TITLE: Request for Tribal Consultation Regarding Tribal Technical Assistance Program Reorganization
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 health, safety, welfare, education, economic and employment opportunity, and preservation of cultural and natural resources are primary goals and objectives of tribal governments; and
WHEREAS, recently the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) within the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed reorganization of the Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP); and
WHEREAS, TTAP is an important and only program that provide training and technical assistance for all aspects of transportation for each tribe within six regions in the lower 48 states and one in Alaska; and
WHEREAS, the proposed changes by FHWA is to consider a two-year pilot program by using a centralized model of Tribal Technical Assistance Centers (TTAC), where one of the TTAP will be the main center and the other six TTACs will be provide training across all the Bureau of Indian Affairs regions; and
WHEREAS, the FHWA do not appear to have started with an understanding of sovereignty for tribes, active involvement of all tribes or any effort to have formal consultation to this important program; and
WHEREAS, in a letter from the Tribal Transportation Program Coordinating Committee (TTPCC) to the Federal Highway Administration about the proposed reorganization of the TTAPs, the letter states, “TTPCC believes it is critical for the FHWA to engage in consultation directly with Tribes about the proposed reorganization” (Letter dated April 6, 2017 attached).
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) does hereby request the U.S. Department of Transportation and to engage in formal consultation with tribes in each region prior to making any changes to the Tribal Technical 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
The foregoing resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2017 Midyear Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center, June 12 to June 15, 2017, with a quorum present.