“This oversight hearing will focus on how the Indian Health Service is implementing the Tribal Self-Governance Act. I am persuaded that tribal self-governance will provide the framework for Federal Indian policy in the future. Self-governance is a policy conceived by tribal leaders. It gives practical meaning to the special trust relationship between tribes and the United States by requiring government-to- government negotiations, increased tribal flexibility, and a transfer of control from Federal bureaucrats to tribal governments who are closer to the people served.
Last year, Congress declared the Interior Department’s self-governance demonstration project to be a success and enacted a law to make tribal self-governance a permanent program. We will soon
consider legislation to make tribal self-governance a permanent program at the Indian Health Service.
It appears that the implementation by tribes of health-related self-governance efforts has been largely successful. It also appears that much more remains to be done by IHS to remove Federal obstacles to full implementation by tribes.”