Support to Create a Permanent Program within the Bureau of Indian Affairs for Tribal Restoration and Management of Buffalo

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The National Congress of American Indians
Resolution #PHX-16-051

TITLE: Support to Create a Permanent Program within the Bureau of Indian Affairs for Tribal Restoration and Management of Buffalo

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, buffalo sustained a majority of Indian tribes in North America for many centuries, before buffalo were nearly exterminated by non-Indian hunters in the mid-1800’s; and

WHEREAS, the historical connection between buffalo and Indians has not diminished over time and tribes have long desired the reestablishment of buffalo throughout Indian country for cultural, spiritual and subsistence purposes; and

WHEREAS, the successful restoration of buffalo will allow Indian tribes to benefit from a reintroduction of buffalo into the diets of tribal members; the rekindle the spiritual and cultural relationship between buffalo and tribes; and to use buffalo for economic development for tribes that so choose; and

WHEREAS, federal funding has been provided to tribes for buffalo restoration throughout Indian Country through previous budget earmarks and various line items in the BIA budget; and

WHEREAS, no permanent program for buffalo restoration exists in the BIA budget and appropriations for tribal restoration and management efforts have been at the discretion of the Administration; and

WHEREAS, the Intertribal Buffalo Council has had no response from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to administratively create a permanent buffalo program within the BIA budget to insure continuation of buffalo restoration efforts and the preservation, protection and management of restored herds.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians NCAI supports through legislation or through the Administrative process the creation of a permanent buffalo restoration and management program within the Bureau of Indian Affairs through tribal consultation that will be available to tribes and qualified tribal entities to contract, protect culturally sensitive information, and allow tribes the opportunity to protect and restore buffalo.; 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 Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Phoenix Convention Center, October 9th- 14th 2016, with a quorum present.