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Oglala Sioux Tribe works towards resolving potential EMS worker walk out

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -Previously we reported that the Oglala Sioux Tribe Ambulance Service workers are planning to walk out on Friday, saying that they’re underpaid and understaffed. In response, the Oglala Sioux Tribal government is taking action to make sure the reservation is not left without ambulance services this weekend.

Tribal council made the decision to have Indian Health Services, a United States government program that provides public health services for enrolled tribal members, to fill in incase of a walk out. President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Kevin Killer says what’s most important is reaching an agreement between the tribal government and emergency service workers.

”In speaking with some of the directors and all that, I think that some of the employees there at EMT are reconsidering, and the council is actively working towards finding solutions,” Killer said.

Killer adds, this issue highlights the overarching problem of tribal programs being historically underfunded by the United States government, “some get more funding than other programs, but for the most part, most of them are underfunded you know, I can’t say there is one program overflowing with money, their just barely meeting services but it always goes back to us negotiating for our treaty rights.”

Killer says the council will continue to work on resolving this issue with the OST Ambulance Service workers, they will hold a working session next week.

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