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, more than 23 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) lived in poverty in 2009; and
WHEREAS, 20 percent of AIAN elderly married couples and 49 percent of AIAN elderly unmarried persons rely on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income; and
WHEREAS, 31.5 percent of AIAN Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients depend on SSDI for 90% or more of their income, and another 16% depend on it for 75-89% of their income; and
WHEREAS, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction has mandated that Social Security issues be addressed.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI urges the United States Congress to not reduce Social Security’s Cost of Living Allowance and increase the allowance in proportion to realistic rates of inflation experienced by low-income beneficiaries, such as rising health care costs; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NCAI urges the United States Congress to not raise the age of full social security eligibility and consider returning it to 65, thus including more AIAN beneficiaries who have low income, physically challenging careers; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NCAI urges the United States Congress to protect low income beneficiaries by utilizing broader sources of income to assure Social Security’s solvency; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NCAI urges Congress to mandate and fund the Social Security Administration to increase intergenerational outreach and educational opportunities to help underserved populations achieve greater economic security over their lifetimes; and
BE IT FINALLY 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 2012 Mid-Year Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at The Cornhusker Hotel from June 17-20, 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska, with a quorum present.