By W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The coronavirus didn’t cause the racial, economic and health inequities in Indian Country, but it is exposing them. And in the process, centuries of infrastructure disinvestment and systemic racism are on full display.
Native Americans have greater exposure to uranium contamination, residual radiation from open mines and significantly less access to healthy, fresh food and running water. As a result, they are more likely to suffer from underlying health conditions like asthma, hypertension and diabetes. In the best of times, these pervasive health inequities and pre-existing conditions result in a death rate among Native people that is twice the national rate. In a pandemic, the effects of these conditions are only compounded.
WKKF grantees and partners are no strangers to the levels of disparity and the policies that continue to plague Indian Country. As they address immediate issues and advocate to close the disparity gap in partnership with Tribal Nations, their perseverance highlights the resolve and resilience of Native people as they respond to this crisis. More.