After much effort, the Native Cry Outreach Alliance has succeeded in obtaining Congressional support for a bill to augment suicide prevention efforts in Indian country.
Arizona Democratic Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva has committed to reintroducing the Native American Suicide Prevention Act to the 113th Congress. The Act was first introduced before Congress last April by Rep. Joe Baca (D-California), but died out from a lack of support.
“We plan to introduce the bill the week of February 25 as a package with other Native American-themed bills,” Adam Sarvana, communications director for U. S. Rep. Grijalva, wrote to Indian Country Today Media Network via email.
Sarvana expects the House Rules Committee to assign the bill to the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs on the House Natural Resources Committee. Sen. Don Young (R-Alaska), who serves as chairman of the subcommittee, will ultimately determine when or whether to give it a hearing, Sarvana said.
This bill will amend section 520E of the Public Health Services Act to require that any state or state sponsored organization make a reasonable effort to consult with Native American Indian Tribes, Tribal Organizations, and Urban Indian organizations in the crafting of and implementation of their suicide intervention and prevention strategies.