Changing Borders of Federal Trust Obligation, UIH Crisis

Authors: Caryn Trombino
Publication Year: 2012
Last Updated: 2016-01-20 14:26:17
Journal: NCUIH
Keywords: IHCIA, Indian health care improvement act, access to healthcare, urban indian, history, relocation, uihp, urban inidan health, uiho, title v

Short Abstract:

Changing The Borders of the Federal Trust Obligation, Urban Indian Healthcare Crisis. This publication introduces readers to the Urban Indian population starting with the BIA relocation program -through- present day issues regarding access to healthcare, definition of Indian, gaps in the IHS health care system.


Lured by the promise of jobs, education, and economic security, an estimated 100,000 to 160,000 American Indians moved off reservations and into urban areas between 1953 and 19721 via the urban relocation efforts of Commissioner of Indian Affairs Dillon Myer. Native Americans slowly but steadily migrated from rural reservations to urban areas between 1920 and 1950. World War II and relocation policies developed by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) proved tremendous catalysts. The experimental BIA relocation program secured volunteers from reservations and provided them with bus tickets, $50 checks, and little else. Rather than an escape from rural poverty, this misguided relocation program ultimately offered nothing more than an exchange of “one form of poverty for another.”

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