"My name is Ron His Horse is Thunder and I am the great-great grandson of One Bull, the nephew and adopted son of Sitting Bull, our Hunkpapa Lakota Nation Chief. All of my life, I have tried to walk the good red road and serve my people. Tunkasila, Grandfather, has a plan for all of us.
For the last four years, Tunkasila has blessed me by providing me the opportunity to serve my people as chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Now, Tunkasila has a new plan for me. I wish to thank all those who supported me. I congratulate Charlie Murphy who won our election for tribal chairman Sept. 30. As we move forward, I wanted to take the time to point out that there is unfinished business that must be taken care of for all of our people.
First on health care, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., will have leading roles and their votes will be essential. As the nation considers how to cover every American and ensure that no one dies for lack of health insurance, our Native American people must be treated fairly. Both of our senators have taken important steps forward to help us – Sen. Conrad has a measure to stop IRS taxation of tribal government health care and health insurance. Sen. Dorgan has an amendment to add the Indian Health Care Improvement Act to President Obama’s health care package, which provides important reauthorization for IHS. Our senators deserve our heartfelt thanks.
Yet, more must be done. The IHS receives only one-third the funding per patient that Medicare or the Veteran’s Health Administration receives. We must change it in the President’s National Health Care Reform. We must call upon our senators to increase funding for the IHS from 33 percent to 50 percent in year one, 55 percent in year two, and so on, until we reach 100 percent of per patient funding at the level provided for Medicare and the Veteran’s Administration."
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Ron His Horse Is Thunder:
The good red road
(Indian Country Today 10/12)