Opposition to Proposed Imminent Closure and Sale of the Northwest Regional Branch of National Archives Facilities, Sandpoint Way, Seattle

Res #:Committee:Submitted by:Title:                                 Pass →YesNoAmended/TabledTo NCAI
2020-01Off the Floor
Opposition to Proposed Imminent Closure and Sale of the Northwest Regional Branch of National Archives Facilities, Sandpoint Way, SeattleX


 2020 Winter Convention 

Portland, Oregon 

RESOLUTION #2020 – 01 

“OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED IMMINENT CLOSURE AND SALE OF THE NORTHWEST REGIONAL BRANCH OF NATIONAL ARCHIVES FACILITIES, SANDPOINT WAY, SEATTLE” 

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 National Archives maintains the Federal Archives and Records Center in Seattle, Washington (known as the “Sand Point Archive”); and

WHEREAS, the Sand Point Archive contains historical records from all federal agencies, including the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service and other agencies that have had dealings with Indian tribes; and 

WHEREAS, the Sand Point Archive safeguards many historical materials important to Indian tribes, such as original copies of correspondence between treaty authors, Indian agents, and tribal leaders during treaty negotiations in the mid-19th Century, as well as original drafts of the treaties themselves; and 

WHEREAS, the Sand Point Archive houses tribal and individual tribal member records which detail family medical histories, household composition and other census/membership records, land assignments and losses; and 

WHEREAS, there is a federal Trust responsibility to maintain records of Trust Assets and to continue to make them available for tribal use; and 

WHEREAS, the Sand Point Archive obtained all the information related to Alaska tribes when the Anchorage archives were closed in 2014; and 

WHEREAS, the Federal Assets Sale and Transfer Act of 2016 (“FASTA”) empowers the Public Buildings Reform Board (“PBRB”) to identify specific Federal properties for disposal in a manner that will “obtain the highest and best value for the taxpayer” and to accomplish the goal of “facilitation and expediting the sale or disposal of unneeded Federal civilian real properties”; and 

WHEREAS, the PBRB issued a report in December 2019 recommending the sale of the Sand Point Archive; and 

WHEREAS, neither the PBRB nor any federal agency conducted any formal consultation with potentially impacted Indian tribes about the decision to close the Sand Point Archive; and 

WHEREAS, the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) has identified concerns with an earlier version of the PBRB report which also identified sale of the Sand Point Archive; and 

WHEREAS, the transportation to another locale of irreplaceable historical documents and materials relating to Indian tribes threatens their damage, deterioration and total loss; now 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that ATNI does hereby call upon the Office of Management and Budget to immediately halt any decision regarding the potential closure of the Sand Point Archive until formal government-to-government consultation has been conducted with affected and interested Indian tribes, as provided for under Executive Order 13175. AFFILIATED TRIBES OF NORTHWEST INDIANS RESOLUTION # 2020-01 

2020 WINTER CONVENTION PAGE

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. 

______________________________ ______________________________ 

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