The National Congress of American Indians
TITLE: Support Implementation of Section 4033 of the 2014 Farm Bill to Allow the Service of Traditional Foods in Public Facilities
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, Section 4033 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-79) (Farm Bill) directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration to allow donations and the serving of traditional food through food service programs at public and non-profit facilities, including those operated by Indian tribes and facilities operated by tribal organizations, that primarily serve Indians; and
WHEREAS, donated foods can include food caught or harvested locally to be given to programs serving tribal Elders living in hospitals, clinics, long term care facilities, and senior meal programs and also be used in to serve Native youth under Child Nutrition Programs like the National School Lunch Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Special Milk Program, and the School Breakfast Program; and
WHEREAS, these public and non-profit facilities have experience in food safety procedures and will use these traditional foods with the understanding that safe food practices are followed; and
WHEREAS, community food donations, use of local vendors, effective tribal food code procedures, development of traditional food councils within Long Term Care facilities which receive support from tribal leadership and federal, state, and local regulatory agencies are important to ensure the health of our Elders and Native youth; and
WHEREAS, our traditional foods are important to address the current health conditions of American Indian and Alaska Native citizens and that it is important that our Elders and Native youth have access to the traditional foods for their health, well-being, and nutrition; and
WHEREAS, healthy, traditional food choices lead to better health outcomes including: improved diabetic management, reduced renal disease, improved cardiovascular disease management, prevention of unintended weight loss, improved mood, and the assurance of independence and self-control.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians calls upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to engage in full tribal consultation and implement Section 4033 of Agricultural Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-79) on Service of Traditional Foods in Public Places as a Best Practice in hospitals, clinics, Long Term Care facilities, senior meal programs, and Child Nutrition Programs which will help improve the quality of life and overall satisfaction of our tribal Elders and Native youth by providing them the opportunity to eat foods most meaningful to them; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the results of the consultations should be either proposed amendments to the act that allow it to be achieved or changes to the policy that allows it to be implemented; 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 2016 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Phoenix Convention Center, October 9th- 14th 2016, with a quorum present.
The National Congress of American Indians