Opposition to the Alaska Economic Development and Access to Resources Act

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The National Congress of American Indians
Resolution #PHX-16-008

TITLE: Opposition to the Alaska Economic Development and Access to Resources Act

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, what is now known as federally managed lands and waters in Alaska are delicate eco-systems that have provided for Alaska Natives since time immemorial; and

WHEREAS, the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency tasked with managing federal land, must encourage multiple uses on its land while also protecting important riparian corridors, flora, fauna, threatened and endangered species habitats, and cultural resources; and

WHEREAS, prior to S. 3203, the Alaska Economic Development and Access to Resources Act, being introduced, Alaska Native tribes were not contacted and given the opportunity to provide input and express concerns despite the fact that Alaska tribes would bear the brunt of the bill’s consequences; and

WHEREAS, S. 3203 is wide-ranging legislation that poses a serious threat to some of the most pristine and unique public lands and waters across Alaska. Broadly, the legislation would place millions of acres of federal public lands at risk of damaging, non-renewable resource development, targeting many of the same lands that currently provide for Alaska’s renewable industries, flora and fauna resources, and tourism-based activities; and

WHEREAS, S.3203 is part of a suite of bills and riders that together compromise the integrity of federal land and water protections and management in Alaska; and would put millions of acres of Alaska’s iconic, beloved, and relied upon federal public lands that have sustained indigenous communities for thousands of years at risk and in-favor of potentially damaging, non-renewable resource development.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians opposes the Alaska Economic Development and Access to Recourses Act and any of its sections that may be introduced in other legislation that would be harmful to valuable lands and waters in Alaska; and

BE IT FURTHER 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 2016 Annual Convention of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Phoenix Convention Center, October 9 to October 14, 2016, with a quorum present.