Full Funding for Federally Declared Tribal Fishery Resource Disaster

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TITLE: Full Funding for Federally Declared Tribal Fishery Resource Disasters

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 fisheries of tribes have served as the foundation of their cultural identity and economy; and

WHEREAS, the United States Secretary of Commerce has the authority, under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, to declare a commercial fishery failure due to a fishery resource disaster; and

WHEREAS, the Secretary of Commerce has declared a commercial fishery failure for several tribal fisheries including the 2013 Fraser River Sockeye Salmon fishery, the 2014 Fraser River Sockeye Salmon fishery, the 2015 Washington Grays Harbor Coho Salmon fishery, the 2015 Washington South Puget Sound Chinook, Coho and Chum Salmon fishery, the 2015 Washington Dungeness Crab fishery, and the 2016 Californian Klamath River King Salmon Fishery; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congress has the authority and duty to fully fund all federally declared fishery disasters.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) does hereby urge United States Congress uphold its trust responsibility by fully funding the federal fishery disaster assistance program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.