National Indian Gaming Association joins "We Are Still In"

The Executive Board of the National Indian Gaming Association unanimously approved a resolution joining We Are Still In during their annual Mid-Year Conference this month.

The title reads: "We Are Still in Continued Support for Paris Agreement to Maintain Tribal Economic and Community Benefits." The resolution is in continued support of efforts to reduce negative impacts to climate change.

Read the full resolution below:



TITLE: We Are Still In Continued Support for Paris Agreement To Maintain Tribal Economic and Community Benefits

WHEREAS, the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) is an intertribal association of 184 federally recognized Indian Tribes established to support Indian gaming and defend Indian sovereignty; and

WHEREAS, Indian Tribes are sovereigns that pre-date the United States, with prior and treaty protected rights to self-government and to our Indian lands, and

WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States, through the Treaty, Commerce, and Apportionment Clauses and the 14th Amendment, recognizes the sovereign status of Indian Tribes as Native nations established prior to the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (the “IGRA”) acknowledged and confirmed the inherent sovereign powers of Tribal Governments; and

WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Indian Gaming Association, to uphold our common commitment and purpose to advance the lives of Indian peoples economically, socially, and politically, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and

WHEREAS, NIGA operates as an educational, legislative, and public policy resource for tribal policy makers as well as the public, on issues related to Indian gaming and tribal community development; and

WHEREAS, Tribes depend upon the continuity and health of their environments for community and economic growth; and

WHEREAS, for thousands of years American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes have provided leadership on ecosystem protection to support economic and community strength for generations to come; and

WHEREAS, climate change is one of the greatest threats facing mankind, Tribes are among the most impacted by its effects, and are Tribes are suffering economic and social damage from changing climate conditions; and

WHEREAS, hundreds of Tribes across the Lower 48, Alaska, and Hawaii are already withstanding the impacts of a warming planet, including drought, reduced fisheries and wildlife, wildfire, floods, severe storms, landslides, loss of habitat, melting permafrost, vulnerable and
stressed infrastructure, and migration of tribal communities away from coastlines due to sea level rise; and

WHEREAS, Tribes are already taking significant action to fight the causes and impacts of climate change, including planned transitions to lower-carbon energy and transportation, energy efficiency measures, using traditional ecological knowledge and new technologies to reduce greenhouse gases, adapting to changing conditions, building resilient communities by pairing low-carbon solutions with adaptation and emergency preparedness; and

WHEREAS, in 2015, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reached universal agreement to address climate change; and

WHEREAS, the goal of the Paris Agreement as stated in Article 2 is “to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change . . .;” and

WHEREAS, in 2016 the U.S. signed and ratified the Paris Agreement, and the agreement took effect; and

WHEREAS, on June 1, 2017, the U.S. announced its intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement; and

WHEREAS, Tribes as sovereign nations, routinely join international, national, state, and local governments in certain global, national, and local cooperative and co-ministerial responsibilities, including reducing the causes of climate change; and

WHEREAS, many Tribes, and Tribal associations such as National Congress of American Indians have overwhelmingly stated their continued support of the Paris Agreement and climate action initiatives,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) does hereby declare its continued support of the Paris Agreement to protect the resources and ecosystems that support Tribal economies and Tribal communities now and for generations to come; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NIGA will continue to support and advocate for initiatives intended to improve economic and community conditions for Tribes, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote Tribal resilience, and improve the health of the people; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NIGA supports actions of Tribal Nations to exercise their inherent sovereignty to co-manage with other international and national governments; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NIGA hereby joins, and invites member Tribes to join, the “We Are Still In” cooperative effort to support the Paris Agreement, and to support climate action to bring about the economic and community benefits for Tribes that are expected outcomes of the Paris Agreement goals, including less economic threat and risk, and improved community health.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that this resolution shall be the position of NIGA until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.