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13th Annual Convention

226 Dupont Circle Building, 1346 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington 6, D.C.
Telephone ADams 2-3390


BE IT RESOLVED BY THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS, in convention assembled, September 24 to 28, 1956, Salt Lake City, Utah, that

WHEREAS, the Government of the United States has the primary responsibility for the ultimate adjustment of the affairs of the Indian people, a responsibility vested in the National Government by provisions of the Federal Constitution and made specific in numerous treaties, agreements, Acts of Congress, and regulatory measures; and WHEREAS, in its efforts to carry out its responsibility in this field the United States has depended too exclusively on law and regulation as the means of dealing with complex human problems, and at times has even resorted to the exercise of its full legal authority to enforce decisions which later proved to be erroneous and harmful to the interests of the Indian people; and
WHEREAS, it is our firm belief that many decisions affecting Indian welfare can only effectively be made by the people who lives and property are at stake and not by individuals in positions of authority, however well-trained in special friends such individuals may be; and
WHEREAS, we are well aware of the earnest desire of the Congress of the United States and of the Executive Branch of the Government to bring about the honorable discharge of the responsibilities and obligations assumed by the United States, and we, speaking for Indian tribes and many individual Indians of the United States and Alaska, having a desire to promote the ultimate adjustment of Indian life ways within the larger American community in a manner to preserve Indian cultural values; and 
WHEREAS, the declaration of national policy stated in House Concurrent Resolution 108 (83rd Cong.) is a flagrant example of an attempt to solve complex social, economic, cultural and legal problems by merely legalistic means;
NOW, THEREFORE, we urge the immediate repeal of House Concurrent Resolution 108 (83rd Cong.) and the substitution therefor of the following as a statement of national policy and as a guide to administrative action:

1. A plan of development be prepared for each reservation, pueblo, colony, village or other designation by which Indians of the United States and Alaska are recognized and under which designation lands or other assets are held in trust, whether such lands or assets are held in trust, whether such lands or assets are fully defined or not, such plans to be designed to bring about maximum utilization of physical resources by the dependent population and the development of that population to its full potential, such plans to be prepared by the Indians of the respective groups, with authority to call upon agencies of the Federal Government for technical assistance, and the ultimate purpose of such planning to be the growth and development of the resources of the people rather than the heedless termination of Federal responsibility for such people;

2. That requests for annual appropriations of funds be based on the requirements for carrying into effect these individual development plans, and the annual operating budget for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to include sufficient funds to carry out the program needs of each planning group;

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