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Science & Medicine

COVID-19 Surges Among Native Americans In The Great Plains

Lauri Dawn Kindness, left, helps a family participate in the U.S. Census as part of a campaign to increase Native American participation in the count during the pandemic, on the Crow Indian Reservation, in Lodge Grass, Mont. on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. (Matthew Brown/AP)
Lauri Dawn Kindness, left, helps a family participate in the U.S. Census as part of a campaign to increase Native American participation in the count during the pandemic, on the Crow Indian Reservation, in Lodge Grass, Mont. on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. (Matthew Brown/AP)

For many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of mourning to grieve over ancestors lost to massacres, land grabs and European-borne illness.

Today, Native Americans are among the hardest hit by COVID-19. The Indian Health Service federal agency reported a 25% positivity rate among Native Americans in the Great Plains, which includes North and South Dakota.

Host Robin Young speaks with Jerilyn LeBeau Church, the CEO of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.