NCAI Urges Senate Leadership to Reauthorize CHIP and SDPI
On December 11th, 2017, NCAI sent the attached letters to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) urging them to promptly reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI).
Both programs were reauthorized until September 30th, 2017 by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA, Public Law 114-10). While CHIP is currently expired, SDPI was extended until December 31st, 2017 through the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act. CHIP and SDPI have had positive impacts in Indian Country and failure to reauthorize these programs jeopardizes the great strides that have been made in ensuring American Indian and Alaska Native children are insured and decreasing the rate of diabetes and diabetes-related complications in Indian Country.
NCAI Contact Info: Josh Pitre, Senior Policy Analyst, email@example.com
Read the CHIP Letter>
Read the SDPI Letter:
NCAI Tax Reform Update
December 8, 2017
Tax Reform Update
On December 2, the Senate passed its tax reform bill, which means the House and Senate must now resolve the differences between their bills. The Senate bill does not include any tribal provisions while the House bill has one tribal provision that would treat the loan repayment benefits offered by the Indian Health Service the same as loan repayment benefits offered by other public sector health services providers for purposes of income taxes.
Last week, both the House and Senate voted to go to conference and named their conferees. Once the conferees negotiate the final package, each chamber will hold a vote. We expect the House vote to occur early next week, and the Senate vote to occur after the House vote and before the end of the week.
On December 6, NCAI and NAFOA sent a joint letter to the conferees expressing the need to include tribes. Additionally, because changes made during conference must be related to the bills being conferenced, NCAI prepared a memorandum analyzing how tribal tax priorities are related to provisions currently being considered in the House and Senate bills.
Tribes, NCAI, and other organizations continue to urge Congress to include Indian Country in the final tax reform package.
A chart of House and Senate conferees is available: here
The NCAI-NAFOA letter is available: here
The NCAI memorandum is available: here
NCAI Contact Info: Jacob Schellinger, Staff Attorney & Legislative Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Little is known about him, since he only appears in written historical records during the last three years of his life, primarily because of his interactions with the famous American frontiersmen Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton.
When the Shawnees were defeated by Virginia in Dunmore’s War in 1774 , the resulting peace treaty made the Ohio River the boundary between western Virginia (what is now Kentucky and West Virginia) and American Indian lands in the Ohio Country. Although this treaty was agreed to by Shawnee leaders such as Cornstalk, Blackfish and a number of other leaders refused to acknowledge the loss of their traditional hunting grounds in Kentucky.
Violence along the border escalated with the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775. As a result, the Chillicothe Shawnees moved their town on the Scioto River further west to the Little Miami River, near what is now Xenia, Ohio. Encouraged and supplied by British officials in Detroit, Blackfish and others launched raids against American settlers in Kentucky, hoping to drive them out of the region. In revenge for the murder of Cornstalk by American militiamen in November 1777, Blackfish set out on an unexpected winter raid in Kentucky, capturing American frontiersman Daniel Boone and a number of others on the Licking River on February 7, 1778. Boone, respected by the Shawnees for his extraordinary hunting skills, was taken back to Chillicothe and adopted into the tribe. The traditional tale is that Boone was adopted by Blackfish himself, although historian John Sugden suggests that Boone was probably adopted by another family.
Boone escaped in June 1778 when he learned that Blackfish was launching a siege of the Kentucky settlement of Boonesborough, which commenced in September of that year. The siege of Boonesborough was unsuccessful, and the Kentuckians, led by Colonel John Bowman, counterattacked Chillicothe the following spring. This raid was also unsuccessful, but Blackfish was shot in the leg, a wound which became infected and was eventually fatal.
- Faragher, John Mack. Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer. New York: Holt, 1992.
- Lofaro, Michael. Daniel Boone: An American Life. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2003.
- Sugden, John. “Blackfish” in American National Biography. Oxford University Press, 1999.
Tecumseh was born in 1768 near Chillicothe, Ohio. His father, Puckshinwau was a minor Shawnee war chief. His mother Methotaske was also Shawnee. Tecumseh came of age during the height of the French and Indian War and in 1774 his father was killed at the Battle of Point Pleasant during Lord Dunmore’s War. This had a lasting effect on Tecumseh and he vowed to become a warrior like his father. As a teenager he joined the American Indian Confederacy under the leadership of Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant. Brant encouraged tribes to share ownership of their territory and pool their resources and manpower to defend that territory against encroaching settlers. Tecumseh led a group of raiders in these efforts, attacking American boats trying to make their way down the Ohio River. These raids were extremely successful, nearly cutting off river access to the territory for a time. In 1791 he further proved himself at the Battle of the Wabash as one of the warriors who defeated General Arthur St. Clair and his army. Tecumseh fought under Blue Jacket and Little Turtle and the American Indian Confederacy was victorious slaying 952 of the 1,000 American soldiers in St. Clair’s army. St. Clair was forced to resign. In 1794 Tecumseh also fought in the Battle of Fallen Timbers. This decisive conflict against General Anthony Wayne and his American forces ended in a brutal defeat for the American Indian Confederacy. A small contingency of about 250 stayed with Tecumseh after the battle, following him eventually to what would become Prophetstown and a new pan-Indian alliance.
|Portrait of the Shawnee military and political leader Tecumseh, ca. 1800-1813. He worked with his brother Tenskwatawa, known as ‘The Prophet,’ to unite American Indian tribes in the Northwest Territory to defend themselves against white settlers.
Tecumseh’s brother Tenskwatawa joined him at Prophetstown, also known as Tippecanoe in Indiana Territory and in 1808 the two men began recruiting a large multi-tribal community of followers under a message of resistance to settlers, the American government, and assimilation. Tecumseh traveled north to Canada and south to Alabama in an effort to recruit men to his cause. Meanwhile, William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana Territory was negotiating treaties and utilizing American forces to put pressure on those tribes still in Indiana and especially those allied with Prophetstown. In 1809 Harrison, signed the Treaty of Fort Wayne which allotted him a massive amount of American Indian territory thus increasing Tecumseh’s efforts and amplifying his message. Tecumseh was away from Prophetstown on a recruitment journey when Harrison launched a sneak attack now known as the Battle of Tippecanoe. The American forces cleared the encampment and then burned it to the ground. It was a severe blow to the confederacy and a harbinger of war to come.
On June 1, 1812 under the advisement of President Madison, Congress declared war on Great Britain. In the Northwest Territory, American Indian tribes found themselves pulled in two separate directions – side with the British or with the Americans. Tecumseh and his confederacy sided with the British. He and his men were assigned to overtake the city of Detroit with Major General Isaac Brock. The siege of Detroit was a success due in no small part to Tecumseh’s military strategy. He continued to support British efforts under Major-General Procter at the Siege of Fort Meigs. The siege failed and morale waned as a result.
In the fall of 1813 as conditions around Detroit worsened, Procter began a retreat east toward Niagara. Tecumseh requested arms so that his men could stay in the Northwest Territory and continue to defend their lands. Procter agreed to make a stand at the forks of the Thames River. However, when forces reached the site communication broke down and some men deserted while others continued east. When the Americans attacked, large sections of forces broke leaving about 500 hundred American Indians to hold back 3,000 Americans. Tecumseh was fatally wounded in the battle. It is unknown who killed him or what happened to his remains. His death began a rapid decline in American Indian resistance and the War of 1812 is marked as the beginning of removal in the upper Midwest.
Ruled ca. A.D. 1789-1813
(The Bridgeman Art Library, The Art Archive at Art Resource, NY)
Tecumseh in an 1881 engraving
Throughout history in many cultures, preserving the physical remains of great figures has been considered vital for religious, cultural, or political reasons. Many Native Americans don’t share that outlook. The burial of Shawnee leader Tecumseh is a case in point. Tecumseh, whose name means “shooting star” or “panther in the sky,” led the Shawnee and a coalition of other native groups in resisting American settlement of the Ohio and Indiana territories in the early nineteenth century. He allied his forces with the English during the War of 1812 but was abandoned by them in 1813, at the Battle of the Thames in what is now Ontario. Refusing to retreat, Tecumseh died leading his outnumbered forces against American troops led by future president William Henry Harrison. According to eyewitnesses, Tecumseh’s slain body was taken up by his warriors, who buried him close to the battlefield.
No record exists of the exact location of Tecumseh’s grave. But Ken Tankersley, a University of Cincinnati archaeologist who is an enrolled member of the Piqua Shawnee and sits on the tribe’s Council of Elders, says that isn’t important. “For indigenous people, and the Shawnee in particular, what’s important is for the dead to ‘make the journey,’ or allowing the body to decompose, creating nutrients in the soil, and thus allow the cycle of life to continue.” Tankersley notes that Shawnee will occasionally visit the battlefield and leave a tobacco offering. “We know where the battle was, and the whole battlefield is considered a sacred site, and that is close enough.” He predicts that protests would erupt if an archaeologist or anyone else ever tried to find Tecumseh’s remains. Even using noninvasive remote-sensing technology to locate the burial would be considered unacceptable, says Tankersley. “No one should ever go looking for Tecumseh.”