Cheyenne River Reservation

Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board, Jackie Hendry, SDSU

Palliative care can relieve symptoms of serious illnesses like cancer. But despite high cancer rates on reservations, this specialized care is difficult to access.

A research partnership among South Dakota State University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Avera Health and others is working to develop palliative care options on three of South Dakota’s reservations. The research includes work with community members to ensure culturally-appropriate care.

Tater Ward

  A massive federal project designed to prevent flooding along the Missouri River is creating problems in South Dakota. Some tribal officials say the series of dams built in the 1950s have created problems for farmers and on reservation land. In fact, some tribes are still struggling to find a solution.

It’s an early morning school bus run near the Oahe Dam. The driver makes dozens of stops along unpaved sections of BIA Route 3. The 45 minute bus ride is one way kids get to Tiospaye Topa School on the Cheyenne River Reservation. 

Keolu Fox is a phD candidate at the University of Washington Department of Genome Sciences. His work focuses on the application of genome sequencing to increase compatibility for blood transfusion therapy and organ transplantation. He is also the co-founder of IndiGenomics, a tribal non-profit organization with a mission of bringing genomic expertise to indigenous communities. He and Joe Yracheta joined me last week to talk about Keolu Fox’s visit to the Cheyenne River reservation about empowering Native Americans to do more research on genetic health disparities.