Oppose any action, federal or non-federal, to seek the termination of the Indian Health Service’s (IHS) Interior Appropriation Account status, and through the transfer of said agency budget and appropriation allocation to the federal Labor-Health and Education appropriation and budget accounts.
WHEREAS, The Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association (GPTCA) is composed of the elected Chairs and Presidents of the 16 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 which comprises the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska; and
WHEREAS, The United States has obligated itself through (but not exclusively) (1) the Treaties entered into with the sovereign Tribes and Nations of the Great Plains Region, (2), the Snyder Act of 1921 as amended, (3) the Indian Self-Determination Act of 1975 as amended, and (4) the Indian Health Care Improvement Act of 1976 as amended; and
WHEREAS, Indian Tribes are governments that pre-date the United States, and through the Indian Commerce, Treaty and Apportionment Clauses and the 14th Amendment, the United States recognizes the status of Indian Tribes as sovereigns and the status of American Indians as tribal citizens; and
WHEREAS, In treaties, the United States pledged to protect Indian Tribes, guaranteed the right of Tribal self-government, and has undertaken a trust responsibility to promote the viability of Indian reservations and lands as permanent homelands for tribes;
WHEREAS, federal policies in the previous century sought to “Terminate” the U.S. – Tribal government-to-government relationship through a series of Legislative Enactments, ones strongly opposed by the Great Plains Tribes;
WHEREAS, the specific federal polices from 1945 to 1975 (aka “Termination Era”) were designed to promote Tribal forced assimilation and the destruction of tribal lands;
WHEREAS, said negative federal Termination Era polices sought to accomplish assimilation through the breakup of Tribal lands and culture, the transfer of federal programs to State control, and the individualization of “Indian” benefits and identify, including such acts as:
• 1934 Johnson O’Malley Act,
• 1953 House Concurrent Resolution 108,
• 1953 Public Law 280,
• 1954 Menominee Tribe Termination Act,
• 1954 Transfer of IHS to the DHEW, and
• 1954 Relocation of Indians Act.;
WHEREAS, said negative polices were later repudiated, by the Congress, specifically when the Civil Rights era and the Indian Self Determination era were ushered in;
WHEREAS, any misguided efforts to promote the transfer of federal Indian health programs into the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) spending bill are a resurrection of previous assimilative and discredited policies that were intended to enhance individual benefit rights at the expense of Tribal Sovereign status and the government-to-government relationship that the Great Plains Tribes fought for and preserved through our Treaty and other legislative advocacy; and
WHEREAS, on February 8, 2012, the Tribal Chairmen and the Tribal Council representatives from the Tribal Nations that are members of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association, met to discuss issues of great importance to the Indian Tribal Nations of the Great Plains Region and their members, including Opposition to the Transfer of the IHS budget account out of the Interior Appropriations allocations and spending bill.
NOW, THEREFORE IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the GPTCA opposes any transfer of the IHS or any level of transfer of IHS authority from the Interior Appropriations allocations and spending bill to any other entity or area of the Federal budget, as well as any decreases to the IHS budget; and,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the GPTCA opposes any federal legislation which follows the now-discredited policies of termination by assimilation of federal programs for Indian Tribes into general federal accounts or through state block grants; and
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, like our Ancestors and Tribal Leaders who fought for and preserved our Tribal Sovereign status and the government-to-government relationship, the Tribal Leaders of the GPTCA will continue this fight for our Children and our Future Generations.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the GPTCA opposes any federal polices which would transform the IHS health care delivery system into an individualized benefit system without the full knowledge and participation of the Indian Tribal Nations; circumventing the US’s obligation in their fiduciary, and trust, role to Tribal Governments; and
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that this resolution shall be the policy of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association until otherwise amended or rescinded or until the goal of this Resolution, providing adequate and quality to the Indian Nations and the Indian people has been accomplished.
Resolution NO. 5-2-8-12
This resolution was enacted at a duly called meeting of the GPTCA at a meeting held in Aberdeen, South Dakota, at which a quorum was present, with 13 members voting in favor, 0 members opposed, 0 members not abstaining, and 3 members not present.
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