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Insights from Robert Dahl, a Thought Leader in the Tribal Insurance Space 

It’s time Tribes exercise their sovereignty and self-determination over their economies, including protecting their employees through unique Tribal Workers’ Compensation programs

When Tribes purchase conventional, statutory workers’ compensation policies, they are not only signing up for a standard, one-size-fits-all model, they’re waiving their sovereign immunity and subjecting themselves to state jurisdiction and courts. Furthermore, statutory workers’ compensation policies leave Tribes vulnerable to the litigation that runs rampant in state systems. 

Utilizing an arbitration type format, AMERIND helps Tribes avoid lengthy court battles. This more informal process saves Tribes considerable legal expense. Owned by more than 400 Tribes, AMERIND is tax-exempt and free from state workers’ compensation laws and regulation. Doing business sovereign to sovereign with AMERIND means saving money by avoiding state and federal taxes and fees. Thus, AMERIND’s expense ratio is typically 10-15% less than other insurance carriers. 

Another easy way for an employer to take control of their program and save money is through a Return-to-Work program. An employer can reduce or eliminate the indemnity cost of a claim—or wage-loss piece—by bringing an employee back to work through a modification of their job duties, thus accommodating any restrictions set by a doctor. Designating a medical provider or clinic can aid in this process. Bringing an employee back to work faster keeps them connected with their employer, lessening the likelihood of them seeking an attorney, which reduces potential litigation costs. The AMERIND TWC team will work with an employer to assist them in establishing a successful Return-to-Work program. 

When Tribes Protect Tribes, we create opportunity for the economic sustainability and growth of Indian Country. AMERIND’s TWC program keeps money circulating in Indian Country. 

You’re reading the first draft of history. 

November is  Native American Heritage Month in the United States. We feel like every month — and every day — is a reason for celebrating Native Americans and our heritage. That’s what we try to do here at Native News Online, with stories each day that celebrate, inform and uplift American Indian and Alaska Native people. Over the past year or so, we have been especially busy with three important reporting projects that are having an impact across Indian Country:

  • Indian Boarding Schools. We’ve reported and published more than 150 stories and special live stream video events to help shine a light on the dark era of boarding schools — and help create momentum for change.
  • Native Health Desk. Launched in January, this reporting initiative was created to heighten awareness of Native American health inequities and spotlight pockets of progress in Indian Country. So far we’ve reported and published nearly 120 stories and launched a monthly health newsletter that reaches more than 23,000 readers.  
  • Native Bidaske. In March, we launched this live stream interview program to highlight the work of Native Americans who are making news and leading change in Indian Country.  We have hosted guests from the federal government and Native rights advocates as well as Indigenous actors, comedians, journalists and models.   

We hope you will join us in celebrating Native American heritage and history this November and invite you to consider the old adage that “Journalism is the first draft of history.” If you appreciate the voice Native News Online gives to Native American people, we hope you will support our work with a donation so we can build our newsroom and continue to amplify Native voices and Native perspectives.

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. 

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