“Tribes are sovereign entities and there are cultural differences that have to be kept in mind whenever we do service provision, and it is best done by the tribe itself.”
—John Stephens, dental director of the Swinomish Indian Tribe
By exercising their rights to tribal self-determination, Native American communities have a crucial means of saving lives and protecting their members’ health. Legislators are aware of this. That’s why the House Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee held a work session Feb. 25 on the oral health needs and the use of Dental Health Aide Therapists (dental therapists) in Indian Country.