On July 13, Congressman Adam Smith’s office published a press release regarding the historic funding increase for urban Indian organizations (UIOs) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill and highlighted the significance of UIOs, such as the Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB), in both Native and non-Native communities. Due to Congressman Smith’s advocacy, the FY22 Interior Appropriations bill, which passed the House Appropriations Committee on July 1, includes $200.5 million for urban Indian health— $137,816,000 above the enacted level.
“Urban Indian organizations, such as the Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB), play a pivotal role in providing health care for Native and non-Native communities across the country. They have been at the forefront of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting urban American Indians and Alaska Natives who are often marginalized in the traditional health care system,” said Congressman Smith. “This proposed increase in funding to urban Indian health organizations will strengthen clinics across the country, give them the tools to continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and eliminate disparities and inequities in the health care system. The proposed increase in funding to Tribal Epidemiology Centers, including the Urban Indian Health Institute at SIHB, is long overdue to expand research and disease surveillance to improve health outcomes in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.”
NCUIH applauds Congressman Smith for being a champion of urban Indian health and fighting for equitable access to healthcare for American Indians and Alaska Natives both on and off the reservation.