Three tribal nations in western South Dakota recently passed resolutions in an effort to transfer control of the Sioux San Indian Health Service (IHS) facility to the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board, reports the Rapid City Journal. The federal government would continue to fund the IHS facility, but the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board would be responsible for management.
Federally-recognized tribal nations are able to transfer management of federally-administered programs to tribal hands through the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) of 1975. This act, commonly referred to as 638 in reference to the public law number, was passed to ensure “effective and meaningful participation by the Indian people in the planning, conduct and administration” of federal services and programs.
Under ISDEAA, tribes can either directly administer programs that would be provided directly by IHS (Title I Self-Determination Contracting) or assume control over the programs and services otherwise provided by IHS (Title V Self-Governance Compacting). The two options are not mutually exclusive and tribes can tailor the options to best fit their needs.
The tribal resolutions will now be considered by the Indian Health Services’ Great Plains Area Office in Aberdeen before heading off to the agency’s headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board CEO Jerilyn Church anticipates the approval process will take anywhere from 3-6 months.
To read more about the Sioux San IHS facility, the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.