- 600% higher rate of dying from tuberculosis
- 510% higher occurrence of alcoholism
- 229% more vehicle crashes
- 189% higher rate of diabetes
- 1 in 3 Native American women have been or will be raped
- 62% more suicides
- Native American youth have the highest rate of suicide in the world
I think the saddest statistic from the bunch is the suicide rate. But think about it: what would you do if your tiny, impoverished community was in the middle of nowhere, where the nearest airport is only accessible after driving six hours on a dirt road in a crappy gas guzzling car, where the nearest court to incarcerate criminals is a day away, where your friends and family frequently suffer from all forms of abuse, and racism toward you and your people is prevalent and the norm. I don't know about you, but drinking myself to death might sound more enticing than waking up to another day like that.
Unfortunately, when their representatives go to Congress to lobby for inclusion in policy decisions that affect them, their concerns are ignored and rarely solicited. It occurred to me today that when we think about closing the disparities in health, education and socio-economic status for minorities, we often disregard the needs of our native population. This needs to change immediately- it's our ethical responsibility to be a guardian to these people and protect their rights.