The longest government shutdown in U.S. history continues to directly negatively impact Native Nations across the United States. Federal funding promised by US Treaties are simply not being provided during the shutdown, which impacts critical areas such as Indian Health Services (IHS).
As noted in this article link below from the Stillwater News Press, “About 170 federal employees are now working without pay at IHS health facilities in Pawnee, Pawnee Nation Tribal Council, member Sammye Kemble shared in a Facebook post she made Wednesday.” The Pawnee Nation is currently raising money to help assist these Federal workers who haven’t been paid and are in danger of personal financial consequences because of the shutdown.
Native Nations are being hurt across the country in more significant ways as Treaty specified payments have fully ceased. Also noted in this article, “On Wednesday the Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas announced that it had laid off 22 employees due to the shutdown. Federal funds provide services like law enforcement, healthcare and road maintenance as a result of treaties signed with the U.S., in exchange for ceding thousands of acres of land occupied by the tribes to the federal government.”
Neither Republicans nor Democrats have come up with an answer for the shutdown that President Trump has initiated. In a CBS News report Thursday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina said he sees no way to resolve the shutdown after both parties have put forth solutions to funding the government only to be refused by the President. “I have never been more depressed about moving forward than I am right now,” Graham told reporters. “I just don’t see a pathway forward. Somebody has got to get some energy to fix this.”
As such, the shutdown continues despite the best efforts of Congress, leaving all Native Nations and Native citizens without the funding demanded by existing treaties.
Read more at the Stillwater News Press: