WASHINGTON – Choctaw Chief Gregory E. Pyle was invited recently to testify in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources on legislation dealing with Tribal Self-Governance.
His testimony requested that Congress pass HR 4347, which would create consistency between the Title IV Self-Governance initiative in the Department of Interior and the Title V Self-Governance initiative in the Department of Health and Human Services.
According to Chief Pyle and others who spoke in favor of passing HR 4347, Title IV and Title V have two different sets of administrative requirements. The legislation, which was introduced by US Congressman Dan Boren (OK-Dist. 2), would minimize some of the existing administrative burdens and advance Self-Governance opportunities within other Interior agencies.
“Self-Governance is about Tribal empowerment, accountability, responsibility and self-sufficiency,” said Chief Pyle. There are 260 Tribes under Self-Governance today.
“Self-Governance works because it places management responsibility in the hands of those who care most about seeing Tribal programs succeed and services to citizens improved – the Tribal government itself,” said Chief Pyle.
The entire health delivery system of the Choctaw Nation has been managed by the Tribe since 1985 thanks to Self-Governance. This includes a hospital, eight clinics, two substance abuse in-patient centers and a wide range of preventative programs including nutrition counseling and a diabetes wellness center.