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Timeline / Citizenship, Services, and Sovereignty / 1921: Congress funds American Indian health care

1921: Congress funds American Indian health care

In legislation commonly known as the Snyder Act, Congress authorizes funds for “the relief of distress and conservation of health” among American Indians. The act defines the government’s responsibility for American Indian health care and is one of several legislative reforms in the works to improve the living conditions for American Indians on reservations and in government boarding schools.

The Snyder Act (P.L. 67–85) arose from New York State’s challenge to congressional authority to spend funds on education and health for Indians in the state. It was sponsored in the U.S. Congress by Representative Homer P. Snyder of New York.

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