Support for NCAI Tribal TANF Task Force Legislative and Administrative Priorities

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TITLE: Support for NCAI Tribal TANF Task Force Legislative and Administrative Priorities

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, in 1996 Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA, P.L. 104-193) also known as “Welfare Reform;” and

WHEREAS, a major part of this reform was the recognition and support of tribes’ authority to administer their own family support and work readiness programs to serve tribal children and families; and

WHEREAS, Congress in this reform also recognized the difficult economic circumstances on many reservations and gave tribes the necessary flexibility to create programs, that could tackle their community’s unique needs; and

WHEREAS, today, there are 70 Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grantees serving 284 American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes and the non-reservation AI/AN populations of over 121 counties, all of which rely on this funding to help their most needy families live at the most basic level; and

WHEREAS, Tribal TANF program provides cash assistance and supportive services for over 32,000 recipients; and

WHEREAS, combined, all tribes/tribal TANF programs annually receive $192 million dollars in federal funding; and

WHEREAS, welfare reform is due to be reauthorized and NCAI has established a Tribal TANF Task Force to collectively identify necessary changes to TANF.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) endorses and advocates for the legislative and administrative recommendations put forth by the Tribal TANF Task Force that are attached to this resolution; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.