Education Health & Human Services

The federal government guaranteed the health, safety, and welfare of tribal nations in exchange for over 450 million acres of tribal lands. Upholding this federal responsibility remains critical as American Indian and Alaska Native citizens experience higher disease rates, lower life expectancy rates, higher dropout rates, and higher poverty rates than any other racial or ethnic group in the country.

NCAI continues to urge the federal government to fulfill its responsibility to provide access to health care and quality education, to secure the social safety net through programs like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and to promote healthy activities through successful prevention programs. 

The overall prosperity of tribal nations is directly tied to the health and well-being of each tribal citizen. Indian Country desperately needs Congress to address these issues by reauthorizing programs and funding streams that provide basic health, social service, and workforce funds to tribal communities. Without some measure of certainty in the funding and program structure in these key areas, tribal governments cannot move forward in developing infrastructure to administer the innovative program designs that make services truly accessible and culturally appropriate for tribal citizens. Together, tribal nations and federal officials must close the disparities in health outcomes and provide much-needed social services and economic opportunities on Indian lands.

NCAI Human Resource work is done in collaboration with our sister organizations: National Indian Health Board, National Indian Education Association, National Indian Child Welfare Association, National Council on Urban Indian Health, American Indian Higher Education Consortium, National Indian Council on Aging, Tribal Education Departments National Assembly, and the National Indian Council on Aging. Together we monitor new legislation for tribal-specific opportunities; advocate for reauthorization of national legislation, such as the Elementary Secondary Education Act, Older Americans Act, Welfare Reform, and Child Welfare Reform Act; and monitor rules and regulations published by various government agencies to ensure appropriate tribal consultation and inclusion.

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