Urging the Continued Meaningful Implementation of Executive Order 13175 “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”

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TITLE: Urging the Continued Meaningful Implementation of Executive Order 13175 “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”

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, sovereign Indian tribes share a unique trust relationship with the United States of America, which is embodied in the Constitution of the United States, numerous court opinions, statutes, executive orders, and federal agency policies; and

WHEREAS, by its passage and implementation of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. § 450 et seq.) and similar legislation, the United States of America has recognized the need to work with Indian tribes on a government-to-government basis and to support Indian tribal self-determination and self-governance; and

WHEREAS, Executive Order 13175 “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (“Consultation Order”), mandates that Executive Branch agencies ensure meaningful and timely input by tribal officials when formulating and implementing policies or taking other actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes; and

WHEREAS, President Barack H. Obama’s November 5, 2009 Presidential Memorandum on Tribal Consultation (“Presidential Memorandum”) committed executive departments and agencies “to regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials in policy decisions that have tribal implications” in order to strengthen the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Indian tribes; and

WHEREAS, the Presidential Memorandum also recognizes that “failure to include the voices of tribal officials in formulating policy affecting their communities has all too often led to undesirable and, at times, devastating and tragic results;” and

WHEREAS, as part of the full implementation of the Consultation Order and Presidential Memorandum, executive departments and agencies have established different tribal advisory committees such as the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee to incorporate tribal guidance on department priorities, policies and budgets, and to improve the government-to-government relationship between the federal government and tribal nations; and

WHEREAS, with less than a full year left for President Obama’s administration, Indian tribes are concerned about the continued meaningful implementation of the Consultation Order and Presidential Memorandum, including the existence of Tribal Advisory Committees, which have both greatly benefitted tribal nations and strengthened the government-to-government relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes; and

WHEREAS, meaningful implementation of the Consultation Order and Presidential Memorandum, including the continued existence of tribal advisory committees to offer valuable insight and feedback with regards to any issues that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribe should be continued by the next presidential administration.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians calls for the continued meaningful implementation of the Consultation Order and Presidential Memorandum by the next presidential administration; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians urges the continued existence of tribal advisory committees, in the next presidential administration, to offer valuable insight and feedback with regards to any issues that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes;

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 2016 Midyear Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Spokane Convention Center, June 27 to June 30, 2016, with a quorum present.