Indigenous tribes could lose federal recognition of tribal sovereignty under Trump

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Politics also noted that there are more than 620,000 indigenous people living in these 13 states, based on 2014 data from the US Census Bureau, and tribal leaders have requested an exemption from Medicaid work requirements because they know that the standard would be impossible to meet on impoverished reserves with high unemployment. Moreover, without Medicaid, Indian health programs will not survive. Part of the reason tribes have become more dependent on Medicaid funding is due to the federal government’s failure to fully fund India’s health service. People will die.

The Trump administration has repeatedly rejected requests for Medicaid work exemptions from tribal chiefs, saying such exemptions would constitute illegal preferential treatment based on race, but the National Indian Health Board said Politics that they have not yet provided documents describing the legal basis for these refusals. And the HHS did not respond to Politicsquestions about the availability of these documents.

The health statistics of aboriginal people are worrying. Native American Indians and Alaska Natives born today have a life expectancy 4.4 years shorter than the rest of the American population, according to the Indian Health Service. The HHS Minority Health Office reports that the leading causes of death are heart disease, cancer, accidents, diabetes and stroke. Native Americans and Alaska Natives are also twice as likely as Caucasians to have diabetes. Native Americans and Alaska Natives also have a high prevalence of suicide, drug addiction, liver disease, teenage pregnancy, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In fact, Native American and Native Alaskan infants are twice as likely as Caucasian infants to die from SIDS.

The reason for these serious health problems among indigenous people is directly linked to historical trauma, forced resettlement and poverty. Now they represent our last land holdings and strongholds for tribal cultures, ceremonies and languages, but reserves were initially created to remove the natives from the lands and resources that the settlers wanted, and to contain us. For example, according to a 2016 Al Jazeera report, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota was established as a camp for Native POWs in 1889 with nutrient-poor rations as a substitute. Even today, many reserves are in the food deserts.

Our mental health has also been targeted. Indigenous children were taken from their families and placed in boarding schools where tribal cultures and languages ​​were prohibited, and conditions were often harsh and abusive. The practice of indigenous religion was illegal until 40 years ago.

Reserves were and still are rural places with high unemployment rates. Some tribes have unemployment rates above 80%. There cannot be work to meet Medicaid requirements if jobs are non-existent, and with a problem that has lasted for hundreds of years, there is no overnight solution.

The Trump administration cannot ignore the law, nor the reality of the tribes’ existence as sovereign nations predating the United States. Treaties cannot be mopped up. The government’s legal obligation to provide medical care to tribes, determined by treaties, Congress, executive orders, and the Supreme Court of the United States, cannot be summarily dismissed. These actions may not only be illegal, but threaten the survival of today’s indigenous people, whose ancestors were extinct by the millions during the indigenous genocide that began with the landing of Christopher Columbus in 1492. We deserve to live.

Related: Treaties Between the United States and Indigenous Nations, Explained

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