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, Expanding access to high quality education has been a primary goal of the TCC from the founding meeting of the Tanana Chiefs with Judge Wickersham in 1913 to the present day; and
WHEREAS, The Tribes of the TCC Region would like to see even better educational outcomes for our students, including proficiency in our Native languages, even higher graduation rates and test scores; and
WHEREAS, The Tribes of the TCC Region support self-determination and sovereignty, including the right of our tribes to educate our own Tribal Members; and
WHEREAS, This right is consistent with the United Nations Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous Peoples, particularly Articles 1, 3, 4, 11, 13, and finally, and especially, Article 14 which recognizes the right that Indigenous peoples have to “establish and control their own educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages … without discrimination … ” and it is important and relevant to note that the United States of America is a signatory to this Declaration; and
WHEREAS, The potential for Tribes to be able to compact and manage k-12 educational services to our members from the State of Alaska and from the United States is an important step; and
WHEREAS, There are many components in the educational system from accreditation, to teacher certification, to academic standards, and so forth, which may need to be addressed in this process; and
WHEREAS, The diverse Tribes of the interior of Alaska may decide to compact with the State of Alaska and the United States of America to exercise their sovereign rights, to exercise their self-determination, to improve schools, and to increase educational attainment across the region, by compacting with this State and/or Nation individually or possibly in consortia; and
WHEREAS, Legislation on the State level and the Federal level of governance is necessary to enable the compacting of Education by our member Tribes.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Tanana Chiefs Conference Full Board of Directors support and advocate that the Alaska Legislature adopt legislative bills to provide the option for Tribes to enter into compacts managing our education systems; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Tanana Chiefs Conference requests that additional financing and aid be granted to the Tribes by the Federal government to meet the Trust Responsibility to provide educational
services to the Tribes; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development work with Tribes via government to government consultation to adopt appropriate regulations for Tribally Compacted Schools, including an alternate minimum school size.
Submitted by: Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich’in Tribal Government and the Native Village of Tanana
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