TITLE: Support for Direct Tribal Administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps)
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, the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246), also known as the “Farm Bill” expired on September 30, 2012, and continues to be funded through continuing resolutions but is due to be reauthorized; and
WHEREAS, NCAI has taken the lead on ensuring that tribal interests are represented in the reauthorization of the Farm Bill; and
WHEREAS, the Farm Bill authorizes the administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, and formerly titled the Food Stamp Program); and
WHEREAS, tribes’ right to administer the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has not been recognized in previous reauthorizations of the Farm Bill; and
WHEREAS, tribes’ right to administer, and their successful administration of, the Women, Infants, and Children supplemental nutrition program and the Food Distribution on Indian Reservations Program has been recognized for years; and
WHEREAS, the 158,756 American Indian and Alaska Native families who receive SNAP food assistance (20% of all AI/AN families) must currently go through their respective state to receive benefits; and
WHEREAS, tribes have an inherent sovereign right and responsibility to provide for the welfare of their citizens.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NCAI will support and advocate for recognition and support of tribes’ authority to administer their own Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as part of the reauthorization of the Farm Bill; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.