Association of American Indian Physicians: Disenrollment Has Negative Impact on Indviduals

AAIP

Published October 28, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY—Concerned the disenrollment of tribal members has negative health consequences on tribal citizens impacted, the Association of American Indian Physicians passed a resolution, during its recent annual meeting, that “urges Indian Tribes and Nations to reconsider decisions to dis-enroll and to consider re-enrollment of former tribal members in order to improve the health of Native American individuals, communities, Tribes and Nations.”

AAIP President Gerald Hill, MD (Klamath/Paiute)

AAIP President Gerald Hill, MD (Klamath/Paiute)

Founded in 1971, the Association of American Indian Physicians is an organization that has over 400 American Indian and Alaska Native physicians as members. The organization is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

In recent years, some American Indian tribes have been disenrolling tribal citizens at an increased rate. Some call the disenrollment the purging of tribal rolls for monetary gain of others who remain in the tribe.

The Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) does not address the specific rationale for disenrolling members, however, deals with the negative health impact those who have faced disenrollment.

“The AAIP respects the sovereignty and the right of Indian Tribes and Nations to determine tribal membership.  However, the primary goal of the AAIP is to improve the health of Native Americans.  We are concerned that the disenrollment of tribal members will have negative health consequences for Native American individuals and for Native communities,” stated Dr. Gerald Hill (Klamath/Paiute).

The resolution is as follows:

Resolution on Tribal Disenrollment

WHEREAS the Association of American Indian Physicians was founded in 1971 and has over 400 American Indian and Alaska Native physicians as members and;

WHEREAS the mission of the Association of American Indian Physicians is to pursue excellence in Native American health care by promoting education in the medical disciplines, honoring traditional healing principles and restoring the balance of mind, body, and spirit and;

WHEREAS the loss of cultural identity leads to grief, depression, anxiety and more serious mental health problems and increases the morbidity and mortality of American Indian and Alaska Native people and;

WHEREAS tribal disenrollment leads to the loss of cultural identity and access to health care, education opportunity, job opportunity, and housing which are social determinants of health and;

WHEREAS the health of Indian Tribes and Nations are only as healthy as the members of the Indian Tribes and Nations and ;

WHEREAS the Association of American Indian Physicians respects the sovereignty of all Indian Tribes and Nations to determine their membership;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of American Indian Physicians urges Indian Tribes and Nations to reconsider decisions to dis-enroll and to consider re-enrollment of former tribal members in order to improve the health of Native American individuals, communities, Tribes and Nations.

 

 

 

 

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