COVID-19: Disproportionate Impact on Navajo Nation and Tribal Communities

This webinar is part of County Health Rankings & Roadmaps’ special topic series, Health Equity and Social Solidarity in the Time of Pandemic: Strategies for COVID-19 Response and Recovery.

The Navajo Nation has long experienced barriers to health and opportunity. As the COVID-19 pandemic has crossed the country, the Navajo tribe has been disproportionately impacted by the virus, facing some of the highest rates in the United States.

Chronic underfunding for health and infrastructure for tribal nations coupled with the historical trauma that has come from centuries of forced relocation and other federal policies are now compounding the impacts of COVID-19. Prevention efforts including social distancing and increased hand-washing are particularly challenging to maintain across the Navajo Nation, due in large part to the 30-40% of households without access to running water or electricity, widespread food insecurity, and large number of multi-generational households.

During this webinar we will be joined by Dr. Patricia Nez Henderson, Vice President of the Black Hills Center for American Indian Health and a member of the Diné (Navajo) tribe, to explore:
• Historical causes of the health and infrastructure inequities in the Navajo Nation
• Strategies to incorporate tribal values and customs with western knowledge and medicine to address health crises
• Policies and strategies that can reduce barriers to health and opportunity in tribal communities

We will host an interactive virtual discussion immediately following the webinar and encourage you to participate in an engaging dialogue with peers across the country to share your experiences navigating the pandemic and your thoughts on how the strategies shared during the webinar may work in your community. Mark your calendars for 4pm ET!