SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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H.R. 946, H.R. 2671, AND H.R. 4148 (YOUNG, R09AK)TO MAKE TECHNICAL
AMENDMENTS TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE INDIAN SELF09DETERMINATION
AND EDUCATION ASSISTANCE ACT RELATING TO CONTRACT SUPPORT COSTS,
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. ''TRIBAL CONTRACT SUPPORT COST TECHNICAL
AMENDMENTS OF 2000''.
COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
MAY 16, 2000, WASHINGTON, DC
Serial No. 1060995
Printed for the use of the Committee on Resources
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Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/house
Committee address: http://www.house.gov/resources
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: (202) 512091800 Fax: (202) 512092250
Mail: Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402090001
COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES
DON YOUNG, Alaska, Chairman
W.J. (BILLY) TAUZIN, Louisiana
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JOHN T. DOOLITTLE, California
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland
KEN CALVERT, California
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
BARBARA CUBIN, Wyoming
HELEN CHENOWETH-HAGE, Idaho
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCGEORGE P. RADANOVICH, California
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
WILLIAM M. (MAC) THORNBERRY, Texas
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
KEVIN BRADY, Texas
JOHN PETERSON, Pennsylvania
RICK HILL, Montana
BOB SCHAFFER, Colorado
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana
GREG WALDEN, Oregon
DON SHERWOOD, Pennsylvania
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
MIKE SIMPSON, Idaho
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
GEORGE MILLER, California
NICK J. RAHALL, II, West Virginia
EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
BRUCE F. VENTO, Minnesota
DALE E. KILDEE, Michigan
PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
OWEN B. PICKETT, Virginia
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCFRANK PALLONE, Jr., New Jersey
CALVIN M. DOOLEY, California
CARLOS A. ROMERO-BARCELOAE1,
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
ADAM SMITH, Washington
CHRIS JOHN, Louisiana
DONNA MC CHRISTESEN, Virgin Islands
RON KIND, Wisconsin
JAY INSLEE, Washington
GRACE F. NAPOLITANO, California
TOM UDALL, New Mexico
MARK UDALL, Colorado
JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
RUSH D. HOLT, New Jersey
LLOYD A. JONES, Chief of Staff
ELIZABETH MEGGINSON, Chief Counsel
CHRISTINE KENNEDY, Chief Clerk/Administrator
JOHN LAWRENCE, Democratic Staff Director
C O N T E N T S
Hearing held May 16, 2000
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Statement of Members:
Barrett, Hon. Bill, a Representative in Congress from the State of Nebraska, Prepared
Miller, Hon. George, a Representative in Congress from the State of California, Prepared
Woolsey, Hon. Lynn C., a Representative in Congress from the State of California
Prepared Statement of
Young, Hon. Don, a Representative in Congress from the State of Alaska
Prepared Statement of
Statement of Witnesses:
Allen, W. Ron, Vice President, National Congress of American Indians, Washington, DC.
Prepared Statement of
Archambeau, Ms. Madonna, Chairwoman, Yankton Sioux Tribe, Marty, South Dakota
Prepared Statement of
Denny, Mr. Arthur ''Butch'', Chairman, Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska, Niobrara,
Prepared Statement of
Gover, Hon. Kevin, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC.
Prepared Statement on H.R. 4148
Prepared Statement on H.R. 2671
Prepared Statement on H.R. 946
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Narcia, Richard, Lt. Governor, Gila River Indian Community, Sacaton, Arizona
Prepared Statement of
Sarris, Greg, Chairman, Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Novato, California
Prepared Statement of
Smith, Hon. Chad, Principal Chief, Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Prepared Statement of
Trujillo, Dr. Michael H., Director, Indian Health Service, Rockville, Maryland
Prepared Statement of
Williams, Orie, Executive Vice President, Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, Bethel,
Prepared Statement of Gene Peltola, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Yukon
Kuskokwim Health Corporation
Additional material supplied:
Briefing Paper, H.R. 946
Briefing Paper, H.R. 2671
Briefing Paper, H.R. 4148
Janklow, William, Prepared Statement of
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians et al. Statement regarding impact of H.R. 4148
H.R. 946, H.R. 2671, AND, H.R. 4148 (YOUNG, R09AK) TO MAKE TECHNICAL
THE PROVISIONS OF THE INDIAN SELF-DETERMINATION AND
EDUCATION ASSISTANCE ACT RELATING TO CONTRACT SUPPORT COSTS,
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. ''TRIBAL CONTRACT SUPPORT COST
TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS OF 2000''.
TUESDAY, MAY 16, 2000
House of Representatives,
Committee on Resources,
of I21The Committee met, pursuant to notice, in room 1324 Longworth House Office Building,
Hon. Don Young (chairman of the Committee) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Where is Mr. J.D. Hayworth? I ask unanimous consent that
Congressman J.D. Hayworth be allowed to sit on the dais and participate in the Committee
during this hearing. Without objection, so ordered.
We're going to change the order of business today. We're going to take up H.R. 4148.
That's a prerogative of the chairman. I would suggest that the first panel, the Honorable Kevin
Gover, Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and Dr. Michael Trujillo, Director of
the Indian Health Service, Rockville, Maryland, be seated at the panel.
I would like to extend my welcome to all of my Alaskan constituents. I would especially
like to thank everyone for their help in drafting H.R. 4148, a bill that makes technical
amendments to the Contract Support Costs Provisions in the Indian Self-Determination Act.
These amendments are long overdue. We held our first hearings on contract support costs on
February 24, 1999, accepting testimony from tribes and the Administration. Additionally, the
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCInterior Appropriations Subcommittee requested a report from the General Accounting Office
regarding contract support costs and to provide Congress with alternatives to the existing
On August 3, 1999, we held a hearing to accept testimony from the Administration, the
National Congress American Indians, and their work with the National Policy Work Group on
contract support costs, and from the General Accounting Office on their final report to Congress
and what alternatives that they recommend with regard to the contract support costs shortfalls.
H.R. 4148 is a result of the National Congress of American Indians National Policy Work
Group and the Administration's efforts to resolve contract support costs problems. This is our
first hearing on the bill, and I would like to state my many thanks to all the tribes for all their
input and patience on this important issue.
On a sideline, may I suggest this has been a battle we have been fighting for the last six
years. This Committee thinks it's very unfortunate that we can't reach an agreement on how these
contract support costs can be established in a stabilized manner (without all the fluctuation which
has occured in the present system). I think it's very unfortunate that many of our tribes and many
of our villages do not know for sure that they're going to receive any of the moneys, which were
guaranteed under the negotiated contracts. So, I hope this bill, H.R. 4148, will solve some of
these problems. I realize there is some opposition to the bill, but I hope those that are opposed to
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCit would reconsider and deeply search their souls. I understand this is a problem and I'd like to
see it resolved before we adjourn this session.
I will recognize the ranking member, Mr. Kildee, for an opening statement.
Mr. KILDEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's great to sit up here with Mr. J.D.
Hayworth. J.D. and I are Co-Chairs of the Native American Caucus. We jokingly say sometimes
when we see our votes the same up there, it must be an Indian bill, because that's one thing that
J.D. and I always agree on. We have other agreements, too.
Mr. Chairman, this hearing will provide us an opportunity to again examine contract
support costs. Last year, this Committee held two hearings on this issue. The GAO released its
report last summer, offering four alternatives for funding contract support costs, and the National
Congress of American Indians also released its report last year, making several
Mr. Chairman, in March of this year, you introduced H.R. 4148, that would, among other
things, make contract support costs funding an entitlement. While I'm in support of this measure,
I hope that as the bill moves forward, you will continue to work with me to address the concerns
raised by the administration regarding this bill, so we can get this bill signed into law.
I look forward to hearing today's testimony and I thank you, again, Mr. Chairman, for the
introduction of this bill, Mr. Hayworth, and for this hearing today.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Hayworth?
Mr. HAYWORTH. Chairman Young, let me begin by saying how honored I am that
you've asked me to participate in this hearing today on this legislation. I welcome my friend from
Michigan, Co-Chair of the Native American Caucus, and others on the other side of the aisle,
because this is an issue that transcends partisan politics. I think we are all deeply concerned
about the contract support costs funding issue and I strongly believe we need to work toward a
sustainable solution that ensures the Federal Government will meet its legal obligation to tribes
to help them carry out the management of their health and social services programs.
Mr. Chairman, I was pleased to work with you on the development of H.R. 4148. This
legislation has been a cooperative effort, with input from many tribes and tribal organizations,
including the National Congress of American Indians National Policy Work Group. H.R. 4148
is, also, the result of the Administration's efforts to resolve contract support costs problems and
includes recommendations from the Government Accounting Office.
I'd like to thank all of the individuals, who will testify before the Committee today and I'd
like to extend a special welcome to Lt. Governor Richard P. Narcia and Franklin P. Jackson of
the Gila River Indian Community, located in my district back in Arizona. Lt. Governor Narcia
will provide an important example of the critical need for full contract support costs funding and
the special challenges that all tribes are facing, as they attempt to operate effective tribal
programs responsive to their respective community needs. I pledge my continued commitment to
working toward a single, consistent Federal policy that applies to all self-determination contracts
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCand self-governance compacts. The end result must provide stability and predictability, so tribes
can move forward to successfully implement their tribal programs and the self-determination
I believe that H.R. 4148 is a good starting point. I look forward to receiving additional
comments today on this legislation from tribal representatives, the Committee, and the
Administration, as we work toward enactment of this important bill. Again, Mr. Chairman, I
thank you and I thank the other members of the Committee for the opportunity to be here.
[The prepared statement of Hon. Don Young follows:]
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. Mr. Kevin Gover, you're the first witness.
STATEMENTS OF THE HONORABLE KEVIN GOVER, ASSISTANT SECRETARY,
BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, WASHINGTON, DC.; AND DR. MICHAEL H. TRUJILLO,
DIRECTOR, INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE, ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
Mr. GOVER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's always a pleasure to appear before the
Committee. We thank the Committee and the chair, in specific, for taking on this issue. I know
that the chair was reluctant to enter into the Indian Self-Determination Act, at this time, and,
nevertheless, we do think that some clarifications are necessary, in order to finally address this
issue of contract support.
Let me lay out the background for our testimony and then get into some of the specifics.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCThe administration does support the goal of full funding of contract support costs for Indian
tribes and has proposed increases in the Fiscal Year 2001 budget for contract support. We, also,
believe that the effort to reach full funding should be accompanied by timely reporting and
auditing of the use of these contract support costs, as required of other Federal agencies. We
understand that the contract support issue is one of the primary impediments to the full
implementation of the Self-Determination Act. The idea behind the Act is to systematically move
the Bureau of Indian Affairs out of positions of making decisions under the delivery of services
to Indian communities; invest those decisions in tribal governments. We support that proposition
and we believe that the resolution of this issue will assist in that process.
We do have several concerns regarding H.R. 4148. We think most of them are issues that
can be worked through. We do have to point out our concern that here we are talking about
clearly wanting to spend more money in Indian country through BIA and through IHS and
through these tribal contracting procedures. At the same time, the Congress has under
consideration a budget resolution that doesn't seem to leave much room for the sort of expansion
of these programs that we're hoping for.
In my testimony, Mr. Chairman, we've identified some specific concerns and they just
demonstrate how tricky this area is and how we can easily impose unintended consequences
when we're not careful with the kind of language that is used. We would like to work with the
Committee to address the concerns that we identify in the legislation. I don't think that they
really need to be belabored here. But, we do encourage the Committee to continue addressing
this issue, to work with us and with the tribes, to try to find a solution to the problem.
We have had a great deal of conversation within the administration concerning the specific
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCprovisions of this bill and, in particular, the issue of moving contract support costs to the
mandatory side of the budget. The current status of those discussions is that we are prepared to
say that were the Congress to identify offsets satisfactory to the administration, that we would
not oppose that proposition. That is the result of a great deal of deliberation and debate, within
the administration, but I feel safe in saying that that's where we are at this point.
We would like to work with the Committee to identify those offsets and address the
specifics of how we go about calculating these contract support costs. If we can resolve this
matter, put the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Indian Health Services (IHS) on a smoother
trail toward understanding what our contract support obligations are and how they're going to be
funded, then the tribes will have the kind of security and the annual funding that they really
require to do meaningful planning for the delivery of services.
Mr. Chairman, that is my testimony this morning. As I say, we've submitted some more
specific comments for the record, to indicate some of the complications that we've identified in
the bill. We do think those complications can be worked out and look forward to working with
the Committee on trying to resolve these issues.
[The prepared statement of Kevin Gover follows:]
The CHAIRMAN. I thank you, Mr. Secretary. Dr. Trujillo?
STATEMENT OF DR. MICHAEL H. TRUJILLO
Dr. TRUJILLO. Yes, good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and Committee members. Today
with me, in case there are any specific questions, are Mr. Michael Lincoln, Deputy Director of
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCthe Indian Health Service, and Mr. Douglas Black, the Director of our Tribal Affairs Program.
The Indian Health Service has testified twice previously this session of Congress on the
importance of contract support costs, on the promotion of strong stable tribal governments and
the provisions, certainly, of quality costs health care. I come to you today in support of your
continued efforts to address the contract support costs issues. This bill before us contains
provisions that the Indian Health Service supports. However, there are, also, other provisions
within the bill that are of concern to the Indian Health Service and we would be very willing to
work with you, the Committee members, tribal leadership, to address our areas of concern.
When I last testified before this Committee, I spoke about our efforts to work with tribal
governments, to develop a revised policy to allocate contract support costs in Fiscal Year 2000.
In January of this year, I adopted a revised policy, which now governs the administration in
allocation of the contract support costs for the Indian Health Service. That policy was developed
as a result of very extensive tribal consultation and collaboration to date, regarding contract
support costs, and has received the formal endorsements of major national Indian organizations
and tribal governments.
The revised policy establishes allocation procedures that are intended, over a period of
time, to reduce the disparity of contract support costs funding among tribes in our system without
reducing contract support costs funding for tribes that are still underfunded. The allocation
procedures were developed to address the present environment, in which available contract
support costs appropriated are insufficient to fund the total contract support costs need.
This bill we are discussing today contains provisions that legislate the full funding of
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCcontract support costs. At the crux of the contract support costs dilemma and controversy are
provisions in the Indian Self-Determination Act that seemingly are in conflict with each other.
One law directs the Secretary to fund the full amount of need for such costs; elsewhere, the Act
provides that contract funding is subject to the availability of appropriations. As a result, the
Indian Health Service continues to be involved in litigation over contract support costs issues
that are rooted in this confusion.
The provisions of H.R. 4148 that require the full funding of contract support costs would
address and essentially end the confusion over contract support costs by amending the Act, fully
funding these costs. Although I have been a strong advocate for increased contract support costs
funding throughout my tenure as the Director of the Indian Health Service, I am very concerned
about this provision. This bill does not specify the source of funding that will be used to fully
address the contract support costs and I would be opposed to funding for contract support costs
that comes from any other existing or future Indian Health Service appropriations for the health
care programs and services and which supersede other critical priorities for budget increase for
all Indian Health Service-funded health programs, especially for those tribes who chose not to
assume direct management of their health care programs.
I do believe that there are provisions in the bill worthy of consideration, including
provisions to enlarge the current self-determination proposal review period from 90 to 180 days
and one that reconstitutesreinstates congressional reporting requirements, to assist you in your
future consideration of contract support costs issues. There are, also, provisions of the bill that
either the Indian Health Service, the Department, and the administration cannot support, and
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCothers would require further modification and review before they are supported. A discussion of
these provisions is contained in my written formal statement that was submitted earlier.
In closing, I would, again, like to express my support for contract support costs and the
activities of this particular committee. I continue to be of the opinion, as I have testified
previously, that carefully drafted regulations governing contract support costs are still desirable
and that the development of such regulations can be best accomplished through the negotiated
rulemaking process. The Indian Health Service would welcome the opportunity to join with
tribes, other Federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of the
Inspector General, in such a process, if authorized by Congress. I would close by emphasizing
that the Indian Health Service is committed to upholding, promoting, and strengthening
principles of the Self-Determination Act, the empowerment of tribal governments, and the
government to government relationship that exist between Indian nations and this country. Thank
you for this opportunity.
[The prepared statement of Michael Trujillo follows:]
The CHAIRMAN. I thank both of you. I'm somewhat pleased with your testimony
and somewhat discouraged, because this has been a problem for about 6 years or longer. As I
mentioned in my opening statement, I hope we can reach a solution. Because if I remember right,
both you, Mr. Secretary, and you, Dr. Trujillo, that this is the third time that you've appeared
before this Committee and said you supported it. We have a bill that does that and now we have
opposition from your Administration. Although, Mr. Secretary, I think if I understood you
correctly, you would support it, if we find the offsets. Is that correct?
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [No response.]
The CHAIRMAN. I know who is looking over your shoulder and I know who is in
this room. You answer freely, because I will protect you, believe me.
Mr. GOVER. I'm trying to pick my words carefully. What I don't want to be saying
is we're putting the burden on you to find the offsets. I think the Administration shares that
burden. All we mean to say, at this point, is that the offsets should be satisfactory to both
Congress and the Administration and we will need to work with you, to try to figure out what
that is. The point of my testimony was not just to slough the burden off onto the Committee and
onto the Congress.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I'm saying that's the biggest hold up, as far as you're
concerned, in the bill. The Doctor seems to have some other problems. But, again, I go back to: if
we don't correct this now, it will always be an uncertainty for tribal health care, because we don't
know if they've received enough funds or not.
Mr. GOVER. I agree with you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. OK. You know, again, as long as we have that understanding. Are
you communicating with the tribes all the time and trying to find the solution? Is that occurring?
Mr. GOVER. We have put a lot of effort into working with the tribes on this issue. I
think it's fair to say IHS has put even more effort into working with the tribes on this issue. I
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCbelieve that this bill represents a solid step forward and that it would bridge a lot of the problem
between our position and the tribes. Obviously, we would be much more open in adding
additional elements of costs to our contract support formulas, if we knew that the money was
going to be there. What we don't want to do is make agreements with the tribes, as to what are
the appropriate elements of contract support, knowing full well that they are not likely to be
funded, because that's just a broken promise to the tribes. I've been holding the line in the
discussions with the tribes, saying, look, let's not pile on more costs, until we have some
understanding of how they're going to be paid for.
If the Congress and the Administration agreed on a solution as to the funding of contract
support costs, I believe it becomes a much easier exercise to agree on what the elements of
contract support costs should be.
The CHAIRMAN. Offsets do not have to come outthe Doctor said, out of the
existing health services. Offsets can come out from anywhere within the budget. Is that your
Mr. GOVER. That's my understanding, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. OK. For instance, we haveI'm going to pick on the
Administration, The Administration now wants to get some of the funding out of the tobacco
settlement and spend it for other purposes. That tobacco settlement could be used for contract
support costs (as an offiset). Would that be a correct interpretation?
Mr. GOVER. I can't speak for the Administration, as to whether or not to encourage
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCthe Committee to look to the tobacco settlement money for an appropriate offset. But, yes, it's
my understanding that an offset could come from any part of the Federal budget.
The CHAIRMAN. This is ignorance on my part, would we have to find an offset
every year or is there any way, again, that we can provide stability in the funding? Because once
we passed the Self-Determination Act, we tried to make sure that there was the money available,
and we haven't done that. And that uncertainty has caused shortfall problems. Is there any way
we can write this bill, so that there isn't uncertainty?
Mr. GOVER. I believe so, Mr. Chairman. I believe that we could identify an offset
that would continue just the same as this increase in spending would be continuing over some
number of years.
The CHAIRMAN. My time is about up. The gentleman from California?
Mr. MILLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just want to thank the panel for their
testimony and I agree with the dialogue that you just had, that we've got to come up with the
offsets. I think your bill does it right. I think we should just recognize that these are the costs and
we've got to take them out of the ongoing general revenues of the government, instead of
believing that we're somehow going to trade this off between law enforcement and Indian health,
or other services that we already know are inadequately funded. This is part of the price of
self-determination. The program is working and I think your legislation speaks to it quite
correctly. And if saying that we've got to look for offsets just is another way to keep postponing
this year after year, then we're obviously just robbing already inadequate sources. So, that won't
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCwork. And so I think, at some point, we have to sit down with the Administration and make a
decision about that, because that holds everybody in abeyance, but it doesn't solve the problem.
And there clearly are sufficient revenues to deal with the contract costs.
I want to thank you, very much, and I appreciate the problem that's being presented by the
position of the Administration here, but I think we've got to get on and solve this issue. As you
have pointed out, we have now punted three years in a row on this and that's not helping anyone.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hayworth?
Mr. HAYWORTH. I just want to thank both the chairman, and the ranking member
and these two gentlemen for their testimony. I think we have the context where at long last we
need to act. And while I think we've documented the problem and they've outlined their
concerns, I would concur with both the chairman and the ranking member, it's time to get this
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kildee?
Mr. KILDEE. Thank you, very much, Mr. Chairman. I think we have to work
together to identify those offsets and I think they have to be in the whole Federal Government,
because I don't know of any Indian program that we haven't been penny pinching in my 24 years
here in the Congress. So, I hate to take money from another Indian program for this very good
thing here, because we've been penny pinching for so many years. So, I think it's very important
that we sit down, not delay, get on immediately and identify some offsets from other areas of
government, not Indian programs, so we can do this. And I think that should be our top priority,
because the effects of not providing full funding for contract support costs is really a terrible
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I thinkthis is more than just a legal matter. I think it's a moral matter. I think J.D.
Hayworth and I agree upon, this is something verya moral matter, that we really should be fully
funding this and make this an entitlement, find some offsets. But, I think that we should not wait
until next month. We should start working today or tomorrow on identifying those offsets and
not from other areas where we are already underfunding Indian programs.
I've been in Congress for 24 years and I have yet to see where, when I've traveled
throughout the country or looked at the books, that we're over funding our responsibilities in our
sovereign-to-sovereign relationship and our trust responsibilities to the Indians. So, Kevin and
Dr. Trujillo, we look forward to working with you starting today, to try to identify those offsets.
And I think that we have, I think, a very important bill here. We can move forward in our
I yield back the balance of my time.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. The gentleman from Maryland?
Mr. GILCHREST. No questions, at this time, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. I've got a great offset. I know this is going to stir the pot
up, but the Senate is considering the pullout of Kosovo. We're spending approximately 20 times
the budgets for Indian Health in that activity alone. And once they pull out, maybe we can apply
that money for something that helps us in the great United States of America.
I want to thank the panel. We'll be in communications. I was very kind to you today,
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCbecause I heard what was being said behind the words that were being said, that we want to work
together. And I will be talking to OMB to find out what their problem is, because this is an issue
and a commitment that should have been met a long time ago. If we believe in the
Self-Determination, and Congress said we did, that's not up to the Administration not to fully
fund programs. It's up to us to make sure that Self-Determination is fully funded, especially the
contracting part of it. So, I do thank both of you and we will be in communication with you. And
you are excused for this panel. I think one of you is up for the next bill. Kevin, I think you are.
The next panel, H.R. 4148, the next panel: Mr. Orie Williams, Executive Vice President,
Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, Bethel, Alaska; the Honorable Chad Smith, Principal
Chief, Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Mr. Richard Narcia, Lt. Governor, Gila River
Indian Community, Sacaton, Arizona; and Mr. W. Ron Allen, Vice President, National Congress
of American Indians, Washington, DC.
Mr. Williams? Turn your mike on. There you go.
STATEMENTS OF ORIE WILLIAMS, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, YUKON
KUSKOKWIM HEALTH CORPORATION, BETHEL, ALASKA; HONORABLE CHAD
SMITH, PRINCIPAL CHIEF, CHEROKEE NATION, TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA;
RICHARD NARCIA, LT. GOVERNOR, GILA RIVER INDIAN COMMUNITY, SACATON,
ARIZONA; W. RON ALLEN, VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN
INDIANS, WASHINGTON, DC
STATEMENT OF ORIE WILLIAMS
Mr. WILLIAMS. For the record, my name is Orie Williams and I'm the Executive
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCVice President of the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation. Thank you for the opportunity to
testify this morning on H.R. 4148.
I would like to begin my testimony by putting H.R. 4148 into perspective, our perspective.
The Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation serves as a consolidated and only health care
provider for 25,000 people in 58 Federally-recognized Alaskan native villages. It's spread across
85,000 square miles of roadless area the size of the State of South Dakota.
Poor health and a subsistence lifestyle have led some of the compared conditions in many
of our villages to those facing Third World nations. Our people live on the most over regulated
lands in the nation. Mr. Chairman, that is no exaggeration. Besides the subsistencebesides
subsistence, the largest economy in the region is government, including our YKHC health
system. There is no viable commercial fishing, forest, or other resource development industry
that can offset the statistics.
The unemployment rate exceeds 80 percent and most of our village homes still have a six
gallon plastic bucket for a toilet. That's not all. Our villages post neonatal mortality is more than
double the average U.S. rate. Death by suicide is four times the national rate. Fetal alcohol
syndrome and fetal alcohol affect are rampant. And despite recent increases in congressional
appropriations, the lack of adequate sewer and water systems still leave over many of our
communities victims of every known infectious disease.
What have we done to meet some of these challenges? Our tribal government is working
together under the Indian Self-Determination Act. I've replaced the Indian Health Service and
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCdirectly administer 47 village clinics; one mid level sub regional clinic, with two more under
construction; a 51 bed hospital; and over 11,000 employees. Since taking over daily operation of
the Indian Health Service system, we have witnessed tremendous improvements in the delivery
of health care. But, the contracts support shortfall we have faced each year, over $2.3 million
each year, has consistently crippled our ability to do more.
As our written testimony details, the shortfall has meant deficiencies in our accounting
department, our medical coding and billing department, and our hospital facilities maintenance
programs. The shortfall has, also, required us to transfer funds away from key programs and has
impaired our ability to enhance our substance abuse and mental health services, our home elder
care, and our health prevention education programs to many of our villages. To those unfamiliar
with health care conditions in rural Alaska, our contract support costs deficit is just a number.
But for us working out there in the trenches, it is having a corrosive impact on the quality of our
health care system and may, in fact, lead to layoffs and salary reductions.
Mr. Chairman, for nearly 20 years, the Administration and Congressional Committees have
all acknowledged the grave impact caused by contract support costs shortfalls. For nearly 20
years, the contract support costs system has been studied and restudied and restudied. The last
time, read the GAO's June 1999 report.
Never until H.R. 4148 have we seen a solution that fully and completely addresses the
problem, so that there are no more shortfalls and no more court cases and we can get on with the
process of tribal self-determination without reducing the very government programs we are
charged to carry out. Contract support shortfall createscheats the tribes and punishes our people.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCIt's not how the country deals with other government contractors, be it General Electric or
Boeing, and it's not the way the country should deal with Indian tribes.
Just yesterday an article in the Wall Street Journal reported a GAO study that confirmed
that the U.S. Congress spent $2.2 billion to subsidize sugar growers in America. Isn't it ironic
that in the samethat is the same amount spent for all of Indian health care in America. It is
ironic, also, that the subsidythe historical subsidy of the tobacco industry, greater than all of the
resources spent on the health care of the Americans worse people, are industries, whose products
caused some of the greatest health risk to Native American, and probably up to 30 percent of our
Since my time is short, I respectfully refer the Committee to my written testimony for
comments on the balance of the bill. I would note, however, that the consolidation initiative
proposed in Section 2 is a novel and innovative new way to deal with contract support costs
issues. The consolidation initiative answers those, who are concerned that somehow tribes have
insufficient incentives to maximize the efficiency and the operation of their health programs.
While we find such criticisms demeaning, we recognize that this option, first put forward by the
General Accounting Office, does provide a better way for Congress to predict contract support
costs requirements from one year to the next.
Mr. Chairman, many years ago, Congress failedfailed to fully fund contract support costs,
the single most serious problem with implementation of the Indian Self-Determination Act.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCH.R. 4148 will at long last firmly and finally solve that problem. Nationally, the cost of the bill
is negligible. For us in the trenches on Indian reservations in Alaskan native villages, the
financial stability we will regain will translate in desperately needed care for American Indian
and Alaska native people. They are far beyond the reach of our nation's typical health care
I praise the chairman and Congressman Hayworth and others for introducing this
legislation; Congressman Miller and other members of the Native American Caucus for their
continued support for self-determination and self-governance. I respectfully urge that the
Committee move this bill forward as quickly as possible, so that it can be enacted this year.
Mr. Chairman, with your indulgence, I would like to close my testimony with the request
for the Committee to observe a moment of silence for one of the nation's greatest Indian leaders,
Mr. Joe De La Cruz, a champion in tribal rights of the Indian Self-Determination Act throughout
his life, even up to the day he died of a major heart attack on April 16th, on the way to a national
Indian Health Service tribal conference. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Orie Williams follows:]
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, a moment of silence.
[Moment of silence.]
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you and I can tell you that Mr. De La Cruz was one of my
favorite people who testified before this Committee and his was an unfortunate death. We never
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCknow why God reaches down and takes us.
I'm going to use my discretion here, as I do have another appointment, I'm going to have
Mr. Gilchrest take over the hearing. But before I do, I want to ask Orie two questions. One is you
mention the shortfall of $2.5 million. Is that recoverable money or is that what you're out of
pocket? Is there any way you can negotiate that?
Mr. WILLIAMS. That has been the shortfall in our contract. For several years, we
filed the claim for the amounts of the shortfall in 1991 and 1994. And despite the desperate
telephonic calls and recordingsrecording our annual funding agreement, I've never received any
written decision from the Indian Health Service in over four years.
The CHAIRMAN. Have there been lawsuits filed by the tribes over this problem?
Mr. WILLIAMS. No, we've tried to resolve it without legal action, at this point.
The CHAIRMAN. OK. No. 2 is you mentioned two things, one sugar and one, I
believe, was tobacco. Sugar, you say, is subsidized at 2.how many billion?
Mr. WILLIAMS. The GAO report, if you can believe everything you read, in the
Wall Street Journal yesterday, state that last year$2.2 billion, the total Indian Health Service
budget; and this year, so far, $1.6 billion, with a request from theit's crazy that OMB would
oppose any health service contract support. But, then, the Administration asked for another $350
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCmillion to subsidize a product, with all due respect to the great farmers, for 544 tribes and two
and a half million Indians, and they can fund a subsidy such as this. It's killing our people, and
still cheat and rob and treat the first Americans the way they do for the third of the money that's
required for health care.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that's a good point. I love sugar myself, but it is probably
the biggest villain we have, I know, in Alaskan villages, between soda water and coke andthat's
the drinking kindand I guess candy, two of thebiggest, harmfulness consumption thing that
they take now. It's close to alcohol or worse.
Mr. WILLIAMS. Mr. Chairman, it glared at me, because I know if you stop the
flights of the soft drinks, which the sugar is in, to our villages, you'd have community in relapse.
They've been without good water for 30 and 40 years and they've substitutedthe young
generation has substituted good drinking water, which Americans take for granted, with soft
drinks. That's a fact.
The CHAIRMAN. I appreciate it. Mr. Gilchrest, would you take over for me, please?
Mr. GILCHREST [PRESIDING]. The chair now recognizes Mr. Smith.
STATEMENT OF CHAD SMITH
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. My name is Chad Smith. I am Principal
Chief of the Cherokee Nation. I'm honored to have this opportunity to present the Cherokee
Nation's view on contract support costs today.
The Cherokee Nation is comprised of over 230,000 tribal members, nearly half of which
live within our 7,000 mile jurisdictional area in northeastern Oklahoma. We are one of the
second largest tribes in the country and we have 22 treaties with the Federal Government and
Great Britain. Twenty-five years ago, we began the gradual process of contracting local programs
to the BIA and IHS, in order to streamline, redesign, and enhance Federal services for people.
And from our perspective, I can best convey the message by a story.
Ruth Smith, Rufus Smith's wife, was a great basket maker in our rural community of
Marble City, a vibrant, beautiful woman. She contracted diabetes. As all of us know, the Indians
have the highest rate of incident of diabetes in this country. She came to town one day. The
diagnosis was made. The next time she came to town, she had toes and one foot removed. The
next time, she had toes and another foot removed. And every time she came to town thereafter, to
Tahlequah, another index was removed, another part of a limb, her ankles, her calves, and then
her whole legs. And the last time I saw her with her children, on a hot July day, they were taking
her in and out of a backseat of a car, without legs. The next time for Ruth Smith, after dialysis,
she passed away.
In response, the Cherokee Nation developed some very aggressive diabetes programs
through health care funding. We developed, in cooperation with the local rural hospital, a
podiatry and orthopedic clinic. Last year, during my term, we had to reduce our health budget by
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC$1.5 million. We had to cut the podiatry clinic. And now I face the recurring cries of our people,
who come to me and say, we need the podiatry clinic. We need that orthopedic clinic. We're
going back to the scenario, we'll see more Mrs. Smiths come to town less and less each time by
incidents of diabetes.
To complicate matters, we have two Indian hospitals within our territory. We operate six
clinics. Each of those hospitals have recorded a million dollar deficit this year. Our population
goes from clinic to clinic, from hospital to hospital. When they reduce their services, they come
to our clinic. In fact, Indian hospitals reduced their pharmaceuticals bythey no longer issue the
asthmatic inhalers. It cost them a dollar and a half each. That creates that market to come to our
clinics and we have to deal with it.
We're suffering, because of lack of contract. We have to ask the question, why does a
private contractor, such as General Electric and Boeing, get their administrative and general costs
paid, full indirect costs, full direct costs, such as unemployment and Worker's Comp, and we
don't. We can assure the Committee and Congress that we don't pile on the costs when we run
these programs. Each of these programs begin to suffer, because of the lack of funding. For
example, the Bureau of Indian Affairs programs that we operate, we've taken a hit of $500,000
for each of the last 10 years, for accumulative amount of $5 million. In health service, we have
been cut back $3.7 million, because of the lack of contractcontract costs.
My written testimony addresses several others, with respect to this excellent bill, including
the way it addresses the barriers in our government indirect cost agreement, the need for a new
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCOMB circular, the need to eliminate the conflict of interest presently and how IHS handles
contract support costs issues. There is so much more that the Cherokee Nation and the
government can do and there's so much more that we must do, to meet the critical health,
education, economic and social needs of our citizens and other eligible Indian people in our area.
We are pleased to carry out the Federal Government's trust programs. Pleased, because history
shows that we have the capacity and capability to do a much better job than the Federal
bureaucracy. But, our ability to administer these programs successfully maximize the delivery of
these needed services to Indian people depends on having adequate contract support costs
funding. This bill will go a long way for resolving a very serious problem in the
self-determination, self- governance programs.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to testify in support of H.R. 4148.
[The prepared statement of Chad Smith follows:]
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Smith, for your testimony. We have a vote going
on. I think instead of stopping the hearing to go vote, if it's all right with the members, if the
gentleman from American Samoa can take the chair while we votewe'll return after the vote.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Chairman, I think they would rather talk to you, as the
chairman, than to me. I would respectfully request that we'll wait until you return.
Mr. GILCHREST. Then, we shall return. You all have a 15 minute break then.
Mr. GILCHREST. The Committee will come to order. We appreciate your indulgence
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCon our fascinating schedule here in the Nation's capital. And before we get started, I ask
unanimous consent that Congresswoman Woolsey, if she wants to, to be allowed to sit on the
dais and participate with the Committee during this hearing. You want to come up, Lynn, or you
want to stay there?
Ms. WOOLSEY. I'll stay here until I offer my testimony, if that's OK.
Mr. GILCHREST. All right, that's fine. Our next witness is Lt. Governor Richard
STATEMENT OF RICHARD NARCIA
Mr. NARCIA. Good afternoon. My name is Richard Narcia. I'm Lt. Governor for the
Gila River Indian Community. With me today is Franklin Jackson. Mr. Jackson is President of
our Health Care Corporation. He's seated to my left. And, also, Ms. Lindsey Naas, who is, also,
the counsel for our corporation. Our community is located in south central Arizona. We are
located in the heart of Congressman J.D. Hayworth's district. We are pleased and honored to
have him sitting with you on the dais today. He has been a dedicated and long-standing friend of
our community and deeply committed to the interests of the Native Americans, not only in
Arizona, but in thethroughout the nation.
The community provides health care, law enforcement, irrigation system construction, and
rehabilitation and other community services under self-determination contracts and
self-governance agreements with the Indian Health Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Bureau
of Reclamation. The issue of contract support funding is an issue of ongoing concern and
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCimportance to the success of our Federal programs. We are pleased to testify in support of
H.R. 4148, which would make technical amendments to the contract support provisions in the
Indian Self-Determination Act. Our Health Care Corporation's experience with contract support
funding from the Indian Health Service demonstrates the failings of the existing contract support
The community initially contracted with the IHS, to operate the hospital at Gila River in
October 1995. For Fiscal Year 1996, 1997, 1998, the Health Care Corporation's contract support
requests worked its way up the IHS waiting list or cue. In late 1998, we were expecting 100
percent funding for the Fiscal Year 1999 contract year; however, the IHS policy changed. While
we generally supported the new policy, the Fiscal Year 1999 policy change resulted in a loss of
approximately two million dollars in contract support funding for our Health Care Corporation.
Of particular concern during this past year was the IHS policy decision not to reimburse our
Health Care Corporation prior year pre-award and startup contract costs. This decision resulted in
the community receiving 61 percent of IHS approved Fiscal Year 1999 requests, while most
tribes were funded at 80 percent. This decision, also, resulted in our community and other
similarly situated tribes being denied reimbursement of these one-time costs, while tribes before
and after 1999 will receive reimbursement of these types of costs.
With this background, I would like to briefly address several key issues addressed in
H.R. 4148. As the Committee is aware, there is a 25-year history of inadequate funding of tribal
government contract support costs. The community operates 14 BIA programs, two programs,
public health and public works, with IHS, and recovers 85 to 90 percent of its indirect costs from
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCthe BIA and IHS. However, both BIA programs and the public health programs have
accumulated over the years a significant amount of unrecovered indirect costs, which are
absorbed by the community. H.R. 4148 would remedy this cycle.
H.R. 4148 addresses several key issues that are necessary to ensure the sustainable success
of any new contract support system, allowing for consolidation of adequately funded contract
support costs, provides additional incentive for efficiently administering, and hopefully
generating savings to reinvest in our health care and other programs. Providing for annual
funding adjustments, based on medical inflation rates and the Consumer Price Index, recognizes
the reality of keeping pace with the rising costs of providing health care and other services. The
to 3 percent inflationary increases we typically receive are not sufficient to keep us competitive
with the Phoenix Valley health care market, which has experienced medical inflation rates of 8 to
The last provision I want to comment on is section 3 of the bill. It is a provision that would
require IHS to pay our Health Care Corporation and other pre-award and startup costs incurred in
prior years. This provision would remedy the inequity I described earlier and treat our Health
Care Corporation and other affected tribes on the same basis as all other newly contracting tribes
have been treated before 1999.
In closing, I want to thank Chairman Young and Congressman Hayworth for introducing
this bill. I, also, thank the Committee for your commitment and persistence in pursuing a
long-term workable solution to the contract support dilemma. The Gila River Indian community
urges the Committee to report favorably on H.R. 4148. Thank you.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The prepared statement of Richard Narcia follows:]
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Narcia. Mr. Allen?
STATEMENT OF W. RON ALLEN
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am the Vice President of the National
Congress of American Indians in Washington, DC., and Chairman of the Jamestown S'Klallam
tribe, located in Washington State. I am here testifying on behalf and in support of this particular
bill. I am very appreciative of the Chairman introducing this bill and Congressman Hayworth for
sponsoring it. I, also, would encourage our Democratic friends and supporters in the Congress to
endorse this bill. As Congressman Kildee had noted earlier in his opening remarks, when we find
bipartisan or nonspartisan agendas, it's usually about Indian issues that involve the obligations of
the Federal Government to Indian communities.
The subject matter of this bill is something about which I have testified before this
Committee and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs many times over the last number of
years. I have personally led the NCAI task force that has conducted an exhaustive study with
regard to contract support and the responsibilities of the Federal Government to Indian tribes
with regard to contract support. We have studied it in conjunction with the GAO and the IGO
and the other Federal agencies, which have continued to analyze their responsibilities with regard
to contract support, in complying with or carrying out the full intent of the Self-Determination
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Act has been very successful. It is transferring Federal resources to Indian people. It is
empowering tribal governments to take over their responsibilities. And reciprocally, it is
supposed to reduce the Federal bureaucracy, so that those resources and responsibilities are
transferred out to Indian communities.
But, this particular Contract Support Cost problem has become a serious impediment and it
is frustrating. I appreciated Orie Williams' comments earlier in his testimony about the priorities
of the Congress with regard to the funding. You have a lot of money and a lot of issues you have
to deal with every year. But with regard to Indian issues, we have consistently shown that the
underfunding of Indian programs continues to be a blemish against the Federal Government with
regard to how it is addressing the problems and needs of Indian communities, and contract
support is one of the fundamental responsibilities. It is an administrative responsibility of
carrying out these Federal functions and it is a legitimate function and legitimate responsibility.
This bill proposes to resolve a lot of legal ambiguities. It proposes to provide solutions that
we believe are reasonable. It addresses a consistency of how to approach it. It suggests
approaches on how to provide stability and efficiencies, and there are a number of other things
that we believe it does to resolve some of the problems and conflicts that we, the tribes, have had
with the Administration.
It is quite frustrating that we can't get the Congress or the Administration to raise this issue
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCas a priority and to fully fund it, both in IHS and BIA. It is also equally frustrating that we cannot
get the other Federal agencies to take responsibility for this need within their contracts. But this
bill puts the pressure on resolving this issue in a logical way.
As you look for your offsets if you pass this bill, we would be concerned that the offsets
would count against the allocation to the subcommittees, with regard to this jurisdiction. In other
words, are you taking money out of one pocket and putting it into the other pocket of Indian
country? That doesn't solve the problem. You know, that is an issue that we have constantly been
challenging the Administration and the Congress with regard to. We raise it with regard to
potential impact with regard to this proposal.
We believe that this bill moves us off of this contract support cost issue, which we believe
is an administrative matter, and moves us on to the serious problems of solving the needs of our
communities, to improve health and to improve job opportunities and to deal with the elders and
children programs and educational programs and so forth, so that we can focus in on those issues.
You will never fund our total needs, but what we do want you to do is fund fully the programs
that you have authorized in a way that does not become a detriment to the tribes or enforce us to
divert our moneys to cover these expenses, because these expenses are real costs to the tribal
government, and we have to cover them some way. So, usually, we will have to divert moneys
from other projects, economic projects and so forth, in order to cover these administrative
So, we have worked very hard over the last number years, we will continue to work with
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCyou and the Congress to persuade you on how to resolve this issue. We believe this bill goes a
long way in that direction to resolve this matter. And we believe that we can address many of the
issues that concern us about the bill. They are in our written testimony and we encourage you to
take a look at some of the suggestions. But, we believe that the bill goes a long ways to solving
We appreciate the opportunity to testify and we appreciate the opportunity to continue to
work with you on this subject matter, and we do appreciate your championing our cause. Thank
you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of W. Ron Allen follows:]
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Allen. I yield first to Mr. Hayworth.
Mr. HAYWORTH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I think we should note for the
record that four members of leadership of the Native American Caucus are here on the dais today
and we want to thank our friends from Indian country and beyond, who, again, offer compelling
testimony from the front lines, personal experience, the real frustrations with the inability to
reconcile this problem. And, again, I thank my friend from Michigan and I thank all of those,
who have testified this morning, as to our needs to make this a priority and solve this problem.
Especially, I am pleased to see Lt. Governor Narcia and others from the Gila River Indian
community here with us today.
Lt. Governor Narcia, I am familiar with your community's dilemma concerning prior years
pre-award and startup costs. Do you believe that H.R. 4148 will remedy this problem once and
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCfor all?
Mr. NARCIA. Congressman Hayworth, it's a pleasure to see you again. We thank
you for your advocacy and support for the community on this issue in the past. With your
indulgence, Mr. Chairman, I would like to refer this question to our Health Care Corporation
President, Mr. Franklin Jackson.
Mr. JACKSON. We believe that H.R. 4148 addresses the legal concerns with
reimbursing the community with startup costs.
This provision in the bill will require the Indian Health Service to pay the community and
other similarly situated tribes prior years award and startup costs on the same basis as Indian
Health Service has reimbursed these costs with tribes prior to and after Fiscal Year 1999.
And it is my understanding that under the Indian Health Service's new contract support
policy, tribes will not have to wait for four or five years, as we did for reimbursement of these
costs which are necessary to efficiently and responsibly manage local programs.
This will eliminate for other tribes, what has been a financial burden for our health care
Mr. HAYWORTH. Thank you, sir. I think it's safe to say that's been a severe burden
for you and your health care corporation.
Mr. JACKSON. It has been.
Mr. HAYWORTH. I thank you for that testimony, Mr. Jackson. Again, Lt. Governor,
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCthank you.
Whether it's Arizona, Alaska, Oklahoma Cherokee, or Native Americans throughout the
nation, again, I thank those who come to testify with their compelling stories, and it is our
mission to make sure that the rest of our friends in the U.S. Congress understand how important
it is to move forward on that.
With that, Mr. Chairman, I thank you for the time.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Hayworth. Mr. Kildee?
Mr. KILDEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First of all, Lt. Governor Narcia, please
give my best to Governor Don Antone, and former Governor, Mary Thomas.
Principal Chief, Chad Smith, I have one of your citizens of your sovereign nation working
for me, Kim Teehee here. She does a great job. She is a wonderful person.
And Ron Allen, Ron, you've been a mentor of mine for so many years, I'm just always
grateful to you and glad that you're here.
And I don't want to neglect you, Mr. Williams. I don't know if we've chatted before, but I
feel very close to this issue and very close to you at the table there.
Ron and I had the occasion of spending some time with the President of the United States
last summer, flying around the country and out to Pine Ridge, and looked at the housing out
there. I appreciated that very much.
I think this is a great bill. It's really ayou know, I think we do our best work in this
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCongress when we do it in a bipartisan way.
In the last few years, we really have been approaching Indian legislation in a bipartisan
way, and I think that this isthis would really make a real difference in Indian country for health
care. It's very important.
You know, if Government's role is to promote human dignity, health care is an essential
part of that, and we have a real, as I say, moral obligation.
I look forward to working withas we say, we have three of the officers of the Native
American Caucus right up here, so you have a very sympathetic audience. But I think we are
effective enough to influence the others, and I just really have no questions.
I think you've presented compelling reasons why we should proceed this way, and I thank
you very much for it.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Kildee. I have just a couple of questions. I think
Mr. Smith or maybe Mr. Williams mentioned that Native Americans have the highest rate of
diabetes of any ethnic group in the country.
Can someone tell me why that is? Why do Native Americans have a higher rate of diabetes
than any other group in the country?
Mr. ALLEN. Well, Mr. Chairman, let me just in a very pragmatic way explain. You
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCknow, Dr. Trujillo is probably one of the best ones to answer that, because they have spent so
much time studying the genetic conditions of Indian people and why the Indian people have such
a high propensity for diabetes.
We know that it is true that we have a higher level of diabetes than any other ethnic group
in the United States, and it is prevalent throughout the United States. It is as prevalent in Alaska
as it is throughout the other parts of Indian country.
And it's a problem we've been wrestling for many, many years. We have not had any
overwhelming success in beating it, but we are moving aggressively forward in educating our
communities about the fact that genetically, our people, you know, have a higher propensity for
diabetes and because of that, they have a better understanding of how to counter it throughout
So it is a problem we are constantly wrestling with. And how well we're wrestling with it,
Dr. Trujillo and his staff will probably know how well we're being successful in beating it back
within our communities.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Allen.
Mr. WILLIAMS. Mr. Chairman, if I could help, from my perspective, it's not a
medical perspective. The increase in diabetes in Alaskan villages is on the upward spiral.
And I expect a tremendous cost for diabetes in the next ten to 20 years to increase
dramatically. The change in traditional diet from traditional foods to sugar is one of the main
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCreasons that I have observed, change in diet, change in lifestyle, but I think diet has to be the
As stated, why the article startled me in the paper, and the amount of money spent on sugar,
is because for so many years, the lack of clean water to drink, and the average use in our villages
which I represent of maybe 50 gallons of water per family per day, instead of the 250 gallons per
day of the normal family
Obviously, the water is going for cooking and food and clothing and doing those necessary
things, and it's not going for drinking.
That's just one small answer to the question. I think the government commodities where my
wife comes from in South Dakotathere is a history of government commodities and change in
lifestyle and change in diet has had a tremendous impact.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, sir. Dr. Trujillo?
Dr. TRUJILLO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yes, we are seeing a great rise of the
incidence and also the consequences secondary to diabetes across the Nation among American
Indians and Alaska Natives.
Unfortunately, we are now even diagnosing adult onset diabetes, which is called Type II
Diabetes, in individuals of the ages of 14, 11 and 10. We also have individuals throughout the
Nation who have the end stages of diabetes, and being on dialysis at age 14 and 15.
Unfortunately, the problem is secondary to numerous factors: One is probablysome
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCgenetic propensity for development of the diabetes, but primarily it's secondary to a change in
lifestyle, the change in diet, activity, and other associated factors. Smoking and cardiovascular
diseases are also on the rise, as are other chronic diseases.
There is no tribe throughout the United States and Alaska that is not untouched by diabetes
at the present time. We have had some special funding from Congress, secondary to the
knowledge that we need additional resources and services.
These funds now are assisting tribes and the Indian Health Service at educating people
throughout the Nation of what might be able to be done to avoid or help individuals who are now
diagnosed with diabetes.
The difficulty will be is that we are seeing a rise of the diagnosis of diabetes. In 5, 10, 15,
20 years, individuals who are now being diagnosed will have the consequences of this disease
and end-stage problems difficulty in seeing, probably blindness, difficulty in end-stage renal
disease, probably dialysis or consequently problems with cardiovascular and peripheral vascular
disease with loss of limbs that the Chairman from Cherokee mentioned today.
It is a scourge of American Indians and Alaska Natives presently and very similar to the TB
that we saw earlier in this century.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Doctor. Is thiswould you say this, at least in part, is
due to health care programs that have been grossly underfunded for much of this century, the
lack of education and just the lack of attention paid to that particular issue?
Dr. TRUJILLO. The areas of public health are essential in the prevention. The
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCeducation, health education and the way that we might be able to prevent the disease is essential.
For those who may have inherited propensity for the disease the difficulty is in getting associated
care and obtaining adequate care, tertiary care, especially for individuals who have severe
disease, throughout the nation.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Doctor. I have someI don't have anybasically, I
guess, not for the last 250 years, Native Americans on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, which I
represent, but on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, we have a much higher than average rate of
diabetes. And it's just interesting thatwhich could be the quality of the water, diet, smoking, a
whole range of things.
But we will work as a group together with all of you to ensure that this eventually becomes
a thing of the past.
Dr. TRUJILLO. Yes. We are seeing a rise of diabetes in all populations throughout the
nation, but unfortunately, American Indians and Alaska Natives lead in that unfortunate disease
at the present time.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you very much, Doctor. Yes, sir, Mr. Narcia.
Mr. NARCIA. Mr. Chairman, in talking about diabetes, the Gila River Community
has the unhappy distinction of having the mostthe highest rate of diabetes per capita of any
group of people in the world.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And at this time, we're looking to find solutions to this problem. We are in the process of
establishing a diabetes center for our people with the help of Congressman Hayworth, and
hopefully we can start resolving some of these issues.
But at this point, our people are very frustrated with the care, the research that's been done.
We're the most researched people in the world, the Pima people. And it's sad, because we see
children as young as less than 10 years old, having diabetes.
And our people are also frustrated with the research that's been done in the past where it
targeted not the diabetes that's notthat applies to our people, but to the non-Indians, which
studies that were done by the Indian Health Service or the Public Health, so, you know, I'm glad
you're very aware of this deadly disease that's plaguing our people. Thank you.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Narcia. Just a couple of quick questions. I know
someone needs to catch a plane, so I'll try to expedite this.
Mr. Allen in your testimony you state that the Federal Government finally settled $80
million worth of liabilities to tribes which only covered up to the year 1993. Has the Federal
Government made any commitment to finalize a settlement to the present date?
Mr. ALLEN. They are currently in the middle of negotiating a settlement. Part of that
settlement is a way that they would calculate the indirect cost rate and the contract support
responsibilities of Interior with regard to the tribes.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And, of course, the settlement is dealing with the other Federal agencies who have
underfunded this indirect cost rate. So, we're looking for a compromise solution, and my
understanding is they're having good success in the negotiations, and they have had discussions,
preliminary discussions with IHS to try to address their responsibility as well.
And we hope that we'll get that thing resolved as far as the past settlement issues, and try to
move this thing forward. But it doesn't solve this problem as well as this bill does, going into the
Mr. GILCHREST. I see. So, would you say that this billmy next question was going
to be, what can Congress do to ensure this full settlement up to the year 1999? You feel this bill
will do that?
Mr. ALLEN. This bill would significantly contribute to closing the book on what the
obligations are, including addressing the matter within the OMB circular in terms of having very
specific guidelines as it addresses how you expend these resources from OMB's circular
We believe that it would resolve it once and for all, and make it very unequivocally clear
that this is how we're going to pay for this, these funds associated with these contracts.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you. And, Mr. Smith, in your written testimony, you express
support for transferring responsibility for contract support cost issues from the Division of
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCFinancial Management to the Office of Tribal Programs.
What is your source of criticism of the Division of Financial Management?
Mr. SMITH. Last year, IHS had a circular which said that all contract support costs
requirements should be determined by the local area office in negotiations with each tribe.
Disagreements only were to be moved up the chain of command to the Division of
Financial Management. We followed that procedure and negotiated a hard number at the
Oklahoma Area Office.
Despite complete agreement between us and the area Office, the Division of Financial
Management personnel stepped in and unilaterally reduced our requirements by $2.7 million.
The only reason that the Division of Financial Management did this is because the bulk of
the $2.7 million was not in the Cherokee Nation's indirect cost pool, a way of saying that the
DFM disagreed with the agreement that we had with the Office of Inspector General for how we
account for our funds.
By making this reduction, DFM would have us eliminate virtually the entire administrative
structure for the Cherokee Nation Health Department.
Mr. GILCHREST. And one more followup to that: Your testimony indicates that the
Cherokee Nation has never received any so-called direct contract support costs funding from the
Bureau of Indian Affairs.
In fact, last year the Assistant Secretary acknowledged before this Committee that the BIA
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOChas never paid such costs. What has the impact been on the Cherokee Nation?
Mr. SMITH. The Cherokee Nation operates over $13 million worth of BIA
programs, employing 158 individuals who would otherwise be employed by the Bureau. When
the Bureau employed these people, it covered their Workers Compensation and Unemployment
When the positions were transferred to us, those benefits were held back. Using IHS's
historic estimate that these costs ran about 15 percent of salaries, the Bureau has shorted the
Cherokee Nation by over half a million per year for a total of $5 million to date.
Let me clear with the Committee: To cover the Workers Compensation shortfall, we have
had to reduce our BIA programs by the same amount, a half a million dollars a year.
This Catch 22 will be remedied by H.R. 4148.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Smith. Gentlemen, thank you very much for your
testimony, and we look forward to working with you on this bill to see it passed as soon as
possible. Thank you very much.
Now, there's a littleas far as I can see, slight alteration in the next panel. Ms. Woolsey, the
Congresswoman from the great State of California, and Mr. Greg Sarris, Chairman, Federated
Indians of Graton Rancheria Novato, California. Ms. Woolsey and Mr. Sarris, welcome.
Ms. Woolsey, you may begin.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE LYNN C. WOOLSEY, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCONGRESS FROM THE 6TH DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA; AND MR. GREG SARRIS,
CHAIRMAN, FEDERATED INDIANS OF GRATON RANCHERIA, NOVATO,
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE LYNN C. WOOLSEY
Ms. WOOLSEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you. I'd like for the record to
show that two of the four leaders of the Native American Caucus are still with us today, so thank
you for your interest in our Native Americans and for sticking in here with this.
I'm pleased to be here today to testify in support of H.R. 946, the Graton Rancheria
Restoration Act. It's also a great privilege to sit here with Dr. Greg Sarris, who is the Chair of the
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. He was supposed to be on Panel II. Thank you for
putting him next to me so he can catch a plane. He's barely going to make it.
Together, we've worked for several years on this bill. And on behalf of Greg and on behalf
of the tribe, I appreciate your hearing us today, and allowing us to speak.
The bill before you today, H.R. 946, seeks to correct a decades-old wrong by restoring
Federal recognition for the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.
Composed primarily of the California Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo tribes in my
Congressional District, which you know, Mr. Chairman, is north of San Francisco, across the
Golden Gate Bridge.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Joe Saulque, who chaired the Advisory Council on California Indians, stated that lackno,
not lackluck often determined whether a tribe got recognized.
And I am so glad that with today's hearing, we are going to take luck out of the equation by
taking the first step in restoring the tribe's status, because it is the right thing to do. It should not
be based on luck.
The tribes of the Graton Rancheria are a rich part of the San Francisco Bay Area's cultural
heritage. The earliest historical account of the Coast Miwok peoples whose traditional homelands
include the California communities of Bodega, Tomales, Marshall, and Sebastopol, located along
the West Coast of my District, dates back to 1579.
Today there are approximately 380 members of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.
In 1966, the U.S. Government terminated the tribe's status under the California Rancheria
Act of 1958. Almost two decades later, the Advisory Council on California Indian Policy was
established by the Congress to study and report on the special circumstances facing California's
tribes, those whose status had been terminated.
The Council's final report, which was submitted to Congress in September 1997,
specifically recommended the immediate restoration of the Federated Indians of Graton
Following this report's recommendations, the tribes promptly decided on a course of action
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCfor the restoration. Since then, I've been working with them on the bill.
And it's the bill that's before you today. This consensus bill restores Federal rights and
privileges to the tribe and to its members.
As is typical with restoration legislation, it reinstates political status and makes tribal
members eligible for benefits such as Native American health, education, and housing services.
These are services, as you know, that are available to all other Federally-recognized tribes.
A unique aspect of H.R. 946, however, is that it specifically contains a clause that restricts
gaming, gaming on land that is taken into trust for the tribes.
This non-gaming clause is at the express request of the tribe, and is the basis for the broad
and bipartisan support that this bill enjoys throughout my Congressional District.
It is also key to my support for the tribe's restoration. As most of you know, I'm privileged
to represent an area with unparalleled natural beauty. Open space, controlled growth, and quality
of life are defining characteristics and values for the residents of Marin and Sanoma Counties.
Greg Sarris, and the tribes recognize and appreciate this because they live there also. They
are also acutely aware of the growing pressure on restored Indian tribes to establish gaming as a
means of economic independence.
Their sovereign decisionand I repeat, sovereign decisionto choose other means of
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCeconomic vitality is out of respect for preserving the current character of the North Bay, and a
commitment to our community that their quest for restoration is not to establish gaming.
And, most importantly, it is a request for their right to self-determination. As the Federal
representative for the area where their tribal land will be established, I'm very proud that this bill
addresses their wants and needs as well as the rest of the residents of the vicinity.
Interesting enough, my office recently received a visit from the San Manuel Band of
Mission Indians that are located near San Bernardino, California.
They operate gaming on their lands, but they were proud to learn that the Federated Indians
of Graton Rancheria were asserting their right to make a sovereign decision about their tribe's
Mr. Chairman, I'd like to enter into the record, a statement of support for H.R. 946 from
this particular tribe.
Mr. GILCHREST. Without objection, so ordered.
Ms. WOOLSEY. Thank you. And, Mr. Chairman, it's been a long journey for the
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, and on behalf of their hard work and the support they
have received from the local community, I ask that this Committee hold the markup of H.R. 946
and bring this bill to the Floor for consideration so that we can restore the deserved recognition
that they request.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I thank the Committee again for the opportunity to testify in support of restoration for the
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, and I look forward to a continuing working relationship
with this Committee on their behalf. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of the Honorable Lynn C. Woolsey follows:]
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Ms. Woolsey. We will do our best to expedite the bill.
STATEMENT OF GREG SARRIS
Mr. SARRIS. First of all, thank you, Mr. Chairman, for rearranging the order of
speakers here right now. It took a lot of fried bread sales from my people to get me here today,
and I've got to catch a plane back.
Let me give you a little bit of background, everybody here, about the tribe. The Federated
Indians of the Graton Rancheria were called by the 1920's 1930's, Coast Miwok or Southern
Pomo by linguists and anthropologists.
At pre-contact time, we were approximately 5,000 people of manyseveral dozen bands of
Indians who interacted as one group.
Today we have 380 enrolled members. Of those members, 380 members, we are all
descendants of 12 survivors.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We were first contacted by, of course, the Spanish, who put us in the missions. The
northernmost missions were in our territory, and then the Mexicans who established an elaborate
slave trade situation that enslaved virtually all our men and traded them as far as Mexico, back
and forth on the ranchos.
In 1850, when California became a State, one of the first pieces of legislation that was
enacted by the State of California was the Act for the Government and Protection of Indians
which, in essence, legalized Indian slavery.
It stipulated that Indians became the rightful property of whomever's land they were on. We
were bought and sold until that law was repealed in 1868, three years after the Civil War.
For the next 50 years, we lived as indentured servants on whomever's ranch we were on.
In the early part of the 20th Century, the BIA began purchasing small tracts of land for the
so-called homeless Indians of California. They did not designate us by tribes, but by areas in
which we resided on small rancherias or privately-owned property.
We were still generally referred to by the derogatory term of digger Indians. In 1920, after
looking up and down the coast at our territory, 15.45 acres were purchased in Graton for our
members. Seventy-five members moved on in 1920.
Unfortunately, of those 15.45 acres, only three were inhabitable; the rest were virtually up
and down, so many of our members could not stay there.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In 1958 when they came by and did a census at the height of the harvest season, when no
one was around, they found three families and with the Rancheria Termination Act, offered those
three families or three designees, the right to buy the land, and, in essence, terminate the
rancheria as trust land and, therefore, terminate us asour tribal status as a recognized tribe.
That was not settled until 1966, at which point there was one family left, and that family
got the land. We were then, as Lynn mentioned, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, terminated,
effectively as a tribe, without the vote or the consensus of the rest of the members.
Due to taxes and what have you, that family was able to hold on to only one acre of that
land. A woman, the daughter of the designee, who still lives on the land, has given it to us as a
token to restore to trust status, the tribal lands, and, in turn, restore us as a tribe.
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey mentioned the issue of gaming. We worked closely with
both the Democrats and Republicans there who did not want development on the land.
I, for one, and I think I can speak for many people of my tribe, feel strongly that Indian
people should have the sovereign right to game. It isn't that issue; it's working together with our
group, that we did not want to develop the land for casinos or any other purposes.
What we are asking is for our rights to be returned; that is, our rights to health benefits,
education benefits, and housing benefits that are afforded all other recognized American Indian
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCtribes.
And as I mentioned, we were terminated in 1966. As you know, since that time, American
Indians have made some significant gains in terms of health and education. We would like access
to some of that, and we would like once again to be restored as a people and have rights that we
once had so that we might not be as we were before 1920, simply homeless Indians of California.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Sarris follows:]
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Sarris. How manythat's an interesting but sad story
that's covered, I guess, several centuries, to descend to 12 survivors and now, I guess, ascend to
380, which is quite remarkable.
How many acres does the bill set aside?
Mr. SARRIS. Approximately one acre, sir.
Mr. GILCHREST. One acre?
Mr. SARRIS. Yes.
Mr. GILCHREST. Now, where are the 380 enrolled members? Do they live in the
Mr. SARRIS. They live throughout Sonoma and Marin, southern Sonoma and Marin
Counties, in and around Santa Rosa in private homes. We have no place to live. We've been
gathering in front rooms and garages for our meetings.
Mr. GILCHREST. You're asking for one acre?
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SARRIS. One acre.
Mr. GILCHREST. Even if you wanted a casino, it would be a pretty small casino.
Mr. SARRIS. Mr. Chairman, unless we could get an architect that could build an 87
story casino on one acre, it's unlikely.
Mr. GILCHREST. So, one acre, which will be a site for, among other things, family
reunions, I guess?
Mr. SARRIS. Family reunions and a place from which we can educate the larger
community about who we are, and, again, house historical information and the things that we
would like to keep as a tribe for our children and grandchildren.
Mr. GILCHREST. Now, will theso, there are 380 people that consider themselves
southern Pomo or Indians of Graton?
Mr. SARRIS. Yes, Coastal Miwok.
Mr. GILCHREST. So, do they allthey're in the area. They're all working. There is
nowe're not talking about a Navaho Indian Reservation here, the Sioux Indian Reservation, or
anything like that.
So, the specific designation would do what for the people that are disbursed? They would
receive the same benefits as the other Federally-recognized tribes?
Mr. SARRIS. Once again, we would have access to health benefits, many of which
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCyou heard about this morning earlier. We have no access to that, and yet we have the same
problems in high incidence of diabetes and so forth.
We cannot get the help from any other Indian agencies. Also, we would be able to apply for
scholarships and fellowships as Indians, where at this point we cannot because we're not
recognized as a Federal tribe.
Mr. GILCHREST. Where would you have access to health care, a traditional doctor's
office, a health care facility?
Mr. SARRIS. We have a health clinic, Sonoma Indian Health right in there that's
enjoyed by other tribes.
Mr. SARRIS. I see. Mr. Kildee?
Mr. KILDEE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I think really the main benefit,
aside from the fact that you are sovereign and you have a retained sovereignty, we're not giving it
to you, we're recognized that retained sovereignty, and that's John Marshall's decision that you
hold a retained sovereignty.
We are not giving it to you by this bill; we're recognizing that retained sovereignty, and
that's a very, very important distinction there, a very substantive distinction.
The main gain that you would get by that recognition would be access to Indian Health
Service and education. Were you in Michiganwhen I was in the Michigan Legislature, I
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCintroduced a bill that any Michigan Indian can go to any Michigan public college without paying
tuition. It's called the Indian Tuition Waiver Act.
And that wasI know that's probably not the law in California, but there are certain rights
that accrue to you when you are a recognized Federal tribe. Again, I want to emphasize
recognition, not granting your sovereignty, recognizing your retained sovereignty.
That's aI carry with me wherever I go, I carry John Marshall's decision and I carry the
Constitution. John Marshall's decision talks about the retained sovereignty, and this talks about
yourthe three types of sovereignty.
I will just read this: Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce with foreign
nations, and among the several states, and with Indian tribes, recognized as the three
That's very important. Whether you have one acre or like the Navaho, you arethe fact that
you have that sovereignty recognized, that you exercise your natural rights as a sovereign people,
and that's very important. That's why this bill is very attractive to me.
I will be candid, however. I have some concerns about limiting the sovereignty in the area
of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Mr. Sarris, have youhave other Indian tribes in California
expressed any concern about the fact that you're willing yourself to not exercise that right under
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. SARRIS. There has been some concern, yes, from some tribes mentioned, but the
majority of the tribes nonetheless support our move. In fact, we have letters of support from the
neighboring Pomo Tribes.
Another thing I should mention is that as a result of Proposition 1 A in California, one of
the provisions or stipulations is that tribes cannot establish gaming on newly acquired trust land.
So if we were to establish or find a larger tract of land where we could have gaming, we couldn't
But more importantly for us, also part of the provision of Proposition 1 A is that
non-gaming tribes can share, have profit sharing in the profits from the gaming tribes. But unless
you're recognized, you cannot have access or we will not have access to the profit sharing with
the gaming tribes.
Mr. KILDEE. Let me ask you this, because I really am anxious to recognize your
If this legislation was silent about IGRA, would the California law still forbid you then to
have gaming on that one acre of land or is that something lawyers have to sort out later?
Mr. SARRIS. Well, technically no. I mean technically we could have gaming on the
one acre but in fact we have made an agreement with the woman living on there that we would
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCnot do that on her one acre that she has retained. She has expressed that she did not want that in
any way and only wanted her homeyou know, there is a little home, her little home that she has
retained thereused for historic and cultural purposes.
Mr. KILDEE. But that land would become your land and it would be sovereign land?
Mr. SARRIS. The one acre, yes, sir.
Mr. KILDEE. One acre would be sovereign land. I am just asking these questions
because I am really anxious to recognize your sovereignty. You know, we have had tribes in
Michigan. I helped get the recognition of five different tribes. We have 12 tribes in Michigan,
pretty small tribes.
One wastwo, three were down to zero acres of land and I helped get them land also,
maybe only about 300 acres butwhich by Western standards but obviously not California
standards was a fairly good chunk of land, so there are other instances where land has beenBurt,
the land in Michigan was illegally taken from the Indians. Burt Lake, 1901, the Governor put
them back on the tax rolls for that band and after one year when they did not pay their tax, did
not tell them they were back on the tax rolls, they were illegally put back on, confiscated their
land because the lumber barons wanted it.
They came inthis was 1901, this is not, you knowmy dad was 18 years old. He
remembers when it happened. They came in and the Sheriff burned down, chased the Indians off
the land, burned down their village so they could not return. Some terrible things have happened
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCto Indians and I think that we in the Congress have not just a legal but a moral obligation to right
these wrongs as much as we can.
I certainly appreciate both of you testifying here today. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Kildee. Mr. Sarris, Congresswoman Woolsey,
thank you very much for your testimony and we will do what we can toI guess you are not
going to use that for grazing too many horses or cattle, but maybe you can expand it later on.
Thank you for your testimony.
Ms. WOOLSEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, when you just said
expand it later on, that is exactly why we want that language to stay in the bill for recognizing the
sovereignty and what the tribe wants, and that is no gaming, no matter if they expand it or not,
and that is important to the community, it is important to me, and it is important to them, and I
would hope we could have a markup and keep the language intact as the bill is drafted now.
Mr. GILCHREST. We will work with you, Ms. Woolsey.
Ms. WOOLSEY. Thank you very much.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you very much.
Mr. SARRIS. Thank you.
Mr. GILCHREST. Yes, sir.
Our next panel will be the Honorable Kevin Gover, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Indian
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCAffairs, Washington, DC., Ms. Madonna Archambeau, Chairwoman, Yankton Sioux Tribe,
Marty, South Dakota, Mr. Arthur ''Butch'' Denny, Chairman, Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska,
Welcome. Mr. Gover, you have double duty today. You can testify on both bills at this
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE KEVIN GOVER, ASSISTANT SECRETARY,
BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, WASHINGTON, DC.; MS. MADONNA ARCHAMBEAU,
CHAIRWOMAN, YANKTON SIOUX TRIBE, MARTY, SOUTH DAKOTA; AND MR.
ARTHUR ''BUTCH'' DENNY, CHAIRMAN, SANTEE SIOUX TRIBE OF NEBRASKA,
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE KEVIN GOVER
Mr. GOVER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I am under a very severe time
constraint at this point. Let me be very brief.
First, on the Santee bill, we have two concerns with the legislation.
First, it is not yet clear to us just how the values for the compensation were established. We
certainly support the idea of compensation. We think it is a continuation of the Congress's work
over the last few years to compensate all the tribes that were affected by the Missouri Basin
projects, and therefore we support the notion of compensation.
No one has yet told us what the basis of these particular amounts is and why it is the United
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCStates who ought to provide those particular amounts.
In addition, the bill would further a practice that we have objected to before by establishing
a fund that is sort of off budget, and we would still prefer that these compensation acts be put on
the budget and be dealt with in a more straightforward way than has been true in the past.
Finally, we strongly recommend a prohibition on per capita payments from these funds.
Our experience with per capita in Indian communities, has not been a favorable one. We think
that the money is better spent in the hands of the tribal government on community-wide projects
as opposed to one-time payments to individual Indians that we have every confidence will have
little impact in the community and soon will leave the community.
On the Graton Rancheria restoration, we do support the bill. I want to make that clear. We
agree. This tribe was wronged when it was terminated. That wrong needs to be righted.
Our only concern really is with the gaming provision, and it is not that we wish to force
gaming onto a community that does not want it, including this tribe. If the tribe chooses not to
game, more power to them. We have absolutely no objection. We support their right to make that
Our concern indeed is not even with this particular tribe. If they don't want gaming, that is
fine with us. The problem is that what tends to happen in these matters, and frankly this bill is an
extension of this phenomenon, is that if we put it in one restoration bill, it will be in every
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCrestoration bill, and we think that's wrong.
The tribes that were terminated were grievously wronged by the United States. The terms
for readmission to the family of Federally-recognized tribes should not be the waiver of their
right to conduct these gaming activities, and we object to that.
I think that there are other ways to accomplish the objective of preventing gaming, with the
tribe's consent, on the particular parcel that we are talking about or even in a particular area,
without establishing the precedent that I have every confidence will show up in every restoration
There are a couple dozen California tribes that are in the same boat. Each of them
undoubtedly will be coming to the Administration and to the Congress asking for restoration.
They should be granted restoration, but as I say, the price of admission should not be to give up
so important a right on a blanket basis.
That, Mr. Chairman, summarizes my testimony. We have examined the evidence
surrounding the Graton tribe. We are confident that these are the successors to the historical
Graton Rancheria, and we very much support their restoration to Federal recognition.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Gover follows:]
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Gover. Ms. Archambeau.
STATEMENT OF MS. MADONNA ARCHAMBEAU
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. ARCHAMBEAU. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee for
Mr. GILCHREST. I'm sorry, Ms. Archambeau. Just 1 second. Mr. Gover, if you need
to leave, we will understand.
Mr. GOVER. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. I really do need to leave. It's a doctor's
appointment with my daughter otherwise. I would be happy to stay.
Mr. GILCHREST. Yes, sir. We will make sure that the testimony of Ms. Archambeau
gets to you so she may have answered some of your questions.
Mr. GOVER. Thank you.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you very much. Ms. Archambeau.
Ms. ARCHAMBEAU.opportunity to speak on behalf of my tribe.
Mr. Chairman, my name is Madonna Archambeau and I serve as elected Tribal
Chairwoman for the Yankton Sioux Tribe. Our land is located in the southeastern corner of South
Accompanying me this afternoon is Deborah DuBray, our consultant attorney, who has
worked with our tribe on this legislation.
In addition, I have asked Dr. Michael Lawson to accompany me as well. Dr. Lawson is a
respected historian who has developed an expertise on the Pick Sloan program and its impact on
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCIndian tribes. Dr. Lawson has done extensive work on the tribe's claim which serves as a basis
for H.R. 2671.
They are here to assist me with questions from the Committee.
First, let me express my sincere appreciation for the Committee's consideration of
H.R. 2671. We have been working several years now to relieve some of the harm that our tribe
has suffered as a result of the construction of the Fort Randall Dam on the Missouri River.
I am honored to be here today to speak in support of this legislation. Now I would like to
make a few points regarding H.R. 2671.
The construction of the Fort Randall Dam and Reservoir on the Missouri River destroyed
an important part of my tribe's traditional way of life. The Missouri River bottom lands were rich
with game and plants and used for traditional foods. We used the plants for ceremonies and
medicines, the trees and the bottom lands we used for lumber and fuel.
We lost tribal land when the bottom lands were flooded but much of our traditional way of
life was taken from us too.
Our tribe lost acres and acres of rich productive agricultural land. We lost 3,260 in total
acres due to the construction of the Fort Randall Dam and Reservoir, and we lost the entire
community of White Swan.
It was the practice of the United States to move the Indian communities flooded by the dam
construction to higher ground to be re established, but our tribal community of White Swan was
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCnot relocated. It was simply destroyed, the families dispersed elsewhere. The community was
never replaced. This was and still is a great loss to our people.
My tribe and the Santee tribe did not have the same opportunity to negotiate and obtain
settlements by acts of Congress as other Missouri River tribes did. Our land was taken by
condemnation proceedings in District Court. As a result, my tribe and the Santee suffered great
inequities in the initial settlements or taken land.
Congress enacted equitable compensation legislation for four other upstream Missouri
River tribes whose losses were similar to ours. H.R. 2671 is similar legislation. H.R. 2671 will
provide the tribe an annual interest payment from a trust fund established to compensate the tribe
for losses and bring some equity to the issue of the Pick Sloan taking.
The income will assist the tribe with its economic development and needs and help
strengthen culture and social programs. This is a turn that will help the tribe move forward
toward a great self determination in tribal affairs.
I would like to present the Committee, the members, a copy of the letter written by South
Dakota Bill Janklow in supporting this legislation. The Governor and the tribe did not always
agree on tribal matters but we are in agreement of this bill. Our tribal members support this bill.
It will help heal some of the wounds our tribal elders have suffered.
The bill directs our tribal council to develop a plan in the interests of payments to be used.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCOur tribal plan will include programs and benefit all the tribal members, our elders, and our
Mr. Chairman and Committee members, this bill, H.R. 2671, is very important to the
future of the Yankton Sioux tribe. For these reasons, I ask the Committee to support us in our
efforts to obtain equitable compensation in the past inequities.
In closing, I want to thank Congressman Bill Barrett and his staff for their work in support
of our efforts and I thank the members of this Committee and I respectfully ask the members to
support our bill and take positive action in recommending its passage to the full House of
Representatives. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Archambeau follows:]
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Ms. Archambeau.
We do have a vote on, but we have time to hear Mr. Denny's testimony. You may begin,
STATEMENT OF MR. ARTHUR ''BUTCH'' DENNY
Mr. DENNY. OK, thank you. Mr. Chairman, I am Chairman Butch Denny of the
Santee Sioux Tribe in Nebraska. I am pleased to appear before the Committee today to provide
some views from the perspective of the Santee Sioux tribe in support of H.R. 2671.
I will summarize my remarks from my written statement.
The Santee Sioux reservation is located in northeast Nebraska. The Missouri River borders
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCour reservation's northern boundary. I have attached a map to my written statement for reference
to the areas we are talking about. I need not repeat the testimony of Chairwoman Archambeau
but to say that the Santee tribe suffered similar losses as a result of construction of the Gavins
Our tribal land was taken in a similar and swift manner through condemnation proceedings
in District Court, resulting in the same inequities to the Santee as was experienced by the
Yankton Sioux tribe. In 1952, almost 3 months before the Fort Randall Dam was completed, the
Army Corps of Engineers began the construction of the Gavins Point Dam, whose water flooded
part of our reservation. The Santee, as other Missouri River tribes, lost a way of life that centered
on the river bottom lands.
Our bottom land environment was similar in many ways to the other community of White
Swan that once existed on the Yankton Sioux reservation. This is why we have joined the
Yankton Sioux tribe in seeking an equitable remedy for past unfairness in the initial taking of our
We base the justification of our claim on the same history and treatment by the United
States. The Santee tribal land base is small, our tribal membership is small, and our claim is
small, but our tribal loss due to the construction of the Gavins Point Dam is great. The dams and
reservoirs have provided many benefits to the non-Indian people in surrounding communities in
the Missouri River Basin through flood control, irrigation, hydroelectric power, and recreation. It
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCis the Indian tribes who paid most for these benefits with their lands, and the Indian tribes who
have yet to reap the benefits of the dam projects.
There are minimal jobs on our reservation. This bill will aid us in developing economic
opportunities for our members. This bill will aid us in addressing our housing, education, culture
and social welfare needs. Many of our tribal elders are passing on. Soon there will be no elders to
remember the traditional life along the rivers long ago. Our tribal elders believe that a just and
equitable settlement is possible. The Santee tribal members unanimously support this bill.
One cannot measure the cost of the loss of tradition, the loss of a way of life along a free
flowing river, so we must look at the cost of measurable things, the acres of land flooded, the
cost of relocation and the like. The Santee lost a total of 1,007 acres to the Gavins Point Project.
The Santee settlement claim is minimal in comparison to others that have been enacted before us.
The Santee Trust Fund will be capitalized with $8 million and only the interest of the Trust Fund
that would be paid to the Santee. The annual interest payments will greatly assist our tribe to
develop programs through a plan developed by the tribal council.
As Chairwoman Archambeau stated, we have been working several years on this bill. With
the Committee's support, it is the hope of the Santee Sioux tribe that H.R. 2671 will be enacted
At this time Chairwoman Archambeau and I would like to offer an amendment that will
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCclear up a few inaccuracies in the funding of the bill. I would like to conclude by saying that we
are grateful to Congressman Barrett for his support and for his staff, who have worked tirelessly
with our tribes on this and other matters.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Arthur ''Butch'' Denny follows:]
Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Denny, I apologize for the time constraints. We willwe will
probably be gone for quite some time on this vote and I didn't want to keep people waiting here.
Your testimony is highly regarded. Our goal here is to ensure justice. If there was any way
for us to create a time machine and go back to 1944, the dam would not have been created. You
would have kept your land, so it is just and right for you to be compensated.
Mr. KILDEE. Well, I basically concur in your statements too. I think we should
remedy past injustices, and we are probably going over for several votes right now. we may have
some questions in writing for our own background here, but I do very much appreciate your
If we are going to be seekers after justice, we have to pursue our own justice.
Mr. DENNY. OK. One thing I would like to add is that we at no time ever felt is that
we should give this money out as a per capita payment. It would be used for infrastructure.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Kildee.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. Archambeau and Mr. Denny, thank you very much for your testimony and everybody
else that accompanied you here today. We will work with you on this issue.
Mr. DENNY. Thank you.
Mr. GILCHREST. Yes, sir. Thank you very much.
I ask unanimous consent that the statement by Mr. Miller be submitted into the record.
[The prepared statement of the Honorable George Miller, a Representative in Congress
from the State of California follows:]
Mr. GILCHREST. I wish you all safe travel. The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 2:08 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
[Additional material submitted for the record follows.]
[Prepared statement of William Janklow follows:]
[Prepared statement of Honorable Bill Barrett follows:]