Supporting Treatment of Indian Tribes and Governments for Purposes of the National Labor Relations Act and Supporting H.R. 511 and S. 248 the “Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2015”

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TITLE: Supporting Treatment of Indian Tribes and Governments for Purposes of the National Labor Relations Act and Supporting H.R. 511 and S. 248 the “Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2015”

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, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal for Indian tribes is the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, enacted to strengthen tribal governments, encourage adoption of tribal constitutions and incorporation of wholly owned tribal government corporations; and

WHEREAS, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935 was FDR’s New Deal for Labor, which provides for collective bargaining in the private industry, generally is not applied to governments, and from 1925 until 2004 the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) consistently held that the NLRA does not apply to tribal governments; and

WHEREAS, the NLRB has ruled that the NLRA does not apply to territorial governments (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, although they are not mentions; and

WHEREAS, in 2004 the National Labor Relations Board improperly reversed decades of precedent in deciding that tribes are subject to the National Labor Relations Act; and

WHEREAS, the United States has a treaty-based obligation to protect Indian tribal sovereignty within reservations and in Indian lands set apart for the use and occupancy of Indian tribes.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Congress must affirm the original construction of the National Labor Relations Act that treats Indian tribes as governments for all purposes; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI and its Member Indian Tribes call upon Congress to enact H.R. 511 and S. 248 “the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2015” and amendment to the National Labor Relations Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI will work with the other national and regional tribal organizations to coordinate efforts to ensure that Indian Tribes are treated as governments under the National Labor Relations Act and any amendment thereto; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.


CERTIFICATION

The foregoing resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2015 Midyear Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the St. Paul River Centre, St. Paul, MN, June 28 to July 1, 2015, with a quorum present.