The Forgotten First People of this Continent: Native Americans Overlooked in the United States’ Coronavirus Response

Reservation at Laguna, New Mexico. (Header photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Native Americans have often been misclassified in official COVID-19 case counts in the United States.

Ron Hutchcraft of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries says to learn why, we simply need to follow the money and the trail of historic racism. “If Native Americans are underreported, and under-represented . . . then guess how the decisions are made about where money is allocated.”

Hutchcraft says many reservations face very dangerous health conditions.  “We are not keeping our treaty obligations that we made with the First Americans a long time ago: to provide proper health care for them. And we don’t know who’s there. And we don’t know what the situation is.”

This story began over 400 years ago, Hutchcraft says. “Native Americans have been forgotten over and over again.”

COVID-19: a new chapter in the story

Hutchcraft says the COVID-19 pandemic shines a spotlight on the deep flaws in the healthcare system for Native Americans, particularly the understaffing and lack of resources. One reservation in South Dakota, for instance, has 45 beds for an area twice the size of Rhode Island.

“Then you have the Navajo reservation,” Hutchcraft says, “where the statistics right now are horrible. In fact, the Navajo Nation, if they were a state, would be number three per capita in deaths from COVID-19. In other words, you have New York, New Jersey, Navajo. Of course, nobody knows that. Because once again, they are the Forgotten People.”

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray that Native Americans will get the money and support they need to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Support Ron Hutchcraft Ministries to equip young Native American leaders to proclaim Jesus in these communities.
  • Pray the Church in the United States will no longer overlook the First People of this continent.

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