TITLE: Support for Requiring the Bureau of Indian Education to Provide Traditional Foods in School Meals Programs
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, many tribal nations are continuing to restore significant agricultural production capacity to their tribal economies, in order to become more economically self-sufficient; and
WHEREAS, the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and other parts of the federal government provide funds for meals in BIE schools; and
WHEREAS, the rate of diabetes for tribal citizens in the United States is several times the national rate, and much of this can be traced to a diet that does not include sufficient traditional foods used for thousands of years by Native peoples; and
WHEREAS, many tribal nations produce, grow, or process traditional foods that could be used in many BIE schools.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI hereby urges the BIE, pursuant to the Buy Indian Act and other legislation, to contract with tribal nations and individual tribal member-owned businesses to provide food, including traditional foods, for BIE-operated schools within Indian Country, and that the BIE provide a report to the Secretary of the Interior as soon as possible regarding implementation of this resolution; 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BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.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 2012 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Sacramento Convention Center from October 21-26, 2012 in Sacramento, California, with a quorum present.