TITLE: NICOA Elders Oppose Cuts in Title V Funding
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, National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA) was established in 1976 by Tribal Leaders to advocate for improved comprehensive health, social services, and economic wellbeing for American Indian and Alaska Native Elders. NICOA submits to the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) this resolution passed by its members at their biennial meeting on September 5, 2014; and
WHEREAS, the Senior Community Employment Program or SCSEP is the largest federally funded program which targets older adults 55 and older seeking training and employment. It is authorized by Title V of the Older Americans Act. Created in 1965, the program matches eligible older adults with part time work-based training in community service organizations. Participants build skills and self-confidence while earning a modest income. For some, their SCSEP experience leads to permanent employment. This job training serves as a bridge to unsubsidized employment opportunities for participants and assists with the provision of needed community services; and
WHEREAS, the President’s FY 2015 budget request proposes a cut of over $54 million to SCSEP (from $434.4 million to $380 million) across the nation. This cut would mean a loss of paid training for 9,000 lower income older adults in national and state projects. This loss of funding would impact the Elders receiving training and also the programs who benefit from SCSEP participants’ assistance; and
WHEREAS, in the year ending June 30, 2014, NICOA SCSEP provided 539,513 hours of service in over 210 local tribal, government, and private nonprofit community agencies; and
WHEREAS, funding for the National Indian Council on Aging’s SCSEP would be cut by $730,717 starting July 1, 2015. About 100 fewer low income Elders would be provided jobs and training and approximately 61,700 staff hours would be lost by community service organizations.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NCAI opposes the proposed $54 million cut to SCSEP and any future cut in funding to SCSEP; and
BE IT FURTHER 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 2014 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, October 26-31, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia, with a quorum present.