Dear NARF Supporter,
With January having sped by so quickly, we are already focused on our work in 2016. But I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the successes of last year – made possible thanks to the unfaltering support of friends like you.
Here are some highlights from 2015, all of which the Native American Rights Fund played a role in:
• As opponents of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) challenged the best interests of tribal children, NARF’s ICWA Defense Team worked on and monitored cases at the federal and state level.
• For the first time ever, the rights of Indigenous Peoples and their traditional knowledge were recognized in the Paris Climate Change Agreement, adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
• In June, the Voting Rights Advancement Act was introduced, which included a new Section 2 called “Voting on Indian Lands” that mandates equal access to early voting, absentee voting and in-person polling locations on all Indian lands.
• Thanks to funding from a generous donor, we were able to regenerate our sacred sites protection efforts, monitoring legal issues impacting sacred places for Native peoples.
• In collaboration with various tribes, we put together a three-year plan and a Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) – among other initiatives – to focus on healing unresolved traumas related to Indian boarding schools.
Now, with advocates like you by our side, we are energized to tackle the challenges ahead in 2016. Thank you for helping us protect and advance Native sovereignty and Native rights!
John E. Echohawk
Executive Director, Native American Rights Fund