NCAI President calls for UN Declaration Implementation


...[W]e call on the President to fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We specifically call for a review of all existing federal law to ensure they are in alignment with the Declaration.

In his State of Indian Nations Address, NCAI President Jefferson Keel called for the full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and for removing legal barriers to tribal development and self-government.   President Keel announced five key priorities for Indian nations: 

  • Strengthening the nation-to-nation relationship;
  • implementing the UN Declaration and reviewing all federal laws for compliance with the Declaration;
  • an Annual Nation-to-Nation summit;
  • appointing Native people to federal positions, particularly federal judgeships; and
  • he called upon all candidates to actively engage Indian Country in their campaigns.

Among other legislative priorities, he pointed out the urgency for the Senate to pass the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization and the SAVE Native Women Act. 

Quotes from some key moments of his address calling for important changes in federal law and policy:

“. . . [L]ong term success depends on tribal nations
having the same opportunities to protect and preserve
our communities that are available to state and
local governments.” (Listen to more...)

“We don’t need the government involved in all our business decisions,
we need flexibility.  And by creating it,we will remove the barriers
that cost us jobs and opportunity.” (Listen to more...)

“We need freedom at the local level to best use
our limited resources.  We know what is best
because we live in Indian Country.”

“Whether in economic development
or education, health care or energy,
the key to getting it right is the
freedom to identify  and tear
barriers to our success.”