Murkowski Leads Senate Passage Of Land Transfer Legislation To Improve Alaska Native Health Care Access

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved H.R.441, the Don Young Alaska Native Health Care Land Transfers Act of 2022. The bill contains three separate Senate land conveyance bills sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) that were merged into one bill, H.R.441, in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill now heads to the President’s Desk.

“I thank my Senate colleagues for approving the Don Young Alaska Native Health Care Land Transfers Act. I have worked for several Congresses to advance these land transfers with Senator Sullivan and Congressman Young. I wish he could have been here to see it through with us,” said Senator Murkowski. “This legislation will allow for Tanana Tribal Council and Alaska Native health consortiums to modernize and continue to provide the highest quality health care for Alaskans. Whether it’s long overdue renovations to existing facilities, assisting in the delivery of water and sanitation construction to remote parts of the state, or expanding elder care and family wellness, these land transfers will improve public health in the communities they serve.”

“The Tanana Tribal Council would like to express our deep appreciation to Senator Murkowski, our late Congressman Young, and all the congressional staff that have worked tirelessly to assist in transferring the Old Indian Health Service Hospital site to the Native Village of Tanana,” said Victor Joseph, Executive Director of Tanana Tribal Council.

“SEARHC extends its deepest gratitude to Senator Murkowski and her continued commitment to all of Alaska - specifically rural and tribal healthcare in this legislation. Her leadership and support ensure that quality healthcare can be delivered throughout Alaska in some of the most challenging of environments in this country,” said Charles Clement, President and CEO of Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.

“Quyana (thank you) to Senator Murkowski for securing passage of Congressman Young’s Alaska Native land transfer bill, that enables ANTHC to more efficiently support sanitation construction projects in Alaska. This will help lower costs, directing more resources toward construction in rural communities. We applaud Senator Murkowski for her leadership and thank our Congressional delegation for helping ANTHC achieve this milestone,” said Valerie Nurr’araluk Davidson, President/CEO of Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

The bill, H.R.441, includes three conveyances of property to the Tanana Tribal Council, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. The three conveyances do the following: 

  • Conveys Indian Health Service (IHS) lands in Tanana, Alaska to the Tanana Tribal Council (TTC), to expand and construct new health care facilities and to provide improved health services.
  • Conveys IHS lands in Sitka, Alaska, to the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). The property transfer authorized would enable SEARHC to renovate existing, and construct new, health care facilities in order to provide improved services to surrounding communities in southeast Alaska.
  • Conveys IHS lands in Anchorage, Alaska to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) to help improve the land and to ensure ownership of any improvements. The land transfer will allow ANTHC to ramp up their work providing water and sewer systems across rural Alaska.

Related Issues: Alaska Natives & Rural Alaska