<+>=<+>KOLA Newslist<+>=<+>

2000    -23
Why is Leonard Peltier still in jail?!

[article provided by Pat Morris. Thanks!]

Tue, 07 Dec 1999

Nethercutt criticizes food allocated to Native Americans
Government program contributes to poor nutrition, congressman tells clinic staff
Rob McDonald - Staff writer

The congressman stood in the cultural center at a Native American
chemical dependency treatment center for youth, posed for a photo
with the staff and turned a joke into a serious point.
"Say cheese," someone said.
"To Indians, you're supposed to say commodity cheese," said John
Guenther, director of The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations in east
As the Indian staff laughed, Rep. George Nethercutt, R-Spokane, said,
"I have something to say about commodity cheese."
The government distributes fatty and high-carbohydrate foods to low-
income people, he said.
"That kind of food is increasing obesity among our young kids,"
Nethercutt said.
And it worsens weight-related health problems such as diabetes
among Indian populations, he added.
"I said to the secretary, `You should examine what foods you are
giving,"' Nethercutt said.
About 20 Indian staffers, from counselors to administrators, nodded
in agreement.
Nethercutt has a history of supporting Indian health issues. He will
be a keynote speaker Friday in San Diego at a health convention
sponsored by Indian Health Service, a federal agency under the Health
and Human Services Department.
Monday morning, Nethercutt toured the Healing Lodge, a treatment
center run by a board representing seven Indian nations in Washington,
Oregon and Idaho.
While new spending has taken a back seat to budget-balancing
concerns, Nethercutt said "I think this is a place where we can spend
money wisely."
Nethercutt is on the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee that
affects federal spending on the Healing Lodge.
Nethercutt's also working to give more power to Indian health leaders
by moving the Indian Health Service director position closer to the
health secretary.
In January, Nethercutt introduced a bill to elevate the position to
assistant secretary for Indian health, which gives Indian health
leaders direct access to the secretary of health.
On the Spokane Indian Reservation a year ago, Nethercutt's involvement
helped the Spokane Tribe raise funds to expand its health clinic, said
Doni Wilder, area director of Indian Health Service in Portland.
Nethercutt earmarked funding that required the tribe to match dollars
to expand and remodel the clinic, Wilder said.
"It really was a model of what hopefully other tribes will be able to do to
meet their facility needs," Wilder said.
The Healing Lodge treats American Indian youth ages 13 to 18, but also
takes in non-Indian patients for 60-90 day treatment programs.


Reply via email to