Editor’s note: This is the first post in a three part series. The second post can be found here. A summary of the report can be found here. The complete report can be found here.
A new report recently released by Linda Frizzell, Ph.D., assistant professor in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health further highlights the persistent health inequities American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) face today.
AI/AN tribes have a fraught relationship with the federal government due to a history of attempted genocide, forced acculturation, severely underfunded health services and a health status that continues to decline. Frizzell says there remains a complex quagmire of federal Indian law, policy and intergovernmental relationships.
AI/ANs have long experienced lower health status compared to other Americans, including lower life expectancy, disproportionate disease burden perhaps due to problems with access to care, including primary health care and behavioral health services, specialty medical care, long-term care, emergency services, disproportionate poverty, discrimination in the delivery of health services, limited educational opportunities and cultural differences.