TITLE: Support The Tribal Education Departments National Assembly’s Efforts to Secure Increased Congressional Authorizations for Appropriations in Support of Tribal Education Departments and Agencies
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 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 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 governments have a solemn responsibility for the welfare of their citizens, which includes their children and students; and
WHEREAS, providing a cultural-based, high-quality education is a critical investment in any tribe’s future; and
WHEREAS, through its unique relations with Indian nations and tribes, the federal government has established programs and resources to meet the educational needs of American Indian and Alaska Native students, residing on and off their reserved or non-reserved homeland; and
WHEREAS, Congress has authorized appropriations for TEDs through U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) since 1988 and U.S. Department of Education (DOE) Since 1994); and
WHEREAS, in these authorizations, Congress granted TEDs the ability to facilitate tribal control over education, coordinate education programs, develop and enforce tribal education codes, policies, and standards, and provide support services and technical assistance to schools and programs; and
WHEREAS, both of these authorizations were retained in the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; and
WHEREAS, through recent appropriations made pursuant to these authorizations have greatly improved TEDs’ capacity to serve their communities, federal funding provided through DOI and DOE has not changed since the initial authorization over 25 years ago; and
WHEREAS, since those initial authorizations, TEDs have increased both in number and in capacity, and are in a unique position to reverse historic negative outcomes for Native students; and
WHEREAS, allowing greater tribal input in the development and implementation of educational services better serves Native students; and
WHEREAS, increased federal appropriations for tribes and TEDs is critical to building tribal education capacity and fulfilling the opportunities provided to tribes and TEDs in the Every Student Succeeds Act.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) supports the Tribal Education Departments National Assembly’s efforts to advocate for increased congressional authorizations ($10,000,000) per year through the U.S. Department of Interior, and ($10,000,000) per year through the U.S. Department of Education; 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 2018 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Hyatt Regency in Denver, Colorado October 21-26, 2018, with a quorum present.
Jefferson Keel, President
Juana Majel Dixon, Recording Secretary