TITLE: Support the Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act
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 Older Americans Act is the key legislative framework for developing, coordinating, and delivering home and community based services that allow American Indian/Alaska Native Elders to maintain their independence. The Title VI program of the Older Americans Act provides for supportive and nutrition services which aid AI/ANs across the country. The Act also authorizes the only federal workforce program which provides training to help transition low income Elders into suitable employment in their community. The Act also provides for a long term care ombudsman program to provide those living in long term care facilities with protection of their rights and wellbeing; and
WHEREAS, despite these and many other important provisions, the Older Americans Act was last reauthorized in 2006; its authorization expired in 2011.This delay means that even more Elders will not receive services as the demand is only projected to increase. The population of American Indian/Alaska Natives age 65 and older is expected to grow by 116% by 2030. Additionally the Older Americans Act is subject to sequestration, resulting in unnecessary and harmful cuts each year through 2021; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NCAI hereby supports legislation that modernizes and reauthorizes the Older Americans Act to provide adequate funding for delivery of nutrition services and elderly support; 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BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.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 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, October 26-31, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia, with a quorum present.