Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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News from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

For more information please contact: Judy Allen, Executive Director of Public Relations judy.allen@choctawnation.com 580-924-8280 ext. 2249 529 N. 16th Durant, OK 74701

June 14, 2010

Choctaw Chief speaks to Congressional Committee on importance of Self-Governance

Choctaw Chief Gregory E. Pyle was invited last week 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.