National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Resolutions Related to Violence Against Women

By Laura Van Oudenaren, Manager of Leadership Development, NCAI, and Kendra Kloster, Tribal Citizen of Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Co-Director, Law and Policy, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center

The following list is a selection of the resolutions passed by NCAI that relate to violence against women. Since 2000, NCAI has passed more than 20 resolutions advocating for improved services and comprehensive responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW), and stalking. The table below captures key policy measures advocated for by a selection of the resolutions and their current status. The table represents only a portion of the resolutions passed related to violence against women and expanding the Tribal authority to protect American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women.

Despite the progress made on many of these resolutions, AI/AN women continue to experience disproportionately high levels of all forms of violence and sexual violence as compared to any other demographic in the US and Canada. NCAI and its partners will continue their efforts to realize the calls to action in resolutions that remain outstanding and introduce new resolutions that aim to eradicate violence against Native women.


What Remains To Be Done

The strength of the policy advocacy of the last 20 years is evidenced by the number of resolutions fully or partially realized. However, the work is far from over. Transforming resolutions into formal policies can take time. Our experience has been that changes such as special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction and VOCA tribal set-aside appropriations can take up to 10 years to secure. Likewise, there are many issues and needs regarding the implementation of VAWA that have not been captured in a formal resolution, including, but not limited to: Inadequate funding for restored jurisdiction, outstanding injustice of MMIW, Tribal funding, and disbursement of the Crime Victims Fund, and disparities in BIA funding across states.

Out of  NCAI’s adopted resolutions, the following initiatives remain outstanding:

  • As called for in REN-13-006, Alaska still lacks adequate funding to support public safety.
  • A Castro-Huerta fix has not been delivered, as called for in SAC-22-039.
  • Although the emergency contraceptive policy called for in LNK-12-001 was enacted, many women still encounter problems with access, and some IHS facilities have not followed the policy. 
  • Although NCAI opposed man-camps and their deleterious effects in ANC-22-007, the Thacker Pass man-camp and others remain.
  •  As called for in SAC-21-040, the "Family Violence Prevention and Services Act has not been reauthorized.”