Native American Health Center in Nebraska to Lay Off Workers Due to Government Shutdown

January 23, 2019 - 12:13pm

The government shutdown is having major implications for Native American organizations and programs across the country, and Nebraska tribes and their tribal members are feeling its effects through cuts to local health centers.

A lack of federal funding to the Carl T. Curtis Health Education Center in Macy, Nebraska will result in an undisclosed number of layoffs, leaving many in the community without an income and a fully-staffed health center. With a population of around a thousand, 96 percent of the Macy community is Native American.

Rebecca White, who is the tribal projects manager for the Center for Rural Affairs and a member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, said she hopes representatives in Washington understand the lasting repercussions of continuing the partial shutdown.

“Please visit the communities that you’re representing; especially the reservations that are being affected and the families that are being affected," White said. "Take a look at what it’s doing, and with the decisions that they’re making or not making, is it worth it? Because really, this is going to cost lives in the end.”

White said the loss of jobs at the health center could be permanent regardless of a spending bill being passed in the near future.



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