TITLE: Supporting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Brazilian Amazon
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 and the American 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, the Indigenous peoples in the Amazon have owned and lived on their lands since time immemorial; and
WHEREAS, the rights of Indigenous peoples to their lands, territories and resources are recognized in international human rights instruments, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Article 26) and the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Article XXV); and
WHEREAS, the rights of Indigenous peoples to their lands and resource are protected under the Constitution of Brazil (Chapter VII, Art. 231); and
WHEREAS, the Bolsonaro administration of the government of Brazil has made public promises to seize indigenous lands and distribute them to non-Indigenous settlers and corporate interests; and
WHEREAS, the Bolsonaro administration, through its policy decisions and public statements, has encouraged widespread invasion of Indigenous lands by nonIndigenous settlers, invasions which are often begun with the deliberate setting of fires in the Amazon; and
WHEREAS, this willful destruction of the Amazon threatens the lands, the livelihoods, and the continued existence of many Indigenous nations; and WHEREAS, the destruction of the Amazon threatens the climate and wellbeing of the entire world.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) expresses its strong support for the Indigenous peoples living in the Brazilian Amazon as they assert their rights of self-determination and self-government, and particularly their rights to their lands, territories, and resources, and calls on tribal governments in the United States to pass similar resolutions of support; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, NCAI calls on the United States government and appropriate bodies within the United Nations and the Organization of American States to demand that Brazil immediately take all necessary steps to respect, protect, and fulfill all the rights of Indigenous peoples in Brazil; and
BE IT FINALLY 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 2019 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Albuquerque Convention Center, October 20- 25, 2019, with a quorum present.