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Mid Year Conference 2010

Copy of Resolution's Text

South Dakota

Thanks to all who helped to get this resolution passed!

The National Congress of American Indians

Resolution #RAP-10-054

TITLE: Support for Coordination with State-Recognized Louisiana Tribes in Responding to the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill

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 state-recognized tribes in Louisiana are suffering from the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and their homelands and way of life are threatened; and

WHEREAS, the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi Chitimacha, the Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of Biloxi Chitimacha, and the Bayou Lafourche Band of Biloxi Chitimacha communities are located in the southernmost parts of Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes; and

WHEREAS, members of these tribes are primarily fishermen for both commercial and subsistence purposes; and

WHEREAS, these tribal communities of Louisiana suffered wind and water devastation during the 2005 and 2008 hurricane seasons and have not yet recovered; and

WHEREAS, the tribal communities of Pointe-au-Chien and Isle de Jean Charles are not protected by levees; and

WHEREAS, tribal lands have been diminished and left vulnerable by oil exploration, loss of the barrier islands, and the rerouting of the Mississippi River; and

WHEREAS, a tropical depression or hurricane bringing oil contaminated water into tribal communities will result in the displacement of tribal communities for an unknown period of time; and

WHEREAS, the tribes seek to protect their sacred sites, village sites, homelands, fisheries, and way of life; and NCAI 2010 Midyear Session Resolution RAP-10-054 Page 2 of 2

WHEREAS, some state-recognized tribal communities are not included in the sand berm project approved by the federal government; and

WHEREAS, there should be coordination to take into account the concerns and needs of tribal communities and to keep tribal communities together in the event of evacuation or relocation due to oil contamination; and

WHEREAS, all tribes, including the state-recognized tribes in Louisiana, should be consulted in all areas of assessment, mitigation, and recovery efforts in response to the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI does hereby support the coordination of state, federal, and local officials with all tribes, including the state-recognized tribes in order to protect sacred sites and tribal communities and to organize response and recovery efforts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NCAI does hereby request that the responsible parties be held accountable for the damage to tribal lands, tribal cultural resources, and loss of tribal member income; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NCAI does hereby request that BP and federal, state, and local officials coordinate to purchase evacuation property for coastal tribal communities in the event of oil contamination, which would prevent tribal members from returning home; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NCAI does hereby support the rebuilding of the barrier islands and tribal lands and the building of protective defenses south of tribal communities in the Gulf region; 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 2010 Mid-Year Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, South Dakota on June 20-23, 2010, with a quorum present.



Recording Secretary