54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020


Shannon D. Pinto









     WHEREAS, American Indians and Alaska Natives are at greater mortality risk from many health issues and injuries than the rest of the United States population and have mortality rates that are five hundred forty-eight percent greater for alcoholism, two hundred percent greater for death by a motor vehicle, one hundred eighty-two percent greater for diabetes mellitus, one hundred thirty-eight percent greater for unintentional injuries, seventy-five percent greater for poisoning, seventy-five percent greater for homicide, seventy-five percent greater for suicide, thirty-seven percent greater for pneumonia and influenza and twenty-seven percent greater for firearm injury; and

     WHEREAS, among American Indians and Alaska Natives, deaths from accidents, diabetes, suicide and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis are two to three times higher than among non-Natives; and

     WHEREAS, compared to other American Indians and Alaska Natives, Navajos have lower percentages of high school and college graduates, lower household incomes and a lower percentage of women receiving prenatal care; and

     WHEREAS, compared to other American Indians and Alaska Natives, Navajos have higher rates of unemployment, poverty, homicide and suicide, unintentional injury-related deaths and mothers with diabetes; and

     WHEREAS, the majority of American Indians and Alaska Natives living in New Mexico reside in McKinley, San Juan and Bernalillo counties; and

     WHEREAS, the percentage of births to single women in 2017 was highest for American Indians and Alaska Natives at seventy-seven and one-half percent, and single-parent births have increased among American Indians and Alaska Natives by twenty-four and two-tenths percent since 1990; and

     WHEREAS, the percentage of preterm deliveries for American Indian and Alaska Native women in New Mexico increased from eight and three-tenths percent to ten and one-half percent from 2013 to 2017; and

     WHEREAS, the birth rate is highest at one hundred twenty-six and seven-tenths per one thousand women for American Indian and Alaska Native women aged twenty to twenty-four in New Mexico; and

     WHEREAS, the death rate is highest for New Mexican American Indians and Alaska Natives at nine hundred sixty-seven and four-tenths per one hundred thousand; and

     WHEREAS, the average adverse childhood experiences score is estimated at four among American Indians and Alaska Natives; and

     WHEREAS, adverse childhood experiences have been shown to have long-lasting effects on many aspects of a person's life as indicated by health outcomes; and

     WHEREAS, six hundred sixty-six cases were referred to child protective services in Shiprock from 2014 to 2017; and

     WHEREAS, American Indians and Alaska Natives died younger than other racial and ethnic groups in 2017, and nearly one-half of those who died were between the ages of fifteen and sixty-four; and

     WHEREAS, American Indian and Alaska Native death rates increased from 2014 to 2016; and

     WHEREAS, from 2007 to 2017, there were two hundred sixty-four suicides and one hundred ninety-one homicides among American Indians and Alaska Natives in McKinley and San Juan counties; and

     WHEREAS, American Indians and Alaska Natives had the highest death rates due to accidents and neonatal infant mortality; and

     WHEREAS, American Indians and Alaska Natives in New Mexico had the highest death rate for ages one through four and fifteen through sixty-four; and

     WHEREAS, infant mortality rates were highest for American Indian and Alaska Native mothers aged fifteen to nineteen; and

     WHEREAS, the costs of death and illness are felt by families and entire communities; and

     WHEREAS, families and communities are impacted by the loss of potential years of productivity and contributions to the economy; and

     WHEREAS, the increased risk of poor health outcomes and early death for American Indians and Alaska Natives can lead to survivor poverty, hardship, chronic illness and early death; and

     WHEREAS, there are few dedicated resources for women and children, and those resources are often located at great distances from those who need them; and

     WHEREAS, the lack of available resources creates ongoing trauma for women and children, who often live in very rural and remote communities; and

     WHEREAS, despite outreach by some organizations and professionals, many women and children still do not have access to resources due to lack of funding or transportation; and

     WHEREAS, violence against women and children is related to incidence of family violence, control and restrictions, which often go unreported or are reported years after the crime occurred; and

     WHEREAS, even when health care is sought, women and children may not be able to attend follow-up appointments that are necessary for healthy delivery of babies and chronic disease management; and

     WHEREAS, facilities and funding for victims of sexual violence are not available to sustain needed services, including comprehensive care and mobile facilities with twenty-four-hour dedicated staff, examiners, advocates and nurses in addition to Indian health service hospitals and emergency rooms; and

     WHEREAS, many health problems and injuries are symptoms of adverse childhood experiences and resulting trauma that have been unattended by health, public safety, judicial and other public service systems;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the United States, the state of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation be requested to collaboratively take proactive steps to provide health care infrastructure and facilities specifically for women and children as part of the proposed Gallup Indian medical center and satellite clinics, including health centers, health stations and school clinics in remote locations for access to mental and physical comprehensive care; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that victims of sexual violence be provided comprehensive care facilities and mobile units with sustained funding for twenty-four-hour dedicated staff, examiners, advocates, counselors and nurses with private interview environments in addition to Indian health service hospital inpatient, outpatient and emergency room staff; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the New Mexico congressional delegation, the governor and New Mexico's twenty-three Indian nations, tribes and pueblos.

- 6 -