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American Indian Nations demand fulfillment of the federal government's treaty obligations
* Quanah Brightman, Executive Director of United Native Americans Inc. [510-672-7187]
Sacramento, CA -United Native Americans, in solidarity with Idle No More Global Day of Action will host a peaceful rally and press conference Monday, October 7, 2013 at the John Moss Building, Central California Agency / Bureau of Indian Affairs located at 650 Capital Mall, Sacramento, California to address the issues regarding the government shutdown and its effects on the American Indian community. The event will begin at noon and end at 2:00 PM.
We, as the Indigenous community demand that the humanitarian crisis that our people are suffering from be acknowledged and resolved immediately.
We demand that the federal government continue to honor all treaties made between the United States government and the Indigenous people of North America before the shutdown.
Many people around the globe are currently unaware of the humanitarian crisis that is affecting America's First Nations people and that it is due to the US federal government shutdown. The federal government has all but cut its aid to the American Indian community.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs, or BIA, was originally founded under the United States War Department on March 11, 1824. As of now, with the status of this nation's government in limbo, the BIA being deemed a nonessential government agency, thus our people's needs are not a priority.
Tribes are unfairly suffering from an ongoing pattern of neglect by the federal government. These drastic cuts harm crucial and critical services to American Indian / Alaskan Native children, students, and families; the most poverty-stricken community here on American soil.
Tribes need adequate resources to exercise their self-determination and serve as affective nations. For many tribes, a majority of tribal governmental services are financed by Federal sources. Most tribes lack the tax base and lack priority tax authority to raise revenue to deliver services.
Public Safety and Justice is funded by the BIA. The public safety problems that plaque tribal communities are a result of decades of gross under funding and negligence for tribal criminal justice systems and a century's old failure by the federal government to fulfill its public safety obligations on tribal lands. Interrupting tribal revenue flow will increase unemployment and increase poverty rates.
Many of our Indian Health Services, workers, and Health Clinics are being hit extremely hard with furloughs and many lack resources to pay for staffing and operations of our health care facilities. The last thing we want our IHS workers to do is to be concerned about getting a paycheck. The fiscal year 2013 sequester has already cut $500 million from federal programs in Indian country.
Although some tribes have implemented strategies that enhance economic development for our communities to supplement federal sources, such as lucrative Indian Gaming, that does not supplement the federal government's duty to fulfill its treaty responsibilities and continue American diplomacy and development to the American Indian / Alaskan Native tribal communities by fulfilling its treaty obligations.
We demand President Obama execute an immediate executive order to begin distributing our promised budget through the US Assisted Development USAID to continue good working relations of diplomacy and continue development to American Indian / Alaskan Native tribal communities.
If President Obama and Congress will not honor it's treaty commitment to the American Indian community, we can file sanctions with the UNSCSC and demand return of all stolen land.
Under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, we demand mandatory sanctions against the United States Government for violations of all American Indian treaties and the cuts to tribal programs undermining Indian treaty rights and obligations, which were ratified under the Constitution and considered the "supreme law of the land".