Dr. Mary Owen

If you're a Native American or Alaska Native mom, your baby is twice as likely to die before it's first birthday than if you're white.

And your baby is three times as likely to die before it's first birthday.

Tony Webster/Flickr

Tribal sovereignty is more than just who is allowed to put a pipeline where.

Included in the right to self-determination and self-governance is the right to protect one's land and environment - and waterways.

But epidemiologist Michael Marmot says the less status you have, the poorer your health will be. It's not a question even of how much money you have, it's the psychological experience of inequality that makes the difference.

Center of American Indian and Minority Health

Health care for Native people isn't a handout - or even optional, for that matter.  Treaty rights guaranteed health care for Native people ... but the Indian Health Service is chronically underfunded.

Dr. Mary Owen, the director of UMD's Center of American Indian and Minority Health says teaching aspiring doctors about health care disparities in Indian Country needs to be part of the national curriculum.  And even if they don't go on to practice medicine on reservations, they will be positioned to advocate for policy changes.