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May 5 - 6, 2020
Join the leadership of Indigenous Nations and tribes located on or near the international boundaries to discuss border-crossing issues and efforts to facilitate the mobility of indigenous people, while securing tribal lands and the United States.
Pascua Yaqui Tribe
Casino Del Sol Resort & Conference Center
October 20, 2019
1 pm - 4 pm
Albuquerque Convention Center
401 2nd Street NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
One of the goals of the Tribal Border Alliance is to seek input from as many tribes as possible. On February 12, 2019, the Tribal Border Caucus of the National Congress of the American Indian met to discuss the proposal drafted earlier in the year. The current proposal proposal reflects much of what was discussed during this meeting.
In late January 2019, leaders of Indigenous Nations and tribes located on or near the international boundaries of Canada, Mexico, and Russia discussed border crossing related issues and efforts to facilitate the mobility of indigenous people, while securing tribal lands and the United States.
The result of that meeting was a proposal and a plan to engage the U.S. Federal Government to address some legal aspects of indigenous border crossings and the need for further training for federal border officials.
The National Congress of American Indians
TITLE: In Support of Indigenous Border Crossing Rights
The below resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2018 Midyear Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Marriott Kansas City Downtown, June 3-6, 2018, with a quorum present.
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 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 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 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Article 36 recognizes that “Indigenous peoples, in particular those divided by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members …” and that governments shall help to facilitate this right; and
WHEREAS, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution prevents the Congress from making any law prohibiting the free exercise of religion; and
WHEREAS, members of tribes are also citizens of the United States, many of which have served in the United States military, including making the ultimate sacrifice for their country; and
WHEREAS, tribes and First Nation’s communities pre-existed the establishment of International boundaries; and
WHEREAS, events arising from September 11, 2001 and beyond created the need to secure America’s borders but failed to consider the tribal lands and territories that extend beyond the arbitrary borders placed throughout those lands; and
WHEREAS, U.S.-Canada-Mexico government agencies have not given adequate consideration to those tribal nations, communities and citizens located along the Northern and Southern borders; and
WHEREAS, tribal leaders have shared the difficulties they face when crossing the Northern and Southern borders, such as the unwillingness of border agents to accept tribal government-issued identification documents, excessive interrogation and harassment, denial of entry for minor offenses, and the improper handling of sacred or cultural items; and
WHEREAS, American Indian tribal and First Nation’s members must be allowed to work within their traditional territories without harassment; and
WHEREAS, border officials must act as partners in border security in a way that treats tribal governments and First Nation’s communities as equal, yet sovereign governmental partners; and
WHEREAS, tribal governments and First Nations should coordinate efforts when addressing shared concerns at the Northern and Southern borders.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) does hereby support the efforts of Northern and Southern border tribes to address the following areas:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI calls on the federal government to work with tribes to develop a policy regarding tribal mobility in consultation with tribes, including the acceptance of Enhanced Tribal Identification Cards or other alternative tribal documentation for border crossing; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.