Harold Frazier
Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe addresses the National Congress of American Indians in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on October 23, 2019. Photo by Kevin Abourezk
Chairman Frazier statement regarding the White House Tribal Nations Summit
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Chairman, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

EAGLE BUTTE, South Dakota — I have just finished sitting through the White House Tribal Nations Summit and I am not impressed.

I waited two days for the opportunity to inform someone about what is actually happening here on the Cheyenne River Reservation to no avail. The show put on by the current administration has left myself and a majority of Indian Country without a voice, and more blatantly, without action.

Currently, my people are sitting in Indian Health Service hospital waiting rooms for more than 36 hours desperately in need of attention and cannot even be admitted to a bed. The last tribal member sent off the reservation was sent to another state hundreds of miles from family and familiar faces.

This President and his administration are leaving my people in the hallways and parking lots while they fill computer meeting screens with panels of people that are not a part of our healthcare system where we live. We cannot expect anything to get accomplished when the Indian Health Service is not even at the COVID discussion in the White House.

Like it or not the IHS is our healthcare provider and is all we have to care for us and stand in front of the pandemic. Just because we are no longer fighting against the White House to save our people it does not mean that this White House is working for or with us.

The treaty responsibilities between our two nations are getting put in the hallways and parking lots of this democracy just like my people and it is costing lives. I expected more from this Presidency and when you look at the voting map you would clearly see that all of us here did as well.

You have had your Tribal Nations show, now give us some Tribal Nations action. It will not get done on your computer screen and it is high time you came here to see for yourself.


Harold Frazier is serving his second consectuvei term as chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, an Indian nation based in South Dakota. He also serves as president of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association. He previously served as chair and vice chair of his tribe and as an area vice president for the National Congress of American Indians.

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