Articel reposted from NDN News – Daily Headlines in Indian Country:
Dear Tribal Leaders and Tribal Emergency Management and Response Providers:
Is Indian Country ready?
Our communities are in need of essential services that will support the quality of life, health, and safety of Native people throughout the United States. Access to emergency services is a fundamental principle and responsibility of government, however Indian Country experiences significant disparities regarding accessibility and sustainability of these services. These disparities are unacceptable. In an effort to enhance tribal sover-eignty and self-governance, we must take immediate action to enhance the safety, security and well-being of our people.
Throughout the last few years, various conversations have been held with multiple part-ners to identify and create a solution that is centered on enhancing emergency services throughout Indian Country. These discussions have revealed the need for a unified ap-proach to improving emergency services – an approach that speaks with one strong, united voice. The solution is a National Tribal association whose focus is on strengthen-ing emergency management and services throughout Indian Country. Based on a multi-discipline approach, the national association would serve as a conduit for coordinating and improving emergency services within Tribal communities nationwide. With signifi-cant consultation and representation, the association would have the capacity to serve as an advocate and coordinating body for training, incident response, project delivery and other efforts to enhance each discipline of emergency management and services.
In January, a meeting was held in Portland, Oregon to discuss the creation and sustaina-bility of a National Tribal association to support emergency management, response, and services throughout Indian Country. Representatives from several Tribes and regional organizations convened to share information about emergency management operations in their respective areas. The resulting vision was to create a united voice with respect to promoting and enhancing tribal emergency service capacity. A National Tribal emer-gency management and services association was outlined, consisting of a tribal-centric governing structure and an organizational structure that included all the disciplines of emergency services: Fire, EMS, Emergency Management, Law Enforcement/Homeland Security, and Incident Response. It was agreed however, that an emerging national model must be decided by consensus from across Indian Country. Therefore, we are presenting this concept to you today to ask for your input, thoughts, and ideas as we move forward and lay the groundwork for this association.
We have developed a survey which will serve as a method to not only capture input concerning the creation of this association, but also as a snapshot to see what services are currently available and desired within Tribal communities. We will present and dis-cuss the data collected from this survey and identify necessary steps to move forward at a meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 8th, 2012. This meeting will coincide with the Department of Interior/Bureau of Indian Affairs sponsored Tribal Assistance Coordination Group (TAC-G) conference.
The survey can be accessed at this link:https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NationalTribal.
We believe an effective national association can only be developed through the transparent exchange of in-formation and ideas with Tribal partners. It is the intention of the National Tribal association working-group to engage all Tribes, Pueblos, Rancherias, Nations, Villages, Communities, other jurisdictions and agencies to de-velop solutions that promote emergency management and services throughout Indian Country. Your input at this crucial phase of development is imperative. We encourage you to voice your ideas and concerns about the development of this national association now. This is truly an historic moment for Indian Country. We do not want you to miss the opportunity to stand up and be heard in this national conversation. Thank you for your careful consideration of this matter. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Jake Heflin (Osage)
Lead Facilitator National Tribal Working Group PO Box 11901 Reno, NV 89510 949.500.1224 firstname.lastname@example.org