by Anna Whiting Sorrell, MPA
Whiting Sorrell is Director of Operations, Policy and Planning Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Health Department, former Director Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and former Billings Area Director, Indian Health Service
This week I will celebrate my 58th birthday. Most women in Montana would not consider this a milestone in their lifetime, but for me, I will celebrate it with vigor as I know how fortunate I am just to be alive. According to a Montana Department of Health and Human Services report, as an Indian woman in Montana, I can only expect to live to be 64 years old. Indian women die a generation younger than non-Indian women, who can expect to live 20 years longer. This statistic has been my personal reality as my mother died at 57 and her mother died in her forties.