American Indians and Alaska Natives Essays

American Indians and Alaska Natives Essays

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The United States population growth rate continues to increase gradually by less than 1% per year. Over the past decade, American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) population increased by 26.7%.1 According to 2010 census, there are approximately 5.2 million AIANs living in the United States representing 1.7% of the U.S. population.2 By 2050, the projected population of AIANs will reach an estimated 8.6 million.2 Alaska Natives (AN) comprise of the second largest population group in Alaska. They make up a bigger percentage of Alaska’s population than Native Americans in any other state. AN faces disadvantages when it comes to health care equity, quality, and accessibility. It is important to address health disparities in AN, since their mortality rates are significantly higher, relative to U.S. white residents (USW), in 9 of 10 leading causes of deaths in the United States. Alaska has many challenges and possible unique opportunities due to its vast size and numerous isolated rural communities to improve quality of life in the AN population.
In 2011, the proportion of Alaska’s population identified as Natives was 19.7%.3 AN have seen a big demographic change over the past 50 years. The population has tripled between 1960 and 2010, increasing from 42,522 in 1960 to 138,312 in 2010.4 The term Alaska Native is used to refer to the original inhabitants of the land that is now the state of Alaska. Alaska’s indigenous people can be divided into three major ethnic groups: Aleuts, Eskimos and Indians. However there are many different subgroups within these major groupings. Currently, there are over 550 different federally recognized tribes throughout the United States. 228 of the federal approved tribes can be fo...

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...ov/qfd/states/02000.html Accessed January 30, 2014.
7. Martin S. Cultural Continuity and Communities and Well-Being. Journal of Rural and Community Development. 2012; 7(1): 74-92.
8. Day G, Holck P, Provost E. Alaska Native Mortality Update: 2004-2008. Anchorage: Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. 2011.
9. Alaska Native Epidemiology Center. Alaska Native Health Status Report. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. 2009.
10. Alaska Suicide Facts and Statistics. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Website. Statistics.pdf. Accessed January 30, 2014.
11. Alaska: Closing the Resource Gap. Association of State and Territorial Health Officials Website. Accessed January 30, 2014

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