Thursday, June 1, 2017

NOOKSACK TRIBE Surrenders Health Care to Indian Health Services

The tribe has been denying those services to roughly 300 people that it disenrolled around Thanksgiving.

The tribe hasn't had a legal government for over a year and the federal government is not recognizing the disenrollments.
Nooksack Protests

Dean Seyler is the director of Indian Health Services in Portland. He said his agency is stepping in to make sure everyone, including the disenrolled, have access to services.

"Federal law states that you will provide them health care. And then it got to the point we're at today," he said.

Because the tribe doesn't have a legal government, it can no longer sign off on $2.4 million from IHS.

IHS will now send Nooksack tribal members, including the disenrolled, to a Community Health Center in Bellingham starting in June.

Tribal member Carmen Tageant voiced her concerns about the current tribal clinic during the meeting with IHS Wednesday.

"If we have an actual governing body and have an election, are we going to get our money back? Are we going to be able to save our Nooksack tribal clinic?"

IHS says it will revisit the issue if and when the tribe has a functioning government. In the meantime, tribal services will be taken over by June 13.
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