Dear USET/USET SPF Family,
Following the Indian Health Service's (IHS) request for comment on the updated draft IHS Tribal Consultation Policy, USET SPF submitted comments to IHS recommending changes to strengthen and improve the draft policy. Our comments emphasize the need for IHS to properly acknowledge their trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations, and encourages IHS to pursue accountability measures for obtaining the consent from and incorporating the guidance of Tribal Nations in this updated policy.
Specifically, IHS requested input from Tribal Nations on how IHS should engage with Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) and whether or not to include ANCs in the updated policy. USET SPF maintains that ANCs, as for-profit corporations, do not enjoy a consultative relationship with the U.S. government. Consultation is a diplomatic tool grounded in the Nation-to-Nation relationship between Tribal Nations (including Alaska Native Tribal Nations and villages) and the U.S. As such, our comments recommend that IHS engage with ANCs through a separate confer policy, much like it does with other non-governmental entities like Urban Indian Organizations.
To aid our member Tribal Nations in responding to this consultation request, we enclose a comment template document. We strongly urge our member Tribal Nations to join us in submitting comments to IHS during this important opportunity to improve the IHS Tribal Consultation Policy.
For more information, please contact Ashton Martin, USET SPF Health Policy Analyst, at email@example.com.