Native Americans Have Shorter Life Expectancy?!

( – Katherine Goodlow, a member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, spoke out about her experience of losing people in her community and people dying too young. She stated that she’s lost six people to suicide, car crashes, and appendicitis. She also said that four family members passed from causes such as liver failure and COVID-19.

Goodlow expressed the severity of this, saying, “Most Native American kids and young people lose their friends at a young age.” She continued, “So, I’d say we’re basically used to it, but it hurts worse every time we lose someone.”

Native Americans do die younger than White Americans and it’s said that the difference in life expectancy between the two is almost fourteen years.

Donald Warne, a physician who is co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health and a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, said that the main reasons they can link to the early deaths of Native Americans is a mixture of social and economic issues.

Warne has advocated for “community-based preventions”, saying, “It’s almost blasphemy for a physician to say…the answer to addressing these things is not hiring more doctors and nurses.”

He said that making medical care more available in addition to more parenting classes, home visits, and case management is what he recommends. Warne also pointed out current programs that they have to help indigenous mothers and children and how they can continue to help those in need have more access to reliable and hands-on medical care.

Many officials and experts have joined together to come up with a better way to give access to healthcare to mothers and those who are Native American in order to combat early deaths.

Goodlow is a prominent example of how many are living now as she lives with seven others inside of her mom’s two-bedroom house which you can imagine is difficult. On top of all of this, the access to healthcare and the lack of support among their tribe and communities is affecting them all.

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