The National Congress of American Indians
TITLE: Support of Collaboration and Consultation for Educational Success
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, through its unique relationship with Indian nations and tribes, the federal government has established programs and resources to meet the educational needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives residing on and off their reserved or non-reserved homelands; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the United States to fulfill the Federal Government's unique and continuing trust relationship with and responsibility to the Native People of the United States for the education of American Indian, Native Hawaiians, and Alaska Natives; and
WHEREAS, state and local governments often exclude tribes in participation, collaboration, and consultation as they develop plans for administering programs under federal law; and
WHEREAS, tribes and their education agencies should be meaningfully engaged at all levels of government – local, state, and federal – in order to ensure education programs, such as those under Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and in early childhood education, effectively account for the needs of Native students; and
WHEREAS, Title VII authorizes programs that serve American Indians and Alaska Natives that are of the highest quality and provide for not only the basic elementary and secondary educational needs, but also their unique linguistic and culturally related academic needs; and
WHEREAS, the President's Initiative on Early Education is a priority in our Native communities and an opportunity to advance the unique linguistic and cultural identities at the earliest stages of child development; and
WHEREAS, due to continuing exclusion at non-federal levels and persistent need among Native communities for local cooperation, state and locally-administered programs should guarantee that tribes are meaningfully engaged to ensure optimal implementation for Native students and their education systems.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI supports the requirement that states with American Indian, Alaska Nativeand Native Hawaiian populations be required to meaningfully consult with these constituents and create plans which directly address the cultural and academic needs of these populations as well as include appropriate assessments in the language of instruction, a strong family/parent engagement component, and support for multiple delivery systems; 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 2014 Mid-Year Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Dena'ina Civic & Convention Center, June 8-11, 2014 in Anchorage, Alaska, with a quorum present.