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Indigenous Health with Dr. Vahan Setyan & Cano Sanchez

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by pmnationtalk on February 10, 2020203 Views

Credit: Lydia Wietsma

In today’s podcast, “Solving Life’s Next Chapter” we speak to Dr.Vahan Setyan, MS, Ph.D., the first Non-Native American in US history appointed tribal official within the Navajo Nation on Healthcare and economic development. Dr. Vahan Setyan, MS, Ph.D. works with state officials, congressmen, senators, and tribal leaders across the country on horrific conditions and critical issues within the Native American Communities.

Dr. Vahan Setyan, MS, PhD brings to the podcast a friend and colleague, Cano Sanchez, a tribal member of the Oglala Lakota tribe of South Dakota. Mr. Sanchez is a direct descendant of Crazy Horse, former advisor to the Obama administration on Native Affair’s, and whose Mother was the same for the Clinton administration.

In this podcast, we tackle issues that have never been talked about outside of the Native American communities. Native American communities have been very private and have a lot of culture within their communities. Economic challenges and poor living conditions have caused many Native Americans to live in these conditions. When communities do not have jobs, hope, purpose, and education for their communities, generations stay the same.

Cano explains that some myths about the Native American communities have money from the Federal Government and casinos. Many of the tribes with gaming are not making the profits that many folks think they are, as gaming is very costly to run and many of these casinos are just breaking even. Which means no revenue for the Native Americans or their Tribes.

There are very few tribes that are generating enough for their economic development and one of those tribes is the Salt River Pima. The Salt River Pima tribe has had the foresight to develop and maintain the resources to help their families.

Dr. Vahan explains that this tribe has the resources that many do not. We need to take the ideas and resources to other tribes to help them develop their own infrastructure, educate their children and help facilitate jobs and resources. Without resources on these tribal lands, many of our Younger Native American families are choosing to leave the tribes, this has become an issue for the economic development and their traditions as many as 80% are leaving.

Another large population of Native Americans is our Veterans. Many of our Veterans within our tribes have horrific conditions such as homelessness, no running water, and many have mental health issues that need to be addressed. These men and women fought for our country and yet, they do not have the resources needed.

There is hope for the future, as Dr. Vahan explains NOW is the time for both private and public sectors to help our tribal communities develop and grow. Helping our youngest native Americans by educating, and developing them, we can work together for a better future and create better healthcare for all Americans not just Native American families.

If someone wants to help NOW, one way would be to donate to Operation Peace Project. Operation Peace Project is a 501(c)(3) Utilizing Music, Arts, Entertainment and Media to bolster the awareness and prevention of Suicide, working to instill Healthcare reform and economic development in urban and tribal communities across the United States and Canada. For more information please go to

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