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degree. The use of prefrontal lobotomies does not alleviate the pain but makes it bearable since, by one explanation, the prospect of future pain is not anticipated to the same degree. Another contributory and interesting bit of evidence along this line is that in schizophrenic and even normal individuals during periods of extreme stress and excitement injuries may be incurred which under other circumstances would be so painful as to be unbearable but as a result of the mental disorder or the extreme state of excitement the pain is not felt at all. We can speak of the situation as one in which there is asymbolia for pain and here again is the invitation to look for pharmaceuticals which would selectively induce such a condition. There is evidence that some preparation now in the experimental stage will do essentially this and if they could be refined to the point where they would not induce undesirable side effects and also not produce addiction they would form an invaluable class of pharmaceuticals.
Although currently accepted scientific opinion is generally quite strongly against the possibility of extrasensory perception. There exist a few serious advocates and I myself am among the individuals who remain uncommitted. Gerald Heard in his classic, Pain, Sex, and Time, makes a very plausible case for extrasensory perception as a form of heightened perception which at one time was more widely used and developed than in the past centuries. While personally not an advocate of the existence of extrasensory perception I remain agnostic and should an occasion present itself to add evidence one way or the other I would certainly not reject it out of hand. Let me stress that at the moment I have no such experiment to propose, but in considering the possibilities of future development of psychopharmaceuticals a drug which will bring about “heightened awareness” should not be overlooked since occasionally such “offbeat” possibilities break open entirely new fields of investigation. The future?
Although we always pay lipservice to the idea of future progress, it is actually very hard for most of us not to believe that we have just about reached the ultimate in human development with the future offering merely implementation of what today appear to be wild stretches of the imagination. What we find is almost impossible to do is to imagine that tomorrow someone will imagine something that is beyond our imagination today: yet the unexpected insight, the surprising but accurate clinical observation, or the bold reformulation of whole systems of knowledge is a real possibility and psychopharmaceuticals may open the Wav.
MRS. HELEN. L. PETERSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE .
Mr. FogARTY. Our next witness will be Mrs. Peterson who is representing the National Congress of American Indians. Mrs. PETERSON. May I have your permission to have one of my board members sit with me and share my 10 minutes? Mr. FogARTY. Surely.
STATEMENT OF MRS. HELEN PETERSON
Mrs. PETERSON. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Mrs. Helen L. Peterson. I am an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Pine Ridge Reservation, S. Dak.
I am the executive director of the National Congress of American Indians which is the only national private membership association of American Indians. Our membership is open to individual Indians and Indian tribes as such, and our voting membership is limited exclusively to Indians.
We wish to speak in support of the 1959 fiscal year appropriations requested by the Division of Indian Health, United States Public Health Service.
If I may have your permission I would like to file a three-page written statement for the record.
Mr. FogARTY. Very well.
(The statement referred to follows:)
STATEMENT OF MRs. HELEN L. PETERson, ExECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL CoNGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANs
Mr. Chairman, my name is Mrs. Helen L. Peterson. I am an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, the only national private membership association of American Indians, with membership open to individual Indians and tribes as such and with voting membership limited exclusively to Indians. We wish to speak in support of the 1959 fiscal year approriations requested by the Division of Indian Health, United States Public Health er VICe. The health program for approximately 335,000 American Indians and 35,000 Alaska natives has been the responsibility of the Division of Indian Health since July 1, 1955. Prior to this date the responsibility was borne by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Health problems among American Indians in the United States still today are so shocking they more than justify the need for increased appropriations for the Division of Indian Health in order that it may reasonably be expected to carry out its responsibility to bring the level of Indian health up to the standard of the general population. We believe that Members of the United States Congress will share our distress that 23 percent of all Indian deaths occur before 1 year of age, compared with 7 percent for all races in the United States. This alarming infant mortality rate is largely responsible for the early average age at death among Indian people—39 as compared with 61 for the population as a whole. The majority of illnesses and a third of the deaths occurring among Indians result from infectious diseases which can be prevented by modern control measures. The latest Public Health Service reports reveal that the Indian death rate from influenza and pneumonia is nearly four times that of the general population. The death rate from tuberculosis is 5 times greater, and from enteric diseases 10 times greater, than comparable death rates in the non-Indian population. May we emphasize the exceedingly high infant mortality rate among Indian children in another way: Nearly 33 percent of Indian deaths occur among children who have not yet reached age 5, while only 8 percent of the deaths in the general population are in this age group. With the remarkable advances that have been made in recent years in medicine, research, and public health methods, it is hard to believe and needless to accept the fact that this severe public health problem exists in the United States. Obviously the full benefits of advances in the health field have not been extended to American Indians. We earnestly petition your committee to review the appropriations requested by the Division of Indian Health in order that its preventive and curative programs may be adequately staffed and expanded and financed to make real headway in solving these grave problems. The National Congress of American Indians has been encouraged by the progress shown by the Division of Indian Health during the period it has been responsible for the Indian health program. One of the most important elements in any service program is adequate personnel. During the 2-year period from June 30, 1955, to June 30, 1957, the number of physicians in the program was increased from 125 to 204. The number of dentists and graduate nurses was substantially increased during the same period. Most encouraging was the increase of personnel in several other special fields, such as health educators, community workers, sanitary engineers, sanitarians, and medical social workers. These professional people have already begun to strengthen materially the preventive phase of the Indian health program. Increasing acceptance of white man's medicine has been demonstrated in numbers of Indians admitted to hospitals. It is significant to note that these rates have increased by approximately 15 percent during each of the last 2 years. Notable increases are likewise noted in the use of outpatient clinics. Outpatient medical services in Public Health Service operated and contract hospitals have
increased 33 percent from July 1, 1955, to June 30, 1957. During the same period outpatient services in Public Health Service health centers increased 29 percent. Although some progress has been reported in the reduction of death rates for certain communicable diseases, the disparity between the health of the Indian and the non-Indian remains great indeed. The survey report, Health Services for American Indians, prepared by the Public Health Service at the request of the House Committee on Appropriations of the 84th Congress, 1st session, cites the scope of the Indian health problem in the United States. The cost of a program both preventive and curative which would raise the health standards of Indian citizens to an acceptable level is also noted in the report. I respectfully urge your committee to see page 180 of the report which cites clearly the need for a health program to serve 335,000 to 385,000 persons in the United States and 35,000 in Alaska. This program would be expected to reach a peak level of operation in 5 to 10 years and would cost between $60 million and $65 million annually. Costs of needed construction and repair of hospitals, clinics, and staff housing are estimated at $45 million, plus $1 million a year for replacement of obsolete staff housing. We earnestly ask your committee to give the findings of this report most careful study in order that your recommendations and decisions may be fully informed and in order that the health of American Indians may be brought more into line with the general population at the earliest possible time. In view of the severe lag in health conditions of American Indians as compared with the non-Indian population, the National Congress of American Indians strongly petitions this committee to make available increased appropriations beyond the $40,225,000 requested by the Division of Indian Health in order that it may carry out its responsibility during fiscal year 1959 without major restrictions in services. We further urge that the appropriations for construction activities totaling $2,374,000 be reevaluated in order to determine whether or not this #. is sufficient to carry out the long-range construction program of the 1VISIOI). In support of this statement, and with your committee's approval, I ask to submit for the record three resolutions relating to Indian health activities which were unanimously passed at the last annual convention of our organization held in Claremore, Okla., October 28 to November 1, 1957. More than 80 tribes were present at that convention which indicates widespread concern and support for the resolutions passed. In conclusion, we wish to thank the members of your committee for the opportunity to appear before you. It is our experience that most members of Congress are interested and concerned with the problems of American Indians and wish to support needed and worthwhile programs if only they have the facts. We commend the House Committee on Appropriations for requesting the report on Indian health which cannot fail to show the urgent and great need for greater appropriations.
REsolution 12, HEALTH, EDUCATIon, AND WELFARE
Whereas based on the reports of the staff of the Division of Indian Health, the National Congress of American Indians is of the opinion that progress has been made in improving both medical and public health services provided for Indians during the 2 years of its administration of the Indian health program: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the National Congress of American Indians in convention assembled in Claremore, Okla., October 28 to Novermber 1, 1957, endorse in full the recommendations of the Surgeon General to the Congress of the United States for funds for the operation of Indian health program for the fiscal year of 1959. While improvements have been made during the past 2 years in the expansion of health services for Indians under the administration of the Public Health Service, Indian health is still the worst in the Nation, and the NCAI is of the opinion that increasing appropriations should be made by the Congress from year to year until the standard of Indian health has been brought to the same standards as those of other racial groups.
REsolution 13, HEALTH, EDUCATIon, WELFARE
Whereas Indian health is the worst in the Nation, and the Indian is still suffering from common infections and preventable diseases, which make him the victim of sickness, crippling conditions and premature deaths, which stand out in sharp contrast when compared to the rest of the population; and Whereas the average age at the time of death is 39 years as compared with 60 years for the rest of the general population; and Whereas pneumonia, influenza, dysentery, enteritis, and tuberculosis are among the common communicable diseases, which are causes of illness, and account for a large majority of the deaths; and Whereas of every 1,000 Indian births 65 of the babies do not live to be 1 year old, as compared to the 27 infant deaths for every 1,000 births for the general population; and Whereas these alarming figures as disclosed from reports of the Surgeon General's Department in charge of Indian health is a matter of vital concern not only to the Indians of the United States, but to the general public as well; and Whereas there is an urgent need for additional health facilities, Indian hospitals and Sanitation; and Whereas in the face of this record the President of the United States and the Bureau of the Budget, in a well-meaning effort to curb inflationary trends, has caused to be frozen the funds provided and allocated for the construction of the hospitals at Shiprock, N. Mex.; Gallup, N. Mex.; Sells, Ariz.; and Kotzebue, Alaska; and Whereas Indian health and the need for Indian health facilities to be served by these hospitals is most urgent and critical: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the National Congress of American Indians in convention assembled in Claremore, Okla., October 28 to November 1, 1957, That the President of the United States and the Bureau of the Budget be, and they hereby are, urged and requested to release the funds for construction of the aforesaid hospitals; be it further Resolved, That copies of this resolution be mailed to the President of the United States, the Surgeon General and to the appropriate congressional committees dealing with health and welfare.
REsolution 14, HEALTH, EDUCATION, WELFARE
Whereas a high proportion of admissions to Indian hospitals and related medical facilities is due to illness which is predominantly resultant from insanitary conditions due primarily to inadequate and unprotected water supplies and inadequate facilities for disposal of human waste and related environmental factors; and Whereas the use of open surface and unprotected well water sources of supply is to be found in some areas, and hauling of water for domestic use distances of 1 to 10 miles is a common practice on many reservations; and Whereas promiscuous disposal of human wastes or use of totally inadequate privy facilities are found in some areas, with resultant fly problems and high incidence of diarrhea and dysentery; and Whereas H. R. 246 and 2894 and S. 1498 (85th Cong.) known as the sanitation facilities bills, sponsored by the Public Health Service, embody principles and provisions which, if enacted into law, will greatly aid the Public Health Service in remedying these conditions and will improve the health of Indians generally: Now, therefore, be it Resovled, That the National Congress of American Indians in convention assembled in Claremore, Okla., October 28 to November 1, 1957, recommends and endorses the principles incorporated in these sanitation bills and urges that every effort be made to bring about the enactment of this legislation in the next session of Congress; be it further Resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to the Surgeon General of the United States and appropriate congessional committees dealing with this type of legislation. g Mrs. PETERSON. I would like to take about 2 minutes to call your attention to some charts. Then because our officers and members live so far out in the West, they are called into Washington so often on individual tribal business, and it is so difficult for them to testify at all the hearings that are of importance, I would like to give most of my 10 minutes to Mr. Carl Whitman, who is the chairman of the three affiliated tribes of the Fort Berthold Tribe. Our organization has
six officers elected at our general convention and then each tribe which is a member tribe of which we have 65 select their own representatives on our governing board. Mr. Whitman is one of those executive council members and I am pleased to share my time and pleased to have your committee meet him. Mr. Fog ARTY. How many Indians do you have in Rhode Island? Mrs. PETERson. Very few. There is one small group and they do not have relations with the Federal Government in the same manner as Indians in the western reservation. Mr. FogARTY. They are accepted in the community. They work in the community and Mrs. PETERson. And they do not have trust lands or trust relationships. Mr. FogARTY. I was wondering if you knew how many there were in Rhode Island. Mrs. PETERson. A small group of two or three hundred. I would
be glad to look up that little group and send you a special report.
Mr. Fog ARTY. They all vote in Rhode Island, too? Mrs. PETERson. They do all over, sir. Under the Citizenship Act of 1924 all Indians were made citizens except in Arizona and New Mexico. Court action settled the matter in 1948. In 1956 an assistant attorney general in Utah gave a new interpretation to an old statute and the Utah Indians were deprived from voting in 1956, but that too has been corrected by court action initiated by our organization and then by action of the legislature, so that actually Indians everywhere are fully entitled to vote. Mr. Fog ARTY. What percentage of them vote? Mrs. PETERson. It varies from tribe to tribe. In 1 of the larger Sioux tribes in South Dakota 95 percent of the qualified voters do register and vote, and in some tribes in the Northwest and in the Southwest less than 10 percent. Then in New Mexico, in which State the Indians were enfranchised only in 1948, in the 1950 election, I think, along about that time, anyway, there was a rumor deliberately circulated that if Indians voted they lost trust status on their lands and would be forced to pay taxes, and in their extreme F. they were frightened sufficiently that 5 or 6 pueblos in New Mexico had no registered voters until 1956. Among other things our organization, in cooperation with the American Heritage Foundation, encourages nonpartisan registration in voting, and some of those pueblos who previously did not vote in person, we got as much as 30-percent registration in voting and some other pueblos went to 100 percent, so it varies a great deal. I thought these two charts would perhaps tell us more quickly than anything else what our very real problems are in the field of Indian health. Whereas 23 percent of Indian children died before 1 year of age this compares with only 7 percent in the total population. In other words, here we have a problem three times greater than that in the general population. Then whereas the average age at death among the general population is 61 years, among the Indians it is 39 years.