TITLE: Support for Parity between Tribal and State Emergency Management Organizations
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, Tribal Emergency Management Organizations have very limited availability for direct funding, without going through states, to access Department of Homeland Security grants for disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery; and
WHEREAS, states often rely on Tribal Nations’ Emergency Management Organizations and in certain jurisdictions tribal responders may be not only the first responders but the sole responders as well; and
WHEREAS, grant ineligibility disregards tribal government sovereignty and self-determination; and
WHEREAS, these exclusions prohibit Tribal Nations’ Emergency Management Organizations from being treated as fair and equitable as State Emergency Management Organizations to effectively serve tribal and non-tribal citizens within their jurisdictions; and
WHEREAS, equitable treatment between Tribal Nations’ Emergency Management Organizations and State Emergency Management Organizations levels the playing field for Tribal Nations to receive federal funding directly from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) supports and calls upon the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to create a direct tribal funding program for Tribal Nations’ Emergency Management Organizations to apply for and receive funding directly from DHS component agencies; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI hereby calls upon the Congress of the United States of America to enact legislation to fulfill the federal trust responsibility to tribal governments and facilitate emergency management funding streams enabling tribes to protect all citizens and acknowledge parity between tribal nations emergency management organizations and state emergency management organizations; 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 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.