TITLE: Support for Equal Treatment of Tribal and State Education Departments by the U.S. Department of Education
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 U.S. Department of Education has many competitive grant programs available to State Education Agencies (SEAs) but do not include Tribal Education Departments (TEDs) as eligible grant applicants; and
WHEREAS, several competitive grant applications explicitly exclude TEDs as eligible applicants; and
WHEREAS, these exclusions prohibit TEDs from being treated equally as SEAs to effectively serve their tribal students by administering title programs and funding; and
WHEREAS, parity between TEDs and SEAs levels the playing field for tribal communities to compete for and administer all competitive, discretionary grants available from the United States Department of Education.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NCAI supports and calls upon Congress to expand eligibility of all competitive, discretionary funding from the U.S. Department of Education to explicitly include Tribal Education Departments as eligible grant applicants and recipients; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI hereby calls upon Congress to enact legislation that establishes parity between State Education Agencies and Tribal Education Departments; 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BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.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 2015 Midyear Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the St. Paul River Centre, St. Paul, MN, June 28 to July 1, 2015, with a quorum present.