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Federal Government Administers Many Tribal Nation Services: So What Now?

U.S. treaties guarantee services to Native Americans, many administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other federal agencies affected by the shutdown.
Deanna Lubarsky at the Indian Health Service in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is one of many federally funded entities serving Native Americans that has been affected by the shutdown.
Deanna Lubarsky at the Indian Health Service in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is one of many federally funded entities serving Native Americans that has been affected by the shutdown.Jenni Monet/CityLab

ALBUQUERQUE—When Deanna Lubarsky’s husband passed away 11 years ago, she took a couple of years to readjust to her new life before re-entering the workforce, landing a job at the Bureau of Indian Education office in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Now, with the government shutdown, she’s been furloughed since December 21.  

A tribal citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Lubarksy said she could sense trouble was looming. In early December, based on rumors of potential sequestration, she nixed plans to spend a week with her daughter in New York City. Lubarsky, 64, is now concerned about her healthcare.