Editorial: Civil Rights upheaval hurts Indian Country

"First, the Bush administration's proposed budget included major slashes in funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Now, it looks as though the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' Denver office is on the chopping block. That's the office that has been at the forefront of investigating complaints by South Dakota Native Americans of unequal treatment.

The office-closing might be more symbolic than substantive, but that symbolism is clear. 'I think the conservatives in power now probably want a very weak and watered-down civil rights commission,' said Charles Abourezk, a state advisory committee member from Rapid City.

Sen. Tim Johnson also had harsh words. 'Not only are we failing to meet the health care needs of so many, but now an office that has helped bring those inequities to light is to be closed,' he said."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Indians shortchanged (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 4/25)

Indian Country Reports:
Broken Promises: Evaluating the Native American Health Care System (July 2004) | A Quiet Crisis: Federal Funding and Unmet Needs in Indian Country (July 2003)

Relevant Links:
United States Commission on Civil Rights - http://www.usccr.gov

Related Stories:
Lakota woman's term on civil rights panel ends (04/15)
Another resignation at troubled Civil Rights Commission (03/16)
Civil rights pick opposes affirmative action (12/10)
Civil Rights Commission now leans conservative (12/9)
Top two on Civil Rights Commission resign (12/8)
Bush appoints new head of Civil Rights Commission (12/7)
Report calls on U.S. to honor health care commitment (08/30)
Editorial: U.S. failing to provide Indian health care (08/30)
Navajos turn out for civil rights commission hearing (05/03)
Civil rights panel to hold hearing in Farmington (04/29)
Report documents unmet needs in Indian Country (7/23)