City council votes to support new IHS facility in Rapid City
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Rapid City is a step closer to building a new Native American health facility that could replace Sioux San Hospital.
The Rapid City Common Council on Monday night voted to support a new facility on Rapid’s east side. They voted 6-1 in favor to support a new $117 million Indian Health Service hospital. The resolution does not provide any funding from the city for the project – it shows the community that it supports the new hospital.
The idea of a new hospital was originally floated by the Oglala, Cheyenne River, and Rosebud Sioux Tribes. The facility is slated to be built at the “Shepherd Hill” site on the east side of town near Western Dakota Technical Institute.
“There’s really no reason to move [Sioux San],” said one community member. “I don’t see why we as Native Americans do not have a vote on this.”
Others said Sioux San is a cultural and historical site and should be fixed up instead of having a new hospital built.
Supporters of the new hospital, like Unified Tribal Health Board of Rapid City Chairman, William Bear Shield, said it can create hundreds of jobs and help improve care through IHS.
“The vision that we have for the future of our tribal membership in Rapid City was realized tonight,” said Bear Shield.
Even if a new hospital is built, the Sioux San site will not be turned over to the city, being that it’s Indian Trust Land. A public meeting has already been set up to hear from the Native American community in building the new hospital.