The Cherokee Indian Nation, the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, and the Northern Arapaho Tribe were each awarded $180,000 in self-governance grants administered by the Indian Health Service, IHS announced today. 

The annual IHS cooperative agreement awards support tribes and tribal organizations with the planning necessary to begin providing health care to their tribal members through the Tribal Self-Governance Program. This program falls under IHS, and allows tribes to assume IHS program funds and manage them best to fit the healthcare needs of their tribal communities.

Participation in the Tribal Self-Governance Program is one of three ways that tribes can choose to obtain health care from the federal government for their members, according to the program’s website. Specifically, tribes can choose to:

  • Receive health care services directly from the IHS
  • Contract with the IHS to administer individual programs and services the IHS would otherwise provide 
  • Compact on government-to-government basis with the IHS to assume control over health care programs the IHS would otherwise provide

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“With today’s announcement, the Indian Health Service is emphasizing our commitment to tribal self-governance,” IHS Director Roselyn Tso said in a statement. “We will continue to work with self-governance tribes and those interested in entering self-governance compacts to support our shared goals of providing quality health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives across Indian Country.”

Additionally, two tribal nations have joined the Tribal Self-Governance Program: the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of Mashantucket, Connecticut, and the Tanana Tribal Council of Tanana, Alaska. The two tribes entered into self-governance compact and funding agreements on October 1, 2022, bolstering the total number of compacts to 110, with 137 funding agreements.

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