been the sacred homelands of Indigenous Nations; and
WHEREAS, Indigenous Nations have distinct identities, cultures, languages and traditions and have all experienced encroachment on our traditional homelands; and
WHEREAS, Indigenous Nations retain the inherent right to self-determination that has been recognized by both the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and
WHEREAS, there is an ongoing need for Indigenous Peoples to work collectively to protect and advance their rights both across the Americas and globally; and
WHEREAS, Indigenous leaders from throughout the Americas met from April 11-12, 2018 in Lima, Peru and made the decision to establish a new organization, the American Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP), in order to create a forum for Indigenous Peoples from across North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean to work collectively to protect their rights; and
WHEREAS, an interim Executive Council was formed to draft organizing documents from the ACIP and to plan for a General Assembly in 2020; and
WHEREAS, NCAI has supported other efforts to foster collaboration among Indigenous Nations, including the United League of Indigenous Nations, which is a treaty-based alliance of Indigenous Nations of the Pacific-rim.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) congratulates the newly-formed American Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) and encourages Indigenous nations in the United States to participate in ACIP, including at the General Assembly planned for 2020; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI urges the Executive Committee of the ACIP to organize the ACIP in a way that recognizes and affirms the inherent rights of self-determination of Indigenous Nations, which include the right to enter into nation-to-nation agreements with one another for their mutual interest and benefit; 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 2018 Midyear Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Marriott Kansas City Downtown, June 3-6, 2018, with a quorum present.
Jefferson Keel, President
Juana Majel Dixon, Recording Secretary