Udall to push for more funds for NM tribes

New Mexico U.S. Sen. Tom Udall spent about an hour Saturday morning listening to members of tribal communities and health care experts talk about what matters most in some rural areas regarding health care. A common theme emerged among participants: the need for more funding for tribal health care programs. If they don’t get more […]

Udall to push for more funds for NM tribes

New Mexico U.S. Sen. Tom Udall spent about an hour Saturday morning listening to members of tribal communities and health care experts talk about what matters most in some rural areas regarding health care.

A common theme emerged among participants: the need for more funding for tribal health care programs. If they don’t get more money, the people who rely on them are in trouble, they said.

Topics ranged from basic health care needs to healthy food options to those who already struggle with diabetes.

Warlance Foster, a Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) coordinator, told of a family member who, despite a life of sports and other physical activities, suffered an amputated leg due to diabetes.

“We’re not asking for millions of dollars so we can live large, buy big houses and cars,” Foster said. “We just want the same quality of life as everyone else.”

Cuts to funding for health care and outreach is just one of the problems Native communities in New Mexico face.

“This is just just another slap in the face, it just kind of drags us down even more,” Foster said.

Sylvia Billie, another SDPI coordinator told Udall how children living on tribal land often need more education and interventions when it comes healthy living habits and choosing healthy foods.

“On a reservation they don’t really know what fruit is, or a vegetable, but they know Hot Cheetos,” Billie said.

She went on to speak about how federal grants help coordinators like her and Foster to fill in gaps left by organizations like the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE).

“The BIE do not have [physical education] programs,” Billie said. “That’s where we step in, we have to go in and educate them.”

Udall, who serves as the vice-chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said he plans to urge his colleagues to approve funding for Native American health issues. He hopes the more personal accounts from stakeholders in New Mexico will encourage others in Congress.

“That’s the power, the power of the personal story,” Udall said.

SDPI, a federal program under Indian Health Service, was started by Congress in 1997 to fund diabetes education and research. The program currently lacks permanent funding as Congress struggles to pass a spending bill.

We're ad free

That means that we rely on support from readers like you. Help us keep reporting on the most important New Mexico Stories by donating today.

Related

Politics Newsletter: Special legislative session for gun bills?

Politics Newsletter: Special legislative session for gun bills?

Hello fellow political junkies! The 2024 legislative session is over with the possibility for a special session for firearm-related legislation. In English: Gov. Michelle…
Questions remain about governor’s strategic water supply proposal

Questions remain about governor’s strategic water supply proposal

The proposed strategic water supply had a rocky road this legislative session that ultimately resulted in it not making it through even one chamber.…
Bill to end detention of immigrants in New Mexico fails soon after new report on poor conditions

Bill to end detention of immigrants in New Mexico fails soon after new report on poor conditions

A bill to prohibit immigration detention in New Mexico failed a few weeks after an organization issued a report regarding the conditions for a…
Source of PFAS contamination in Santa Fe County remains unknown

Source of PFAS contamination in Santa Fe County remains unknown

For José “Chappy” Villegas, the PFAS contamination in his well represents more than just betrayal by the governments that were supposed to protect him.…
Bipartisan legislation aims to curb sales of public lands

Bipartisan legislation aims to curb sales of public lands

U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez, a New Mexico Democrat, is teaming up with the former secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and current…
Arizona regulators reject proposal to assist Navajo communities impacted by coal-fired power generation

Arizona regulators reject proposal to assist Navajo communities impacted by coal-fired power generation

Utility regulators in Arizona rejected proposals from an Arizona utility to provide assistance to coal-impacted communities, including in Navajo communities in northwest New Mexico.…
Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican The main things that bring Brayan Chavez to school every day: Seeing, talking to and engaging with…
Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican Brittany Behenna Griffith has a laundry list of adjectives to describe the ideal special education teacher:…
Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican A challenging task awaits New Mexico lawmakers in the next 30 days: Reconciling three very different…
Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

The House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee discussed a potential constitutional amendment that seeks to limit the governor’s executive powers. The committee approved…
Supreme Court censures attorney over conduct in anti-COVID policy suits

Supreme Court censures attorney over conduct in anti-COVID policy suits

The New Mexico State Supreme Court censured a New Mexico attorney because of her “misconduct” in two unsuccessful cases pushing back on COVID-19 regulations…
Guv outlines some health priorities on state spending

Guv outlines some health priorities on state spending

During her state of the state address on Tuesday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham told legislators that one of her legislative priorities is a request…
Referendum on Edgewood’s anti-abortion ordinance moves forward

Referendum on Edgewood’s anti-abortion ordinance moves forward

The town of Edgewood is moving forward with its ballot referendum on its anti-abortion ordinance at a cost of more than $35,000. The town…
2023 Top Stories #1: Anti-abortion efforts go local

2023 Top Stories #1: Anti-abortion efforts go local

Note: Every year, we count down the top ten stories of the year, as voted on by NM Political Report staffers. Earlier this month, the New Mexico Supreme Court heard oral…
NM Supreme Court to decide if local anti-abortion ordinances are legal

NM Supreme Court to decide if local anti-abortion ordinances are legal

The New Mexico Supreme Court will decide whether anti-abortion ordinances passed by local governments in eastern New Mexico over the last 13 months can…
HSD taps former Arizona Medicaid official to lead New Mexico’s Medicaid program

HSD taps former Arizona Medicaid official to lead New Mexico’s Medicaid program

A former Arizona Medicaid senior policy advisor and assistant director will head the New Mexico Medicaid program under the state’s Human Services Department. HSD…
AGs want FDA guidance on heavy metals for the baby food industry

AGs want FDA guidance on heavy metals for the baby food industry

New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez and a coalition of 19 other attorneys general called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue…
Supporters of Paid Family and Medical Leave say it will return

Supporters of Paid Family and Medical Leave say it will return

House Speaker Javier Martinez said that the Paid Family and Medical Leave will return to next year’s legislative session. SB 3, sponsored by state…

Bill to require disclosure of use of AI in campaign materials goes to governor

The Senate approved a bill aiming to require the disclosure of the use of artificial intelligence or other changes made by computers to campaign…
House amends, passes bill banning firearms near polling places

House amends, passes bill banning firearms near polling places

The House narrowly approved a bill that would ban firearms near polling places. The House voted 35-34 to pass the bill following an extensive…
Manny Gonzales doesn’t qualify for Senate GOP primary ballot

Manny Gonzales doesn’t qualify for Senate GOP primary ballot

Nella Domenici is the lone Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, after Manny Gonzales III failed to qualify for the ballot. Gonzales did not file…
Source of PFAS contamination in Santa Fe County remains unknown

Source of PFAS contamination in Santa Fe County remains unknown

For José “Chappy” Villegas, the PFAS contamination in his well represents more than just betrayal by the governments that were supposed to protect him.…
How bad is the Western megadrought? Scientists look at tree rings to find context from history

How bad is the Western megadrought? Scientists look at tree rings to find context from history

By Alex Hager, KUNC The current Western megadrought is unlike any other dry period the region has experienced over the past 500 years. That’s…
Another New Mexico legislative session ends, and again — no new oil and gas reforms

Another New Mexico legislative session ends, and again — no new oil and gas reforms

By Jerry Redfern, Capital & Main “It was a very good year!” The message from the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association landed in inboxes the…

GET INVOLVED

© 2023 New Mexico Political Report