Governor's Indian Health Advisory Council

The purpose of the Governor’s Indian Health Advisory Council (GIHAC) is to address issues in our state’s Indian health care delivery system. It was created in 2019 through Senate Bill 5415. The Council includes representatives from tribes, Indian health, state agencies, and legislators.

The Council builds upon the planning work of the Governor's Indian Health Council created in 2018 through Senate Bill 6032.

The Council is tasked with:

  • Addressing current and proposed policies or actions that have tribal implications (and are not able to be addressed at the agency level).
  • Facilitating training for state agency leadership, staff, and legislators on the Indian health system and tribal sovereignty.
  • Providing contracting and performance oversight of service coordination organizations or service contracting entities (RCW 70.320.010) to address impacts on services to American Indians and Alaska Natives and relationships with Indian health care providers.



Legislative recommendations

The Council’s 2018 legislative report recommended:

  • Establishing the Governor’s Indian Health Advisory Council.
  • Establishing the Indian Health Improvement Reinvestment Account for appropriating new state savings while maintaining fiscal neutrality.
  • Budgeting funding for Health Care Authority staff to partner with the Indian Health Service and tribal governments to meet federal requirements regarding the 100 percent Federal Medical Assistance Percentage.
  • Partnering with tribes to cover expenses for the Governor’s Indian Health Advisory Council to complete the first Indian Health Improvement Advisory Plan.

Workgroup member organizations

Organization name (A-N) Organization name (O-Z)

American Indian Health Commission

Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Colville Indian Health Services (IHS) Service Unit

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation

Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe

Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation

Puyallup Tribe of Indians

Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Quileute Tribe

Cowlitz Indian Tribe

Quinault Indian Nation

Department of Children, Youth, and Families

Samish Indian Nation

Department of Commerce

Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe

Department of Corrections

Seattle Indian Health Board

Department of Health

Senate, Washington State

Department of Social and Health Services

Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe

Governor's Office

Skokomish Indian Tribe

Health Care Authority

Snoqualmie Indian Tribe

Hoh Tribe Spokane Tribe of Indians

House of Representatives

Squaxin Island Tribe

Indian Health Service Portland Area Office

Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians

Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe

Suquamish Tribe

Kalispel Tribe of Indians

Swinomish Indian Tribe

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

The Native Project

Lummi Nation

Tulalip Tribes of Washington

Makah Indian Tribe

Upper Skagit Indian Tribes

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe

Washington Health Benefit Exchange

Nisqually Indian Tribe

Wellpoint IHS Service Unit

Nooksack Indian Tribe

Yakama IHS Service Unit

Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board



Office of Tribal Affairs