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NUTRITION PAGE 7 PAGE 10 TRIBAL WATER EASY AS TACO SOUP Quality Recognized Vitamin Packed and Delicious CHEYENNE COUNTRY | April 2013 | VOICE OF THE NORTHERN CHEYENNE TRIBE | | FACEBOOK.COM/NORTHERNCHEYENNETRIBE Fiscal Cliff Impacts Cheyenne and Tribal Nations Sequestration forcing budget cuts across the board for next 10 years By Lenny Smith Of Cheyenne Country This month the Northern Cheyenne Nation began slashing millions of dollars from the tribe’s budget—an estimated $20 million. Beginning March 1, 2013, forced spending cuts reached the Northern Cheyenne Reservation impacting tribal programs in the Department of the Interior. According to Mike Addy, Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, in a discussion with tribal officials on sequestration in early March, the timing and magnitude of most of the cuts are uncertain. In the meantime, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe is preparing to make annual cuts across the board meaning that agencies and departments don’t have any input on how it goes into effect. “It’s going to be that way for the next ten years essentially. The sequestration was a ten year plan, and it indiscriminately cut everybody officially by 5 percent,” stated Beverly Stiller, Administrative Officer for the Bureau of Indian affairs. In addition to this Stiller stated that all programs will freeze hiring on nonessential positions and reduce training and travel. The cuts will jump to 8 percent or more in 2014 and will remain at that level until 2023. Jefferson Keel, President of the National Congress of American Indians outlined in a series of letters how the cuts would lead to devastating impacts to health care systems, law enforcement, education and other essential governmental services for tribal “The tribe is at a very critical time in it’s development.” —President Robinson Northern Cheyenne Tribe governments and communities. Unfortunately, the cuts will disproportionately hit the neediest tribal members, with cuts to housing, health care and education. “Federal responsibilities to tribes are already significantly underfunded and the problems we are working hard to confront will only be exacerbated if treaty obligations are treated as line items,” stated Keel. “Tribal programs make up a miniscule part of the federal budget – for example the Indian Health Service is 0.12 percent of federal spending and Bureau of Indian Affairs is -0.07 percent. Cuts at the sequester level of 8.2 percent, or deeper, to investments in education, housing, roads, law enforcement, tribal courts, natural resources, energy development, job training, and health care will deal a devastating blow to already dire economic conditions in Indian Country.” According to Northern Tribal President John Robinson, “The tribe is at a very critical time in it’s development.” He believes the sequestration could thwart the tribe’s ability to promote economic growth or plan for the benefit of future generations and that we need to make changes to help adapt to the budget cuts. However, despite the effects of sequestration, the tribe is still committed to fulfilling everything in it’s scope even though it has less money to operate. “I think that people are starting to recognize the true impacts and that it’s everywhere. It’s not just us as a tribe,” says Stiller. “We have no choice but to be creative in insuring in that we somehow still meet our requirements.” Honor Your Life John A. Youngbear/Cheyenne Country Northern Cheyenne Tribal Health’s Community Health Programs initiates events and outreach that focus on educating the tribal community about teen pregnancy, tobacco prevention and suicide awareness issues in classrooms, community events and gatherings promoting healthy lifestyles. Northern Cheyenne Tribal Health’s Community Health Programs, above, initiates events and outreach that focus on educating the tribal community about teen pregnancy, tobacco prevention and suicide awareness issues in classrooms, community events and gatherings promoting healthy lifestyles. Audience members, below, review emergency contact and hotline phone resources available to youth and those impacted by suicide. Offering Hope S uicide is such a shocking cause of death, so often shrouded in mystery. In fact, there is a social stigma that is placed on the entire concept in American Indian culture. On reservations around the U.S., Native American children and young adults are taking their lives at more than triple the rate of other youngsters around the country, upsetting entire communities. This is devastating for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe since 60 percent of the entire population is under 30 years old. Often one death will bring others into a state of depression resulting in more suicides. According to Indian Health Service, suicide is the second-leading cause of death behind accidental injuries among American Indian youth. In recent months, the Northern Chey- enne and Crow tribes have lost four young victims to suicide. Northern Cheyenne Tribal President John Robinson is taking a stand to promote the prevention of tragedies like those from taking place. In early March he proposed that the month of April should be Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month. The proposal was passed unanimously by the tribal council soon after, driving local programs toward addressing the issue head-on. “It won’t just quit when the month is over,” Robinson stated adding that Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month is just the beginning of a long-term and in-depth progression towards addressing the problem at its source thus preventing further suicides from happening. “We need to heal and we can’t just heal as individuals, the community is involved.” Stories by Lenny Smith Photos by John A. Youngbear —Special Report on Page 5—

Cheyenne Country, April 2013

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