Diabetes and Native Americans: The Twentith Century Small Pox

Diabetes is a quiet disease, like small pox in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with little warning it has suddenly appeared among Native American peoples at an astounding rate. This paper reviews both historical documents and current medical articles to obtain an understanding of diabetes and how it has come into the lives of Native peoples. Over the last fifty years diabetes has increased dramatically until now it is found in over half of the population of some tribes. While some tribes have significantly lower figures, it is a significant health issue among all Native Americans. Cultural awareness, as shown through my research, is slowly increasing however nationwide, culturally relevant data is sorely lacking.


Michelle D. Sievertson


Tom Holm





Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 S572d
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences