Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association
Resolution No. 08-07-26-07 RESOLUTION OF THE GREAT PLAINS TRIBAL CHAIRMAN'S
ASSOCIATION

Re: 2007 Indian Health Care Improvement Act

 

WHEREAS, the Great Plains (formerly Aberdeen Area) Tribal Chairman’s Association (GPTCA) is composed of the elected Chairs and Presidents of the sovereign Indian Tribes and Nations recognized by Treaties with the United States that are within the Great Plains Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and

 

WHEREAS, the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association was formed to promote the common interests of the sovereign Tribes and Nations and their members of the Great Plains Region; and

 

WHEREAS, the United States has obligated itself both through Treaties entered into with the sovereign Tribes and Nations of the Great Plains Region and through its own federal statutes, the Snyder Act of 1921 as amended, the Indian Self-Determination Act of 1976 as amended, and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act of 1976 as amended; and

 

WHEREAS, The sovereign Tribes and Nation of the GPTCA place high regard on the protection and guardianship of the Tribal Nations of the Great Plains and their Tribal Members, and;

 

WHEREAS, There are 16 GPTCA Tribes served by the Aberdeen Area Indian Health Service(IHS), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) by eight IHS hospitals, 10 clinics and numerous health stations in a direct delivery care structure; and

 

WHEREAS, These 16 Tribes’ total  enrolled membership is an estimated 170,000 and total land holdings of reservation trust lands encompass 11 million acres; and

 

WHEREAS, These large populations and land areas are greatly underserved by the IHS and other federal agencies’ health care funding; and

 

WHEREAS, The GPTCA is committed to a strengthened, comprehensive public health and direct health care system for their enrolled members; and

 

WHEREAS, several of the member Tribes of the GPTCA have never had a health care facility constructed by the Indian Health Service and have less than five doctors to serve thousands of tribal members, with no alternative health care available for over one hundred miles in any direction; and

 

WHEREAS, The GPTCA is greatly concerned by the lack of national, beneficial Tribal specific legislation and a federal policy that places Tribes in the position of solely relying on legislation that is not tailored to the Tribal nations and the government-to-government relationship between the federally recognized Tribes and the United States government

 

WHEREAS, The GPTCA is greatly concerned over the potential negative effect this proposed Indian health legislation may have on the political status of enrolled members of federally recognized Tribes in the Supreme Court decision of Morton v. Mancari upon which United States government programs have always been founded; and

 

WHEREAS, S. 1200 – the Indian Health Care Improvement Act has the potential to improve the health conditions of tribal members so long as the actual language in S. 1200 is carefully tailored to protect the government-to-government relationship of Tribes and the United Stated; and

 

WHEREAS, the current language of S. 1200 has the potential to erode the government-to-government trust relationship between Tribes and the United States, which will result in a further erosion of the treaty obligations of the United Stated government to provide health care for tribal members; and

 

WHEREAS, the Great Plains Tribes cannot support legislation that undermines the government-to-government relationship between federally recognized Tribes and the United States;

 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED; that the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association hereby adamantly opposes S. 1200 as currently drafted and respectfully requests that Congress not pass S. 1200 in its current form; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,  that the Great Plain’s Tribal Chairman’s Association hereby demands that the following concerns be addressed in S. 1200 before it is passed into law  in order to protect the federal responsibility for health care to federally-recognized Tribes on a government-to-government basis:

 

1.  “Reserve “consultation” to Tribes and Tribal Organizations throughout S. 1200 and “confer” with Urban Indian Organizations, in order to preserve government-to-government consultation between Tribes and Tribal Organizations and the United States as a treaty obligation, as set forth in the attached document;

 

2.   Retain the separate funding for Urban Indian non-profit organizations that serve “Urban Indians” as defined in Section 3(27) in Title V, but eliminate the S. 1200 addition of “Urban Indian Organizations” serving “Urban Indians” from Sections 126, 209, 210, 211, and 212 in order to preserve the unique treaty rights of Tribes and the trust responsibility of the United States to Tribes and tribal members of federally recognized Tribes; and

 

3. Remove “Urban Indian Organizations” from Sections 701, 707(g), 712(b)(1) and 301 which provisions authorize for Tribes and Tribal Organizations certain programs that are similarly authorized by Sections 503(e), 511 503(f) for Urban Indian Organizations and Urban Indians only;

 

4. Inclusions of Urban Indian Organizations in the above referenced sections, outside of title V and serving both federally and state recognized Indians, makes these organizations eligible twice whereas Tribes may only access those funds in Titles III and VIII; and

 

4.  Remove Section 301 (c)(3)(B) and (f) from S.1200 as these also include urban organizations within tribal consultation activities, and provides discretion to the Indian Health Service to establish a secondary health facility regional construction list and fund, undermining both an impartial facility funding system but duplicating other facility sections that allow for innovative (sec. 306), small ambulatory (sec. 305) or joint venture projects (sec. 311).

 

5. Amend Section 515 to provide 1 urban Indian treatment center per region, as Tribes and Tribal organizations are only granted one treatment center per region pursuant to Section 707 for all Indians served on Reservations; and which proposed language would authorize more services to urban centers than are available to Tribal Nations erodes the foundation of federal health care for Tribes and Tribal members; and

 

 

 THEREFORE BE FURTHER IT RESOLVED; that the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association hereby support passage of the bills S.1200 and HR1328 (companion bill), introduced in this 110th Congress,  which would reauthorize and strengthen the Indian health services provided to their communities only if the above conditions are met; and

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED; that the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association does not support any decisions to move S. 1200 into current law until and unless the above conditions are met to ensure that the Indian Health Care Improvement Act of 2007 does not erode the treaty responsibilities of the United States government, the trust responsibilities of the United States government to Tribes and tribal members, and to ensure that tribal sovereignty is strengthened by the Act rather than weakened; and

 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED; that the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association supports appropriations for Urban Indian Organizations so they may provide services to tribal members of federally recognized Tribes pursuant to Title V of S. 1200; and

 

 BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED; the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association call upon other Tribes and Indian Nations to join with us in all efforts to support the passage of Senate Bill 1200 under the above listed conditions and with the Amendments set forth herein in order to meet the United States government trust responsibilities to provide quality health care to federally recognized Tribal Nations and their members.

 

Resolution No. 08-07-26-07

 

RESOLUTION OF THE

GREAT PLAINS TRIBAL CHAIRMAN’S ASSOCIATION

 

Re: Support for United States Government Trust Responsibility and conditions for passage of IHCIA

 

CERTIFICATION

 This Resolution was enacted at a duly called meeting of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association held at  Ft. Pierre, SD on July 10, 2007  with a quorum present of  11  members present, 0 opposed and consummated via Conference Call on July 26, 2007, at which a quorum was present with 9 members voting in favor,  0 members opposed and 0 members abstaining and 7 members not present.

 

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