NCUIH Joins NIHB and over 130 Tribal Nations and Other Organizations in Urgent Push for Stable Funding for the Indian Health Service

As Native American Heritage Month ended, advocates for Native communities joined together during the Tribal Nations Summit in Washington, DC to call for Congress and the White House to enact Advance Appropriations for Indian health now.

On December 12, 2022, the National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) joined the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) and over 130 groups, including Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs), Tribal Nations, and friends of Indian health in sending letters to the President and Congressional leadership while negotiations on Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 spending are currently underway. The letters request support for the House-passed funding of $8.121 billion for the Indian Health Service (IHS) for FY 2023 and advance appropriations for IHS for FY 2024. The urgency is being felt among advocates as the government is currently funded under a Continuing Resolution through December 16. During the last government shutdown, UIOs reported at least 5 patient deaths and significant disruptions in patient services. Securing stable funding for IHS in the final FY 2023 omnibus has been a major priority for Indian Country to ensure the continuation and delivery of health services to all Native people regardless of where they live.  There is bipartisan support for ensuring advance appropriations and ending budget delays for the Indian Health Service.

This week, allies joined in support of a Day of Action on November 30, 2022 on the last day of Native American Heritage Month and the first day of the White House Tribal Nations Summit.

Photo of Chairman W. Ron Allen

Native Leaders Call on Congress to Act Now on Advance Appropriations

A Bipartisan Tradition: Supporting Stability for the Indian Health Service Unites a Divided Congress

Currently, 107 current Members of Congress have expressed support for advance appropriations for the Indian Health Service since the first bill was introduced by the late Representative Don Young (R-AK-At Large; H.R. 3229) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK; S. 1570) in 2013. Closing today, House Native American Caucus Co-Chairs Sharice Davids (D-KS-03) and Tom Cole (R-OK-04) are leading the third bipartisan letter of the year to the House Appropriations Committee calling for advanced appropriations for IHS to be included in the final FY23 Appropriations bill. Members of Congress also joined the Day of Action conversation by expressing their direct support for protecting IHS funding. For example:

  • Longstanding sponsor of the Indian Health Service advance appropriations, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN-04) called on her colleagues to vote in support of advance appropriations and stated that “Vital health care services should NOT be interrupted if there’s a government shutdown.”
  • Former Chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and current Committee Member, Senator John Tester (D-MT) stated, “Our Native communities deserve a stable health care system—yet the Indian Health Service is the only major federal provider without stable funding. I stand with advocates across Indian Country today in pushing for advance appropriations for the IHS.
  • Champion of the Honoring Promises to Native Nations proposal, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said, “IHS is the only major federal provider of health care that faces budget uncertainty. It’s time for Congress to guarantee predictable funding and end this inequity.”
  • Melanie Stansbury (D-NM-01), member of the House Natural Resources Committee, stated that “When budget negotiations falter, Indigenous lives are at stake… I stand with Indigenous communities in support of advance appropriations for the Indian Health Service.”.
  • Staunch advocate for IHS on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA-36) stated that “Lack of funding shouldn’t be an impediment for our Tribes to receive the lifesaving services they need and deserve.
Full List of Letter Supporters

The full list of supporting Tribal Nations and organizations is as follows:

Tribal Nations:
  • Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
  • Caddo Nation
  • Chickasaw Nation
  • Citizen Potawatomi Nation
  • Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California
  • Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
  • Cowlitz Tribe
  • Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
  • Jamul Indian Village of California
  • Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
  • La Posta Band of Mission Indians
  • Lummi Indian Business Council
  • Manchester Point Arena Band of Pomo Indians
  • Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe)
  • Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
  • Nez Perce Tribe
  • Oneida Nation
  • Pechanga Band of Indians
  • Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma
  • Poarch Creek Indians
  • Pueblo of Tesuque
  • Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe
  • Rappahannock Tribe
  • Resighini Rancheria
  • Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe
  • Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  • Skokomish Tribe
  • Sokaogon Chippewa Community
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
  • Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
  • Tohono O’odham Nation
  • Tsalagiyi Nvdagi Tribe
  • Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
  • Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe
  • Walker River Paiute Tribe
  • Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)
  • Ysleta del Sur Pueblo
  • ACA Consumer Advocacy
  • AI/AN Health Partners
  • Alaska Native Health Board
  • Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
  • Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board, Inc.
  • American Academy of Dermatology Association
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Indian Health & Services
  • American Indian Health Commission for Washington State
  • American Indian Health Service of Chicago
  • Association on American Indian Affairs
  • Bakersfield American Indian Health Project, Inc.
  • Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation
  • California Consortium for Urban Indian Health
  • California Rural Indian Health Board
  • Canoncito Band of Navajos Health Center
  • Caring Ambassadors Program
  • Choctaw Health Center
  • Coalition of Large Tribes
  • Colorado Consumer Health Initiative
  • Consolidated Tribal Health Project, Inc.
  • Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.
  • Copper River Native Association
  • Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments
  • Every Texan
  • Fallon Tribal Health Center
  • Families USA
  • Family Voices
  • First Focus on Children
  • Fresno American Indian Health Project
  • Great Lakes Area Tribal Health Board
  • Great Plains Tribal Leaders’ Health Board
  • Health Care Voices
  • Hepatitis C Mentor & Support Group, Inc.
  • Hunter Health
  • Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa
  • Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley
  • Indigenous Pact
  • Inter Tribal Association of Arizona
  • International Association for Indigenous Aging
  • International Association of Forensic Nurses
  • Justice in Aging
  • Kansas City Indian Center
  • Kids Forward
  • Maniilaq Association
  • Metro New York Health Care for All
  • Michigan League for Public Policy
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • National Council of Urban Indian Health
  • National Indian Health Board
  • National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
  • National League for Nursing
  • National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition
  • National Partnership for Women & Families
  • Native American Connections
  • Native American LifeLines, Inc.
  • Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, Inc.
  • Native Americans for Community Action, Inc.
  • NATIVE Project – Urban Indian Health Program – Spokane, WA
  • Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Nisqually Tribal Health & Wellness Center
  • Northwest Harvest
  • Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
  • Oklahoma City Indian Clinic
  • Oklahoma Policy Institute
  • Partners In Health
  • R2H Action [Right to Health]
  • Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health, Inc.
  • Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council
  • San Francisco AIDS Foundation
  • Sault Tribe Health Division
  • Seattle Indian Health Board
  • Self-Governance Communication & Education Tribal Consortium
  • SF Hep B Free – Bay Area
  • South Dakota Urban Indian Health
  • Southcentral Foundation
  • Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium
  • Southern Indian Health Council, Inc.
  • Southern Plains Tribal Health Board
  • Texas Native Health
  • Treatment Action Group
  • Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation
  • United American Indian Involvement, Inc.
  • United South and Eastern Tribes Sovereignty Protection Fund
  • Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut
  • University of California San Francisco School of Medicine HEAL Initiative
  • Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas – Urban Indian Health Program – Dallas, TX
  • USAging
  • Wiconi Wakan Health and Healing Center
  • Work for Consolidated Tribal Health Project
Friends of Indian Health:
  • Angela Alvary
  • Ken Artis (Ho-Chunk Nation), Artis Law Office
  • Lana Fox
  • Miranda Carman, LCSW
  • Patricia Powers
  • Yana Blaise
Next Steps

NCUIH continues to advocate for the inclusion of advance appropriations for IHS in the final FY 2023 appropriations package. NCUIH will also provide updates on the status of advance appropriations in Congress during final negotiations.

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