Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Health | Opinion
Letter: Indian health care a treaty obligation


"The U.S. government has made written treaties, verbal agreements, informal, formal and every loophole they could think of, even the broken treaties. It is a known fact that this government has broken every agreement it has ever made with the Indians of the Americas. (This is called Promises in exchange for Indian Land.) This equals to trust responsibility: The government promised health care, education, employment and housing. Now where is it written that any Indian off the reservation is not allowed to the same entitlements?

The Indian issue to me, having done research, learning from my grandfathers, my parents, relatives, the government should be funding the tribes and their peoples every year or whenever in need. I believe the cost of living should be included. It is not a Democrat, Republican or independent Election Year problem. It still remains on the books with the U.S. government, and whoever is leading Congress, it needs to be taken care of. Our politicians pretend it was written with disappearing ink. I don't see why laws have to be created every time the responsibilities for the Indian arises. Every year the funding for the Indian people is reduced and is getting worse.

The public, whether you're black, red, yellow, white, brown or green, need to understand these agreements because you play a role in this problem. I always hear the public say, "You get free this or free that." It's the lands of South Dakota that you walk on, drive on, farm on, ranch on that is the issue. You pay for the land you use. The funds that come to the reservation only apply to the needs of the people. It also is government-regulated. People living off the reservation do not get any type of help from these funds and they should, but the government says "no.""

Get the Story:
Wayne M. Star Boy: Tribal health care part of obligation on part of U.S. (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 2/6)

Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendments:
S.1200 | H.R.1328

White House Document:
Statement of Administration Policy (January 22, 2008)

House Energy and Commerce Committee Documents:
Summary | Manager's Amendment | Press Release | Webcast

Relevant Documents:
Letter to President Bush | Letter to Alberto Gonzales | DOJ White Paper

Relevant Links:
National Congress of American Indians - http://www.ncai.org
Indian Health Service - http://www.ihs.gov
National Indian Health Board - http://www.nihb.org

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