Recognizing Native American Heritage in our Region
November is National Native American Heritage Month. It is an excellent opportunity for us to recognize and celebrate the history and cultures of those who have historically called our region home.
Among the tribes recognized by the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs are the Accohannock Indian Tribe; the Assateague Peoples Tribe; the Cedarville Band of Piscataway Indians; the Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians; the Piscataway Conoy Confederacy and Sub-Tribes; the Piscataway Indian Nation; the Pocomoke Indian Nation; and the Youghiogheny River Band of Shawnee Indians.
One of the important events included in the commemoration of Veterans Day this week was the opening of the National Native American Vets Memorial at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. The memorial recognizes the extraordinary contributions made by Native Americans to every branch of the armed forces of the United States. We are fortunate that this memorial is right here in our region.
Agencies like the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health (OMH) recognize the many contributions of Native Americans as well as challenges they face. OMH actively develops and promotes programs to reduce social, economic, and cultural barriers Native Americans face when seeking and receiving medical care.
At Adventist HealthCare, we are committed to responding to the health needs of groups who face barriers to care and disparities in health outcomes especially during the coronavirus pandemic. The CDC has reported that Native Americans are among the ethnic and racial minority groups at a higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes.
Through our community partnerships, we help address factors that contribute to health disparities and promote better health for Native Americans and other populations we serve. Each day we are more aware of ways in which our mission to extend God’s care through the ministry of physical, mental, and spiritual healing calls us to greater service.