Many members of the general public sometimes question why Indians receive services free of charge from the federal government, including certain medical and education benefits. The doctrine of trust responsibility demonstrates however, that Indians are not receiving “free” services. Rather, these services were PREPAID. Tribes relinquished their homelands and agreed to move peacefully to much smaller territories in exchange for these services. Therefore, as Senator Byron Dorgan stated in 2007 regarding the importance of funding Indian health-care programs: “This is not an option; it’s a trust responsibility [and] we need to own up to our responsibility.
~Stephen L. Pevar, The Rights of Indians and Tribes, Fourth Edition (via A Daily Riot)