The National Congress of American Indians
TITLE: Requesting the Bureau of Indian Affairs Create a New Regional Office for Energy Producing Tribes
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, several Tribes including the Three Affiliates Tribes of the Ft. Berthold Reservation, the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, the Blackfeet Nation, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the Crow Tribe are currently located in the Phoenix Region, the Rocky Mountain Region, the Great Plains Region and the Albuquerque Region and are energy producing tribes among those tribes with potential for energy production that rely or might rely in the future on mineral revenue income for infrastructure, economic development, jobs and income from the development of their mineral resources; and
WHEREAS, the tribes rely on expertise from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the development of their mineral resources; and
WHEREAS, the Bureau of Land Management plays a critical role in the development of tribal mineral resources through the review and issuance of permits to drill and other permits; and
WHEREAS, BIA and BLM are lacking in non-monetary trust asset management and experts that can provide these tribes with the necessary expertise for the best interest of the tribes and their members; and
WHEREAS, there is a need to structure the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (OIEED) into a One-Stop-Shop to service tribes with energy production or potential for production; and
WHEREAS, the OIEED will have regulatory authority over all of BIA and BLM work concerning energy development for those tribes with energy production or potential production; and
WHEREAS, the OIEED will provide Technical Assistance on energy development.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI does hereby request the Bureau of Indian Affairs to structure the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development into a One Stop Shop to service tribes with energy production or potential in order to create a centralized source of the expertise necessary to assist tribes in the evaluation of proposed contracts and development opportunities so that tribes become active, rather than passive, participants in the development of their natural resources; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the new Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development would assist tribes desiring to become full partners in exploration and production companies in order to develop their own natural resources; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development will have full regulatory authority over all BIA and BLM functions concerning development of tribal minerals and will provide technical assistance to all tribes on energy development; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that monies authorized and appropriated to the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development shall be used for the purposes stated herein; 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 2013 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Cox Business Center from October 13 - 18, 2013 in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a quorum present.