- By Native News Online Staff
WASHINGTON — Indian Health Service (IHS) Director, Rear Adm. Michael Weahkee, a political appointee of Donald Trump’s has been asked to resign effective on Jan. 20, 2021, the day President Joe Biden will be inaugurated.
Weahkee informed tribal and urban Indian organizations leaders in a Jan. 11, 2021 letter that he was asked to tender a resignation letter by officials of the incoming Biden administration. Weahkee’s departure is normal for political appointees.
“It has been a sincere honor to have been entrusted to serve in this role,” he said in the letter, noting that his departure was typical during presidential transitions. “I believe the IHS is more capable now than ever before of fulfilling our vision of healthy communities and quality health care systems through strong partnerships and culturally responsive practices,” Weahkee wrote in the letter.
Nominated by the president of the United States, the director of the IHS is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Trump nominated Michael D. Weahkee, an enrolled citizen of the Zuni Indian Tribe, to the post in October 2019 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in April 2020. Prior to serving as IHS Director, Weahkee served as Principal Deputy Director and Acting Director of IHS during the interim and also as Assistant Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Services at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Previously, he served as the chief executive officer at the Phoenix Medical Center.
More Stories Like ThisNative News Weekly (June 26, 2022): D.C. Briefs
Native Bidaské with Connie Johnson, Candidate in Oklahoma's Gubernatorial Primary
President Biden Signs New Gun Law Aimed to Keep Guns Away from Dangerous People
Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Indian Country Responds
President Biden Nominates Patrice Kunesh for Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans
Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news?
For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.