Supporting Increased Appropriations for the Indian Health Service (IHS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to Address Methamphetamine Issues in Indian Country

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 TITLE: Supporting Increased Appropriations for the Indian Health Service (IHS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to Address Methamphetamine Issues in Indian Country

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 Northwest Indian Housing Association (NWIHA) represents thirty-eight Indian Housing Authorities, Tribally Designated Housing Entities, and Tribal Housing Programs and Departments in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Annette Island, Alaska; and

WHEREAS, the Mission of NWIHA is to promote safe, sanitary, decent and affordable housing for Tribal members in the Pacific Northwest, which it accomplishes by providing training and education opportunities; providing a forum for the discussion and resolution of issues; advocating for the collective benefit of all members; effectively linking members to information and financial resources; and working collaboratively with its industry partners; and

WHEREAS, methamphetamine production and use has been a growing problem for Tribes, especially in rural areas; and

WHEREAS, housing units in Indian country are often used by criminals to produce and sell methamphetamine; and

WHEREAS, highly toxic byproducts from the production and use of methamphetamine requires Tribal Housing Authorities, Tribally-Designated Housing Entities and Tribal housing departments to remediate and rehabilitate the unit affected; and

WHEREAS, because of the growing number of labs that manufacture methamphetamine in rural areas and on reservations, methamphetamine is often sold to and used by Native Americans, and is very destructive to their health and well-being; and
WHEREAS, HUD, USDA/Rural Development and other Federal housing programs do not provide funding for the remediation and rehabilitation of existing housing stock; and

WHEREAS, federal agencies such as the Indian Health Service (IHS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have insufficient resources to provide the much needed work to restore the housing to habitability and provide health services to Native Americans impacted by methamphetamine use.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, NCAI hereby joins with the Northwest Indian Housing Association to strongly urge the Congress of the United States to increase appropriation levels for IHS, EPA and DOJ to aggressively address this growing problem in Indian Country resulting from methamphetamine production and use; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NCAI respectfully requests the National American Indian Housing Council, the National Congress of American Indians, and all other regional Native American associations and organizations join NWIHA in supporting 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.