TITLE: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Prevention and Control
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, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a severe and potentially fatal tick-borne bacterial disease and patients with severe infection may be left with permanent long-term health problems such as profound neurological deficits, damage to internal organs, or may die; and
WHEREAS, in Arizona, since 2003, over 250 human cases and 20 deaths from RMSF have been reported, almost all are Tribal members and Arizona now has one of the highest incidence rates for RMSF and in some Tribal communities, rates of RMSF are more than 300 times the national average; and
WHEREAS, the affected Tribes have worked together with federal and state partners to address RMSF in their communities through a Statewide Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever coalition to exchange best practices, share resources and support each other’s efforts to control and prevent RMSF; and
WHEREAS, the solution for controlling RMSF is simple and can be achieved through use of properly timed environmental pesticides, sustained treatment of community dogs for ticks, and development of robust tribal animal control programs; and
WHERAS, an effective program has been developed, piloted and evaluated in one affected community through a joint effort between the Tribe, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Indian Health Services (IHS), Arizona Department of Health Services, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Tribal Epidemiology Center and other agencies and this program has been adopted to a degree possible by other affected Tribes.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is a critical health concern that needs to be addressed; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, as a high priority health issue, adequate funding is immediately needed to implement comprehensive RMSF control programs for a minimum of five years on all affected tribal lands; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Tribes need access to the same funding sources available to states to address insect and animal borne infectious diseases; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Indian Health Service (IHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and other relevant agencies should coordinate efforts to ensure that adequate resources are made available to prevent and control RMSF; 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.