A mural is seen on the interior of the entrance of the Cheyenne River Health Center, an Indian Health Service facility in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Photo: Spc. Kristin Stoneback Fleig / DVIDS
Health | National

Native Sun News Today: Indian Health Service pulls funds without telling tribe

CRST and IHS meet about lack of communications

Tribe not consulted or informed about $4.1 million pulled from their budget
By Alaina Adakai
Native Sun News Today Correspondent

EAGLE BUTTE – On September 27, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier met with executives from the Cheyenne River Health Center, an Indian Health Service (IHS) Unit in Eagle Butte.

The meeting was the third meeting between the tribe and the Indian Health Service.

This past spring the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe learned that $4.1 million was pulled from the budget of the CRHC and the funds were reallocated into a separate budget at the IHS Great Plains Area level.

Chairman Frazier said that the tribe was neither consulted nor informed of the decision, and that the IHS had not obtained the tribe’s consent to pull the funding. Two meetings have since taken place between the Indian Health Service and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

At the last meeting Charles Fisher, Chief Executive Officer of the Cheyenne River Health Center, said, “We were notified about a week to 10 days after they had taken the money, without any consultation or no justification as to why. We were told that it had happened and given no opportunity to comment. We had to make some adjustments in our budget.”

During the last meeting with the tribe, the IHS Great Plains Area Office agreed to provide information for the proposed fiscal year-18 budget for the Cheyenne River Health Center.

Last week the CRHC executives presented this detailed budget information to Chairman Frazier and the tribe’s lawyer, Rebecca Kidder, of Fredericks Peebles & Morgan.

“We want to go through this line-by-line. Everything we agree on is a good thing. We need to have this conversation,” said Kidder.

Kidder, Chairman Frazier, and the Cheyenne River Health Center executives discussed each line item, two pages long, proposed in the budget that totaled over $41 million.

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(Contact Alaina Adakai at aadakai01@gmail.com)

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