The National Congress of American Indians
TITLE: Support for a Formula Grant Program for Language Immersion Schools for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians
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, education of all citizens of tribal nations in a culturally appropriate and relevant manner is the cornerstone of future economic development and self-sufficiency of tribal nations, and is also a fundamental trust responsibility of the United States government, as reiterated in NCAI Resolution #ABQ-10-054; and
WHEREAS, language immersion schools are a proven tool to improve learning outcomes for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children; and
WHEREAS, NCAI has created a task force focusing on Native languages and their preservation, and the task force supports amending Title VII to specifically include authorization for language immersion schools; and
WHEREAS, Title VII as contained in legislation pending in the 113th Congress does not contain not contain any specific grant program for language immersion schools.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NCAI urges Congress to include in Title VII of the ESEA reauthorization bill provisions that will expand tribal language immersion schools; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI urges that the language immersion school provisions be communicated as soon as possible to the appropriate Congressional leaders and to the Congressional representatives for the states in which large numbers of American Indians and Alaska Natives reside; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI encourages tribal leaders to visit with the Congressional representatives to explain why these provisions are critical to the future of tribal education; 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 2013 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Cox Business Center from October 13 - 18, 2013 in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a quorum present.