As Federal Government Grapples With Missing Native American Women, Another Crisis Looms On Horizon
States and the federal government are just starting to address chronic violence against and disappearances of indigenous women. But what happens afterwards? There are few resources available to help the women and their families heal from the trauma. Meanwhile, the Indian Health Service agency faces growing pressure following a series of reports on the problems that plague the understaffed and overwhelmed system.
The New York Times:
In Indian Country, A Crisis Of Missing Women. And A New One When They’re Found.
Prudence Jones had spent two years handing out “Missing” fliers and searching homeless camps and underpasses for her 28-year-old daughter when she got the call she had been praying for: Dani had been found. She was in a New Mexico jail, but she was alive. It seemed like a happy ending to the story of one of thousands of Native American women and girls who are reported missing every year in what Indigenous activists call a long-ignored crisis. Strangers following Dani’s case on social media cheered the news this past July: “Wonderful!” “Thank you God!” “Finally, some good news.” (Healy, 12/25)
The Wall Street Journal:
Kate Miner’s Tragic Journey Through The U.S. Indian Health Service
Kate Miner walked into the Indian Health Service hospital, seeking help for a cough that wouldn’t quit. An X-ray taken of Ms. Miner’s lungs that day, Oct. 19, 2016, found signs of cancer. What exactly the IHS doctor said to Ms. Miner about her exam remains in dispute. Notations in her medical file indicate the doctor told her to come back for a lung scan the next day. Her family says they never were given such instructions and weren’t told of the two masses the X-ray revealed. (Frosch, 12/23)
The Wall Street Journal:
Rx For Ailing Indian Health Service: Changes In Spending, Recruitment
Some of the biggest problems plaguing the troubled Indian Health Service, which cares for 2.6 million Native Americans, could be addressed by taking some relatively straightforward steps, according to IHS employees, tribal members, U.S. lawmakers and outside health-care experts. A series of articles by The Wall Street Journal has identified numerous deficiencies at the federal agency, including problem employees, recruitment challenges and regulatory lapses. The turmoil has sparked calls for changes. (Weaver and Wilde Mathews, 12/31)
And in other news —
Iowa Public Radio:
'We Have To Be Role Models': Native Americans Hold Sober New Year's Eve Powwow
Native Americans have made up the largest portion of arrests related to public intoxication in Sioux City for the last five-plus years. In 2015, there were roughly 600 arrests involving Native Americans. In 2018, the numbers dropped to less than 200. The overall number of public intoxication arrests across all demographics has dropped over time, but Native Americans have consistently made up close to 50 percent of them. (Peikes, 1/1)