Event Today (March 11), 4pm – Native Americans and Health Care

Join the Lehman Center for American History and the Rare Book & Manuscript Library for “‘Don’t Get Sick After June’: A Seventy-Year Long Survival Strategy for Native Americans Navigating the Indian Health Service,” a conversation with Maria John, Assistant Professor of History, and Director of The Native American and Indigenous Studies Program, University of Massachusetts Boston.

Event date: Thursday, March 11th, 2021
Event time: 4:00 – 5:30 pm EST
Register Here for this online event.

In the wake of the US federal government’s record-breaking shutdown in January 2019 and the onslaught of COVID-19 just a year later, the severity of Native American health disparities and the precarious reality of funding within the IHS for both reservation and urban communities alike has been thrust into the national spotlight. This paper will historicize these very recent catastrophes in a long-running record of medical neglect, chronic underfunding, and structural barriers to access within the IHS. By unpacking the reasons why, for almost seventy years, the refrain “don’t get sick after June” has remained painfully relevant for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities, this paper argues that the US federal government’s woefully inadequate and underfunded system of healthcare for Native peoples is one of the nation’s gravest examples of structural inequality and racialized disparity created by the government in the realm of health.

This event is part of the Lehman Center for American History’s “Race, Inequality, and Health” lecture series.