Resolution 2020-12: Updating Tanana Chiefs Conference Harassment and Equal Employment Opportunity Employer Policies

WHEREAS, Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) is an Alaska Native tribal health and social services consortium established by the Interior Alaska tribes and tribal communities, to provide a unified voice in advancing
sovereign tribal governments through the promotion of physical and mental wellness, education, socioeconomic development and culture of the Interior Alaska Native; and

WHEREAS, TCC has a harassment policy that expressly prohibits any form of employee harassment, including derogatory comments, jokes, or innuendos, and threats or intimidation regarding an employee’s race,
ethnicity, sex, religion or disability; and

WHEREAS, TCC has an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy that states TCC will provide equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment and TCC will recruit, hire, train, and
promote persons in all job classifications without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, physical or mental disability or history of disability, sex, marital status, change in marital status, pregnancy, parenthood, military status, citizenship status, or genetic information; and

WHEREAS, The harassment and EEO employer policies were last updated in 2011;and

WHEREAS, TCC seeks to promote a safe and accepting working environment for all employees and where each person has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment; and

WHEREAS, While no state or federal protections exist for sexual orientation and gender identity, many large companies are choosing to provide harassment protections to their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees; and

WHEREAS, A city-wide ordinance protecting citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations for Fairbanks was initially passed by the
Fairbanks city council but was then abruptly vetoed by the Fairbanks mayor, despite a majority (80%) of public comments in support of the ordinance; and

WHEREAS, Federal equal employment opportunity protections for sex may not include sexual orientation or gender identify, if challenged in court; and

WHEREAS, The National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center published a data profile in 2015 that summarized the status of Native lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and Two Spirit communities and reported that 36% of Native American transgender employees reported losing a job because of their gender identity; that even when employment is maintained, it is far less likely to be full-time and that American Indians reported the lowest rate of full-time employment among LGBT adults; that these trends affect household incomes and the ability for same-sex couples to provide for their families where more than 1 in 3 children being raised by Native same-sex couples were living below the federal poverty level and more than half of LGBT Native Americans are food insecure; and

WHEREAS, Studies have shown that employees who feel accepted and safe with sharing their sexual orientation and/or gender identity at work report lower levels of anxiety, less conflict between work and personal life, greater job satisfaction, more sharing of employers’ goals, higher levels of satisfaction with their co-workers, more self-esteem, and better physical health; and

WHEREAS, Research has revealed that LGBT and Two Spirit Natives’ self-rated health and well-being improved if the individual felt high levels actualization, which is positive integration between their self-identity and racial group identity; and

WHEREAS, There are TCC employees who are not currently adequately protected in the harassment and EEO policies, if they were to be harassed or discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Tanana Chiefs Conference Full Board of Directors supports inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in both the harassment and EEO policies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Tanana Chiefs Conference Full Board of Directors supports creating a safe work environment for all employees, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, which includes creating a culture of acceptance and inclusivity in all Tanana Chiefs Conference buildings, meetings, activities, practices, and policies.

Submitted by: Beaver Tribal Council


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