TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — It is the beat of the drum and those ancient songs that Native American tribes hope to preserve as time goes on and just one of the many challenges they face.
“Native American history is Oklahoma history,” Treasurer of Tulsa Indian Club Robert Anquoe said.
Land, money, food, all have been taken from Native Americans.
Now, potential health care cuts are on the table and the tribes are fighting to keep this promise alive.
“A lot of tribes and tribal nations are trying to protect those funds that were given to them by treaty rights,” Anquoe said.
The Indian Health Care Improvement Act falls under the Affordable Care Act, which is potentially on the chopping block.
“Each tribe is allowed different amounts of monies through their treaties, through their rights, therefore that money does affect the Indian Health Service,” Anquoe said.
The act puts a legal responsibility on the federal government to provide funding for Indian Health Services.
“Less money, less services, less access to those services,” Anquoe said.
Anquoe doesn’t believe those services would be purposely cut, but he can’t be sure and wants help for his community.
“The native communities need to have more input in those offices so we can voice more support to those Indian Health Care services and Indian Health Care,” Anquoe said.
As the years have gone on, the Indian traditions have fallen to the families to carry on.
Part of the 65th annual Tulsa Powwow is to share that culture with other tribes and other cultures.
“My goal is to really just reach out to the youth and let them know it is OK to be Native American or other ethnicities and just to take in the culture you represent,” Powwow Princess Tyra Williams said.
For years Native Americans have fought to keep their promised land and social values; even now….