TITLE: Request for Comparable Equity between Title III State Services and Title VI Tribal Services
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 Administration on Aging (AoA) grants are awarded under Title VI to American Indian tribal organizations, Alaskan Native organizations, and non-profit groups representing Native Hawaiians. Grants fund supportive and nutrition services for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Elders. Grants are awarded to more than 250 tribal organizations and 2 Native Hawaiian organizations. In addition, family caregiver grants have been awarded to 218 Title VI organizations; and
WHEREAS, the Older Americans Act states in Title VI that “it is the purpose of this Title to promote the delivery of supportive services, including nutrition services, to AI/ANs and Native Hawaiians that are comparable to services provided under Title III. However, the provision of “comparable services”, has not been achieved due to insufficient funds for this Title; and
WHEREAS, NCAI acknowledges the tremendous efforts of Title VI Directors and the creative approaches they develop to cope with budgets shortfalls. Approximately two thirds of the grants to AI/AN tribes or consortia of tribes are for less than $100,000.This funding level is expected to provide services for a minimum of 50 Elders for an entire year. Those tribes receiving more than or at least $100,000 serve between 200-300 Elders. Many tribes are not able to meet the five day per week meal requirement because of insufficient funding and are serving congregate meals only two or three days per week.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NCAI requests that the Administration on Aging (AoA) determine the eligible number of AI/ANs in each designated service areas, and request the AoA evaluate the data and trend of the growing # of AI/AN elders in each designated service area and utilize such data in its budget request to Congress; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI requests increased training for Title VI service providers that include new and innovative ways to improve Indian Elder access to social services. Funding for training should be separate from funds used to provide direct services; 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 2014 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, October 26-31, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia, with a quorum present.