TITLE: Directing the Indian Health Service to Allow Tribes to Contract or Compact the Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention Program (SASP) and the Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI)
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 communities are plagued by chronic substance abuse that impacts every aspect of life for our tribal members and our communities, with statistics indicating that almost 20 percent of Indian children 12-17 have used an illegal drug; and
WHEREAS, suicide is the second leading cause of death for Native people ages 10-34, and the national the suicide rate for Native communities is 1.5 times greater than the national average, and in some Native communities the youth suicide rate is 10 times greater than the national average; and
WHEREAS, domestic violence remains an epidemic in Indian country, with 84 percent of Native women experiencing violence in their life time; and
WHEREAS, Congress recognized the need to address these chronic issues as issues that impact the health of Tribal communities and created two programs within the Indian Health Services (IHS), the Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention (SASP) Program and the Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI); and
WHEREAS, the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) allows tribes the ability to assume the operation of IHS programs like the SASP and the DVPI to administer these programs in a way that best meets the needs of a Tribe’s particular community; and
WHEREAS, notwithstanding Congress’ direction, the IHS has refused to allow tribes to assume the operation of these programs pursuant to the ISDEAA contract or compact.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) calls upon the Indian Health Service to immediately provide Tribes and tribal organizations with the option to receive SASP, DVPI through self-determination contracts or self-governance compacts; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that as the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act requires the IHS must compute and pay contract support costs on these contracts or compact; 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 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