Sanford Research and the University of South Dakota are embarking on a $13.5 million, five-year study examining Native American health issues.
The first $1.5 million in funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create a collaborative research center headquartered in Sioux Falls.
In each of the remaining years, $3 million is expected to be allocated for research.
U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota calls the planned research a "major development" for Indian Country. He says the area's reservations face unique health challenges and that such investments will improve Native Americans' lives.