As people who depend on federal funding quickly learn, the government gives with one hand and takes with the other. And so it goes with the Crow Creek Tribe's education system.
In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided funds for the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe to construct a new school serving kindergarten through 12th grade.Keep a stiff upper lip;:
The Crow Creek Reservation runs along the east bank of the Missouri River in the center of the state. It occupies most of Buffalo County, which is, according to the latest census, the poorest county in the United States. This poverty leaves the tribe ill equipped to handle the automatic federal spending cuts that took effect in March. And if Congress doesn't act to stop the sequester, the county stands to become a whole lot poorer.
"But in our hearts we're actually the richest," Tribal Chairman Brandon Sazue said. He says the tribe has become accustomed to subsistence, and so the federal sequester is just another hardship in a long list.
"We survived so long without having enough funds, because the government promised us all this and they never held up to their part of the bargain," Sazue said. "They never followed the treaty. So we're used to it."Will the rest of the naiton have to get used to it? Say, Obamacare;
"Many of the IHS [Indian Healthcare Service] facilities are on what's called 'life-or-limb care' where … the only thing that IHS will pay for is life-or-limb threatening," DeCoteau said. "Because of these cuts, many locations are having to split the life-or-limb threatening into 'Is it life-or-limb threatening today, next week, or a month from now?' You know, how life-threatening is it? And if it isn't life-threatening today, they're not going to issue a medical purchase order."
DeCoteau says the impact reverberates beyond contract health services. Congress appropriates funding for various other services, such as dental, mental health, and public health nursing, and all were cut by the same percentage.Isn't the lesson; not to believe the Feds promises?