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Indian Health Service and the Spirit Lake Tribe Enter into Historic Self-Governance Compact and Funding Agreement for Spirit Lake Health Center

Fort Totten, North Dakota Tribe first in Great Plains Area to enter IHS Tribal Self-Governance Program

Effective June 1, the Indian Health Service and the Spirit Lake Tribe will enter into a self-governance compact and funding agreement as authorized by Title V of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. The Spirit Lake Tribe is the first tribe in the IHS Great Plains Area to enter a Title V self-governance agreement.

This agreement transfers the programs, services, functions and activities associated with the administrative and clinical operations of the Spirit Lake Health Center in Fort Totten, North Dakota, with all associated funding, to the Spirit Lake Tribe. The tribe will directly manage and provide services for its tribal members.

“An important focus at IHS is to renew and strengthen our partnerships with tribes, and the self-governance program truly has a positive impact in Indian Country and to the delivery of quality care to our patients,” said IHS principal deputy director Mary Smith. “The Spirit Lake Tribe is the first Tribe in the Great Plains Area to enter into a self-governance agreement, and it was a priority for IHS to support the Tribe and provide assistance for this agreement that will allow the Tribe the flexibility to administer program funds to best meet the needs of their citizens and Tribal communities.”

IHS will continue to work with the Spirit Lake Tribe to ensure a smooth transition so all IHS beneficiaries have access to care. The IHS Tribal Self-Governance Program includes the participation of 353 of the 567 federally recognized tribes that have negotiated 89 compacts and 114 funding agreements under the authority of Title V of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. These compacts and funding agreements represent the transfer of over one-third of the total IHS funding to American Indian and Alaska Native tribes to operate and manage health care programs, services, functions or activities (or portions thereof) previously provided by the Indian Health Service.

The IHS Great Plains Area serves 130,000 patients in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota by operating, as of June 1, 2016, 15 federal government facilities and funding the operations of 18 tribally operated health facilities. For more information, review the IHS Principal Deputy Director’s recent briefing on Great Plains Area operations [PDF - 118 KB].

The IHS, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.