American Indian/Alaska Native Child Health and Poverty

Allison Empey, Andrea Garcia, Shaquita Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


One in three American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children live in poverty. This rate is higher in some reservation communities. The alarming rates of physical, mental, and social health inequities (eg, poverty) experienced by AI/AN children are symptoms of genocide, a legacy of inhumane Federal Indian policy, and ongoing structural violence. The chronically underfunded Indian Health Service (IHS) is just one example where AI/AN children are not universally guaranteed equitable health care or opportunity to thrive. Poverty is highly predictive of educational achievement, employment opportunities, violence, and ultimately health outcomes. COVID-19 has not only exacerbated physical and mental health inequities experienced by AI/AN communities, but has also intensified the economic consequences of inequity. Thus, it is vital to advocate for programs and policies that are evidence based, incorporate cultural ways of knowing, and dismantle structurally racist policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S134-S139
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • American Indian/Alaska Native
  • child health
  • poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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