- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

FORT TOTTEN, N.D. (AP) - The Spirit Lake Tribe will take over the full operation of a government-run clinic on its reservation in east-central North Dakota this week.

The Indian Health Service, which has been running the facility, announced the move Tuesday. The agreement effective Wednesday transfers to the tribe the administrative and clinical operations of the Spirit Lake Health Center in Fort Totten.

All funding for programs, services and other activities at the facility will also be managed by the tribe.

The Spirit Lake Tribe is the first one in the Great Plains to enter what is considered a “self-governance agreement.”

Indian Health Service principal deputy director Mary Smith says the agency supported the tribe in this agreement, which will give the tribe “the flexibility to administer program funds to best meet the needs” of its members and communities.

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