Tribal Leader Town Hall on COVID-19

NAFOA, NCAI, and NIHB will convene a Tribal Leader Town Hall on the COVID-19 pandemic to engage on updates and policy implications. The town hall will be in a webinar format where we will discuss responses from the White House, public health agencies, and how our organizations are responding to the fight against COVID-19.

You may submit questions in advance via the registration form or by emailing Lacina Onco at lacina@nafoa.org.

March 17, 2020
2:00 PM- 3:00 PM Eastern
Click for Webinar Registration

  ResourcesTribal Leader Town Hall RegistrationNIHB Letter on COVID-19 FundingCDC COVID-19 WebsiteNCAI COVID-19 WebsiteWHO COVID-19 Website
 
Register for Tribal Leader Town Hall
To learn more and stay updated, see the CDC’s website on COVID-19 response. We recommend following official sources for information.

For any other questions or concerns, please contact Lacina Onco, Policy Specialist, at 202-603-3943 or at lacina@nafoa.org.

DOE Announces Intent to Issue New Funding Opportunity for Tribal Energy Infrastructure Development

March 5, 2020


Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs issued a Notice of Intent to release a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) entitled “Energy Infrastructure Development on Indian Lands – 2020” later this year.

“This planned funding will help Native American and Alaska Native communities harness their vast energy resources to reduce or stabilize energy costs, as well as increase energy security and resilience,” said Kevin R. Frost, Director of the Office of Indian Energy.

Through the planned FOA, the Office of Indian Energy intends to solicit applications from Indian tribes, which, for the purposes of the FOA, include Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Village Corporations, Intertribal Organizations, and Tribal Energy Development Organizations, to:

  • Install energy generating system(s) and/or energy efficiency measure(s) for tribal building(s); or,
  • Deploy community-scale energy generating system(s) or energy storage on Tribal Lands; or,
  • Install integrated energy system(s) for autonomous operation (independent of the traditional centralized electric power grid) to power a single or multiple essential tribal facilities during emergency situations or for tribal community resilience; or,
  • Deploy energy infrastructure or integrated energy system(s) to electrify tribal buildings.

This FOA is consistent with the principles of tribal sovereignty and self-determination, and with an all-of–the-above energy strategy that recognizes each tribe’s right to use their energy resources as they see fit. Projects sought under the planned FOA will be fuel and technology neutral.

Through this planned FOA, the Office of Indian Energy will continue its efforts to maximize the deployment of energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives and help build the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to implement those energy solutions. See the Office of Indian Energy website for a map and summaries of previous competitively funded projects.

Download the Notice of Intent (DE-FOA-0002316).

Find information about past funding opportunities.

Regards, 
Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs
1000 Independence Ave. SW 
Washington DC 20585

For more information on the Office of Indian Energy, visit our website.

Register for Today’s Webinar on Energy Efficiency Basics

Register for Today’s Webinar on Energy Efficiency Basics
Feb. 26, 2020

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs is pleased to sponsor the 2020 Tribal Energy Webinar Series with the theme of “How to…” Intended for tribal leaders, tribal staff, and others interested in energy development in Indian Country, the monthly webinars will focus on how to accomplish specific tasks related to energy development on tribal lands. Presenters will provide instruction and share tools and resources. Tribal case studies will emphasize the processes and tools used rather than the specific details of a particular project. Ten webinars will be offered at no cost, with most webinars scheduled at 11 a.m. Mountain Time (MT) on the last Wednesday of each month, beginning in February and concluding in December.The 2020 series will begin with Energy Efficiency Basics today, February 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. MT. When trying to lower energy bills or reduce environmental impact from energy generation, the first step is to look for opportunities to increase energy efficiency. This webinar will define what energy efficiency is and explore how to identify potential measures to reduce your Tribe’s energy use.There is no charge to attend, but registration is required. Register now for this webinar, and learn more about the 2020 webinar series. Regards,
Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs
1000 Independence Ave. SW
Washington DC 20585For more information on the Office of Indian Energy, visit our website.

2.5 GHz Tribal Priority Window WA State Tribal Outreach Event 2020

You are invited to join us for a Tribal Outreach Event to share information regarding the recently announced FCC 2.5 GHz Spectrum Tribal Priority Window. The deployment of broadband on tribal lands is critical to effectively determine the tribal leadership approach. In this 1.5 day event we will review the FCC 2.5 GHz application process, buildout requirements, as well as hear from several Washington State tribes what they have done to build broadband networks, how they are utilizing their infrastructure, how acquiring spectrum will enhance their networks, as well as potential funding sources.
When: Thursday, February 27th 8:30AM-5PM & Friday, February 28th 8:30AM-12:00PM

Where: Red Wind Casino, Nisqually Tribe 12819 Yelm Hwy SE, Olympia, WA 98513

Please register here
Travel scholarships available, please indicate on the registration form if you are requesting this assistance and we will have someone follow-up with you to work the details out. 

Draft Agenda
AGENDA: Day 1 
Thursday, February 27, 2020

8:30 – 5:00 

8:30 – 8:45      Opening and Welcome 

8:45 – 9:00      Introduction and Agenda Review                   

9:00- 9:45   FCC 2.5 GHz Application overview, buildout requirements and milestones          

9:45-10:30     MuralNet & Tribal Outreach
10:30-10:45     Break

10:45-11:30      Real Life Application of 2.5 
11:30-12:00   What other tribes are doing and/or plan to do with acquisition and utilization of spectrum

3:00-3:15    Break 

3:15-3:45        Google American Indian Network (GAIN)                    

3:45-5:00        Tribal Discussion
 5:00                Adjournment    

AGENDA: Day 2  
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.    
Our partners will be available for one-on-one technical assistance  

Crystal Hottowe crystal@muralnet.org

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and Northwest tribal leaders stand together to protect the environment


Northwest tribes call on federal government to respect tribal opposition to controversial environmental decisions that impact traditional lands

News Release

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

On January 30, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) concluded their successful Winter Convention.

The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians’ Winter Convention is one of the largest Pacific Northwest regional convening of tribal leaders from across Oregon, Idaho, Washington, southeast Alaska, Northern California and Montana. Tribal leaders engage in policy and legislative discussions, share emerging trends on critical issues facing tribal communities, and work collaboratively on committees to develop positions on policy, legislation, and help frame the future of Indian Country in the Northwest. 

A wide array of pressing issues were discussed this Convention ranging from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic to fighting climate change but a clear theme emerged: the United States Government needs to respect and hear tribal voices that are working so hard to protect their people and their traditional lands and waters. 

With the Trump administration’s recent rollback of protections to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), tribal leaders are increasingly concerned and, therefore, unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Council on Environmental Quality to consult with tribes on the regulatory proposal to change important regulations under the Environmental Policy Act. 

The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) has become a leading voice for environmental protection for Indian Country nationwide and is a strong voice in support of Alaska tribes that are fighting efforts to remove environmental protections in Alaska, especially in areas like Bristol Bay whose waters and salmon are an integral part of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians members’ traditional ways of life. 

“We are so thankful that the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians are standing with the people of Bristol Bay as fellow salmon people. We are doing everything we can to protect our people’s way of life,” said Alannah Hurley (Yup’ik), United Tribes of Bristol Bay. “The fact that Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and other nations across the U.S. are standing with us, makes a very big difference. This is a really big year for us. The Corps is talking about getting a permit decision out in 2020, so our unity and cooperation is paramount in the work we are doing.” 

At the convention, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians members also reiterated their support for the Alaska tribes fighting U.S. Government efforts to remove protections for 9.5 million acres of the Tongass National Forest. In October 2019, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians passed a formal resolution calling on the Forest Service to fully protect designated roadless areas in the Tongass National Forest, our country’s largest national forest. As the Federal Government seems content to ignore the concerns of tribes and the impact that widespread logging of the Tongass would have on traditional hunting and fishing grounds, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians felt it important to reaffirm their solidarity with Alaska tribes. 

“We fully support the Organized Village of Kake and tribes of Southeast Alaska that are advocating against removal of protections for the Tongass,” said Catherine Edwards, 6th Vice President of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. “We urge the U.S. Forest Service to listen and have meaningful consultations with tribal leaders. The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska have strongly opposed the Forest Service’s handling of the tribal consultation process with tribal villages across Southeast Alaska. They should be the ones to determine what happens to their forests since this is their ancestral lands and they’ve been there since time immemorial.” 

As the original stewards of the Pacific Northwest since time immemorial, tribes and tribal leaders need the Federal Government to work in good faith and engage in meaningful consultation with tribes to ensure that our future generations will continue to benefit from these lands. 

About Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians  

In 1953 farsighted tribal leaders in the Northwest formed the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, and dedicated it to tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Today, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians is a nonprofit organization representing over 50 Northwest tribal governments from Oregon, Idaho, Washington, southeast Alaska, Northern California, and Western Montana. Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians is an organization whose foundation is composed of the people it is meant to serve — the Indian peoples. Through its conferences, forums, networks and alliances, it is the intent of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians to represent and advocate for the interests of its member tribes to national Indian and non-Indian organizations and governments.

The Protect ICWA Campaign Urges Federal Appeals Court to Affirm ICWA’s Constitutionality Following Oral Arguments in Brackeen v. Bernhardt

by Amory Zschach | Jan 22, 2020 | ICWA

(NEW ORLEANS, January 22, 2020)—Following today’s United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals oral arguments in the Brackeen v. Bernhardt case, the Protect ICWA Campaign, consisting of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, the National Congress of American Indians, the Association on American Indian Affairs, and the Native American Rights Fund, issued the following statements:

“We look forward to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision,” said Sarah Kastelic, Executive Director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association. “We are confident the Fifth Circuit will affirm ICWA’s strong constitutional grounding. ICWA protects children in state child welfare systems and helps them remain connected to their families, cultures, and communities.”

“NCAI applauds the strong advocacy of the intervening tribes and the federal government, as Indian Country’s trustee, in defending the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act before the entire Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this morning,” said Kevin Allis, NCAI Chief Executive Officer. “We pray for relief that upholds ICWA in its entirety and continues to protect the best interests of Indian children and families.”

“There has been an overwhelming amount of resources coming forward to support the Indian Child Welfare Act. We should be spending our resources protecting Indian children and not fighting interest groups that seek to dismantle the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Tribes. The Fifth Circuit will be on the right side of history protecting Indian children, and by doing so strengthening the child welfare system for all children,” said Shannon Keller O’Loughlin, Executive Director and Attorney for the Association on American Indian Affairs.

“We are confident the full Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will again confirm the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act,” said John Echohawk, Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund. “We will always stand with our children, families, and Tribes against any and all efforts to diminish our communities, well-being, and sovereignty.”

More about the Indian Child Welfare Act

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a 41-year-old federal law protecting the well-being and best interests of Indian children and families by upholding family integrity and stability and keeping Indian children connected to their community and culture. ICWA also reaffirms the inherent rights of tribal nations to be involved in child welfare matters involving their citizens.

The law protects the best interests of American Indian and Alaska Native children by requiring agencies and courts take into account not just the immediate needs of Indian children, but also their long-term interests as they grow and move into adulthood.

A nationwide coalition of 495 tribal nations, more than 60 Native organizations, 26 states and the District of Columbia, 77 members of Congress, 31 leading child welfare organizations, and Indian and constitutional law professors agree ICWA is vital to the well-being of Indian children and the stability and integrity of Indian families today.

To learn more about ICWA visit: nicwa.org/about-icwa/ or read the full text of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

The following briefs were filed at the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Fifth Circuit in Brackeen v. Bernhardt:

Defendants-Appellants Briefs

United States Brief

Tribal Intervenor Defendants Brief

Navajo Nation Brief

Amicus Briefs Supporting ICWA

486 Tribes and 59 Indian Organizations Brief

26 States and District of Columbia Brief

Members of Congress Brief

Casey Family Programs and Child Welfare Organizations Brief

Indian Law Professors Brief

Administrative Law and Constitution Law Professors Brief

Professor Gregory Ablavsky Brief

Native American Women, Indian Tribes, and Organizations Brief

Quapaw Nation Brief

Support of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indian’s Representation at the National Congress of American Indians Food Sovereignty Advance Initiative Policy Symposiums

Res #:Committee:Submitted by:Title:                                 Pass →YesNoAmended/TabledTo NCAI
2020-15Natural Resources/LandsTaylor AalvikSupport of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indian’s Representation at the National Congress of American Indians Food Sovereignty Advance Initiative Policy Symposiums



 2020 Winter Convention 

Portland, Oregon 

RESOLUTION #2020 – 15 

“SUPPORT OF AFFILIATED TRIBES OF NORTHWEST INDIANS REPRESENTATION AT THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS FOOD SOVEREIGNTY ADVANCEMENT INITIATIVE POLICY SYMPOSIUMS” 

PREAMBLE 

We, the members of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest 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 rights secured under Indian Treaties, Executive Orders, and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and constitution of the United States and several states, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise to promote the welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution: 

WHEREAS, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) are representatives of and advocates for national, regional, and specific tribal concerns; and 

WHEREAS, ATNI is a regional organization comprised of American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and tribes in the states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Northern California, and Alaska; and 

WHEREAS, the health, safety, welfare, education, economic and employment opportunity, and preservation of cultural and natural resources are primary goals and objectives of the ATNI; and 

WHEREAS, misguided federal policies have stripped tribal nations of land and access to healthy traditional foods; and

WHEREAS, as a result of these federal policies AI/AN face significant health disparities including higher rates of chronic diseases such as Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease compared to other populations; and 

WHEREAS, there is an urgent need for Northwest Tribes to devise strategies and policy on food sovereignty; and 

WHEREAS, food sovereignty strengthens agriculture, localizes food systems, improves economies, and improves the health and well-being of Native children, family and cultures; and 

WHEREAS, ATNI’s primary goals and objectives are focused on health safety, welfare, education, economic and employment opportunity, and preservation of cultural and natural resources; and 

WHEREAS, the ATNI Food Sovereignty Sub-Committee was formed to increase the support for dissemination of information, and policy development including protocols and laws impacting the tribal food system; and 

WHEREAS, the ATNI Food Sovereignty Sub-Committee provides an opportunity for Northwest Tribal leaders to engage in dialogue with other tribes, organizations and decision makers to share information, discuss needs and issues, strategize, and develop regional and national policy; and 

WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has developed a National Food Sovereignty Advancement Initiative; and 

WHEREAS, the NCAI Food Sovereignty Advancement Initiative will hold four food sovereignty policy symposiums in the areas of agriculture, water, land, and climate action policy; and 

WHEREAS, these food sovereignty symposiums will gather information on how the federal government can alter the policies to empower food production efforts of tribal nations; and 

WHEREAS, the information gathered will be synthesized into a series of policy reports to be released by NCAI next year; and 

WHEREAS, it is imperative that Northwest Tribes provide input at these NCAI food sovereignty policy symposiums to ensure Northwest Tribal priorities are included; now 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that ATNI supports the attendance of representatives from the Food Sovereignty Sub-Committee at the NCAI Food Sovereignty Advancement Initiatives policy symposiums to communicate the needs of ATNI tribes.

CERTIFICATION 

The foregoing resolution was adopted at the 2020 Winter Convention of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton – Portland, Oregon, on January 27-30, 2020, with a quorum present. 

______________________________ ______________________________ 

Calling on the Washington State Governor and Legislature to Reform Water Rights for New Industrial and Commercial Users

Res #:Committee:Submitted by:Title:                                 Pass →YesNoAmended/TabledTo NCAI
2020-14Natural Resources/LandsTaylor AalvikCalling on the Washington State Governor and Legislature to Reform Water Rights for New Industrial and Commercial Users



 2020 Winter Convention 

Portland, Oregon 

RESOLUTION #2020 – 14 

“CALLING ON THE WASHINGTON STATE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE TO REFORM WATER RIGHTS FOR NEW INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL USERS” 

PREAMBLE 

We, the members of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest 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 rights secured under Indian Treaties, Executive Orders, and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and constitution of the United States and several states, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise to promote the welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution: 

WHEREAS, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) are representatives of and advocates for national, regional, and specific tribal concerns; and 

WHEREAS, ATNI is a regional organization comprised of American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and tribes in the states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Northern California, and Alaska; and 

WHEREAS, the health, safety, welfare, education, economic and employment opportunity, and preservation of cultural and natural resources are primary goals and objectives of the ATNI; and 

WHEREAS, 90.44 Revised Code of Washington (RCW) describes the State of Washington’s process for the management of public groundwater; and 

WHEREAS, Washington State provides for a permitting process for industrial or commercial purposes exceeding a specific use or quantity; and

WHEREAS, the State of Washington does not charge a market-rate fee to obtain public groundwater; and 

WHEREAS, the State of Washington Senate passed SB 6091 in January 2018; and 

WHEREAS, SB 6091 requires a $500 fee on wells and, in some places will limit withdrawals to an annual average of 950 gallons a day, as well as private well meters in some communities; and 

WHEREAS, although SB 6091 represents a step forward for Washington water conservation, it does not address significant water withdrawals by industrial and commercial interests; and 

WHEREAS, SB 6091 established RCW 90.44, “Streamflow Restoration,” which establishes methods for restoring streamflow in watersheds where water scarcity is a concern; and 

WHEREAS, water ‘buy-backs’ have been occurring at a rate which establishes that there is a market and a value for public water resources; and 

WHEREAS, the State of Washington does not establish a value or charge private commercial or industrial water developers a market rate for their withdrawals; now 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that ATNI does hereby call upon the Washington State Governor and the Washington State Legislature to reform water rights for new industrial and commercial water users; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that ATNI calls upon the Washington State Governor and the Washington State Legislature to value public water resources appropriately to market rates; and 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that ATNI requests the Washington State Governor and the Washington State Legislature to cease the practice of giving away public resources to private companies while charging private citizens for water use. 

CERTIFICATION 

The foregoing resolution was adopted at the 2020 Winter Convention of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton – Portland, Oregon, on January 27-30, 2020, with a quorum present. 

______________________________ ______________________________ 

Supporting the Washington State Legislature to Adopt the Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness Act

Res #:Committee:Submitted by:Title:                                 Pass →YesNoAmended/TabledTo NCAI
2020-13Natural Resources/LandsTaylor AalvikSupporting the Washington State Legislature to Adopt the Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness Act



 2020 Winter Convention 

Portland, Oregon 

RESOLUTION #2020 – 13 

“SUPPORTING THE WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATURE TO ADOPT THE WILDFIRE PREVENTION AND PREPAREDNESS ACT” 

PREAMBLE 

We, the members of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest 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 rights secured under Indian Treaties, Executive Orders, and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and constitution of the United States and several states, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise to promote the welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution: 

WHEREAS, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) are representatives of and advocates for national, regional, and specific tribal concerns; and 

WHEREAS, ATNI is a regional organization comprised of American Indians/Alaska Natives and tribes in the states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Northern California, and Alaska; and 

WHEREAS, the health, safety, welfare, education, economic and employment opportunity, and preservation of cultural and natural resources are primary goals and objectives of the ATNI; and 

WHEREAS, Washington State has experienced catastrophic wildfires in recent years; and 

WHEREAS, such fires have destroyed life, property, and culturally significant resources; and

WHEREAS, Washington tribal trust resources and tribal rights are threatened by increased wildfire risks associated with forest disease and climate change; and 

WHEREAS, Washington tribal leaders have expressed concerns that wildfire extent and severity is destroying trust resources and impacting air and water quality for all species; and 

WHEREAS, ATNI Tribes have actively managed forests since time immemorial which has provided the knowledge base to restore current forest health; and 

WHEREAS, the Washington State legislature has drafted legislation which may be known as the “Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness Act;” and 

WHEREAS, forest health conditions will require sustained and long-term investments in order to reverse our forest health and wildlife crisis; and 

WHEREAS, the proposed act would dedicate funding to improve the health and resiliency of Washington’s forests; now 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that ATNI supports state-wide forest health and fire protection activities on all Tribal, Federal, State, and private forests with the knowledge that these activities will be conducted in part with tribal governments and protect tribal resources from catastrophic fire loss; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that ATNI supports and encourages the Washington State Legislature to adopt a “Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness Act.” 

CERTIFICATION 

The foregoing resolution was adopted at the 2020 Winter Convention of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton – Portland, Oregon, on January 27-30, 2020, with a quorum present. 

______________________________ ______________________________ 

Calling on the Council on Environmental Quality for Consultation on Proposed Regulation Changes Under the National Environmental Policy Act

Res #:Committee:Submitted by:Title:                                 Pass →YesNoAmended/TabledTo NCAI
2020-12Natural Resources/LandsTaylor AalvikCalling on the Council on Environmental Quality for Consultation on Proposed Regulation Changes Under the National Environmental Policy Act


X

 2020 Winter Convention 

Portland, Oregon 

RESOLUTION #2020 – 12 

“CALLING ON THE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY FOR CONSULTATION ON PROPOSED REGULATION CHANGES UNDER THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT (NEPA)” 

PREAMBLE 

We, the members of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest 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 rights secured under Indian Treaties, Executive Orders, and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and constitution of the United States and several states, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise to promote the welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution: 

WHEREAS, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) are representatives of and advocates for national, regional, and specific tribal concerns; and 

WHEREAS, ATNI is a regional organization comprised of American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and tribes in the states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Northern California, and Alaska; and 

WHEREAS, the health, safety, welfare, education, economic and employment opportunity, and preservation of cultural and natural resources are primary goals and objectives of the ATNI; and 

WHEREAS, the Council on Environmental Quality proposed major regulatory changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on January 10, 2020; and

WHEREAS, tribal trust resources and tribal rights could be threatened by the proposed changes to environmental review by the January 10, 2020 rule changes; and 

WHEREAS, the Council for Environmental Quality cites a need to facilitate more efficient, effective, and timely NEPA reviews; and 

WHEREAS, NEPA regulations and guidance have in fact been frequently updated with focus on clarification, timeliness, and brevity; and 

WHEREAS, the Council on Environmental Quality proposal shows an attempt to significantly restrict reviews spatially and temporally; and 

WHEREAS, the proposed changes are likely to substantially restrict environmental review and consideration of related impacts; and 

WHEREAS, the Council on Environmental Quality proposal can likely be contrary to the meaning and intent of NEPA; and 

WHEREAS, ATNI would like to understand how the Council on Environmental Quality has established its legal burden to make substantive changes to the meaning and intent of lawfully approved Congressional legislation; now 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, pursuant to Executive Order 13175, ATNI does hereby respectfully call upon the Council on Environmental Quality to consult with tribes on its regulatory proposal to change regulations under NEPA; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that ATNI wants to know how the proposed NEPA regulatory changes may impact treaty and/or trust resources of the tribes; and 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that ATNI is opposed to NEPA regulatory changes that would diminish protections for culturally significant resources of the Tribes. 

CERTIFICATION 

The foregoing resolution was adopted at the 2020 Winter Convention of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton – Portland, Oregon, on January 27-30, 2020, with a quorum present. 

______________________________ ______________________________