Serious Illness Considerations for Indigenous People of North America

Indigenous People of North America (IPNA) are a heterogenous group with a wide range of practices, cultures, faiths, languages, and traditions. Approximately 10 million Americans (or 2.9% of the US population) are of native descent with over 500 tribes recognized by the US government and over 500 indigenous nations in Canada. There are significant variations in beliefs among members of the same tribe, and between different tribes, hence this Fast Fact strives to promote cultural sensitivity, humility, and awareness when supporting all IPNA. Cultural differences, social disadvantages, educational inequity, and disproportionate poverty factor into the health care disparities IPNAs experience. These disparities are compounded by healthcare access challenges manifested in difficulty traveling to regional health centers, inconsistent hospice coverage, and inability of some home care/hospice agencies to visit patients who live far away.

Link: Fast Facts #468 (6/2023)