Friends Committee on National Legislation
A Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest
My name is Karyn Wingard-Manuel, and I'm the new assistant working with Ruth Flower in the Native American Advocacy Program. The next few months are going to be exciting! Look for updates at least once a month on ways you can help the Native American Advocacy Program bring about positive change in Indian Country. Expect fun quizzes, too! Here’s the first one:
1. What Native American tribe was most influential to the founding fathers in their implementation of the U.S. Constitution and government?
2. What state has the largest number of Native Americans?
(See answers below)
I am currently meeting with faith-based groups, Native American organizations, and staff on Capitol Hill, discussing how we can come together to create real change for Native Americans. This fall, I will also travel to New Mexico and meet with people from the Torreon/Starlake Chapter of the Navajo Nation. This will be the first time I go to a reservation, so I’m looking forward to the trip.
In Washington, this session of Congress is winding down, with members eager to finish their budget bills so they can go home and campaign. We are working with members to include the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (H.R. 1328) in one of the few bills that must pass this session. This legislation would provide 1.9 million Native Americans access to health care equivalent to services the general population enjoys.
The bill passed the Senate in February by a wide margin but has been stuck in the House. Congress should honor the government's trust obligation to tribes by making sure it becomes law. Congress has little time left and a lot to get done. If this legislation does not pass soon, Native Americans will have to wait until the new Congress acts on a whole new bill in 2009 or 2010.
Thank you for your continued support!
1. Iroquois Confederacy