Mark Trahant is a Kaiser Media Fellow examining the Indian Health Service and its relevance to the national health care reform debate. He is a member of Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. Comment here.DETROIT – It’s hard to communicate the failure of public policy in this great American city (especially in a few hundred words). A drive around town highlights the consequences from decades of neglect: Abandoned and burned out homes, office buildings as ruins (and dangerous playgrounds), near-permanent unemployment, and thousands of empty lots capped with mounds. These mounds are burial sites of sorts because when a building was destroyed the rubble was left in a pile until time and grass shaped each into a small hill.
Yet the geography of despair includes many seeds of hope.
Tags: American Indian Health and Family Services, buffalo post, Cheyenne River Sioux, Community Health Awareness Group, Detroit, Detroit Archdiocese, Earthworks Urban Farm, Federally Qualified Health Center, Gwen Florio, Health care reform, Henry Ford, HIV, Indian Country, Indian Health Care Improvement Act, Indian Health Service, Kaiser Family Foundation, Mark Trahant, Minnecoujou Lakota, Native American news, The Heidelberg Project