Impact of federal policies on the health of the Coquille Indians Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/sx61dr24m

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  • This paper examines the effects of federal policies on the health and health care system of the Coquille Indian Tribe. A historical framework is provided within which the nature and magnitude of these effects can be assessed. This paper provides a discussion of the effects of federal termination policy on the health of the Coquille tribe. The health of the Coquille tribe is compared to that of other Indians, and to the Oregon All Races group. The effect of efforts by the Indian Health Service to improve the health of Indian people in the United States is appraised. Efforts of the Coquille Tribe to address the long-standing problem of inadequate health care for its tribal members are documented. Particular attention is given to the achievements of the Coquille Tribal Health Department since 1989, when recognition of the Coquille Tribe's sovereign status was restored by Congress. Secondary research employed both archival and library sources. The primary research consisted of compilation of data from unpublished Coquille tribal documents and interviews. The interviews were conducted with staff members of the Coquille Tribal Health Department and with elders of the Coquille tribe old enough to remember the health care systems prior to termination. Additional interviews were conducted with elders from other Oregon tribes and with staff of the Indian Health Service clinic in Salem, Oregon. The major conclusions are that though the federal government passed its termination laws in 1954, for the Coquille "termination" was actually a process that began in the 1850s and continued on for over one hundred years. Termination for the Coquille only gained "official" recognition by Congress in 1954. The negative health effects upon the Coquille people were due to the actual termination, not the official termination. Since the Coquille tribe gained restoration of its federal recognition it has established a solid base for a health care system for its members. Plans for the growth of this health department and the expansion of the services it offers should, when implemented, provide for the health care needs of the tribe and other Indians in the area.
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