Life with a disability on the reservation is isolated and challenging. In 2015 Noah Blue Elk Hotchkiss with the help of Olympian Billy Mills started the Tribal Adaptive Organization with a Mission to use Sports as a tool to improve the health and wellness of Native Americans with disabilities.
Injured in a car accident in 2009 Noah became a t-6 complete paraplegic. At 11 years old he was fortunate enough to find skiing through our local Adaptive Sports Association (link here). Over the years he thrived on athletics, but at the same time as he thrived he could not ignore the disparity that his relatives with disabilities were experiencing. Native American people experience disabilities at a much higher rate than any other group in the United States. Poor Healthcare systems, lack of adequate durable medical equipment and just plain poor access to opportunities due to isolation and cultural stigmas. The situation is very bad. People who use wheelchairs end up dead from preventable issues like pressure sores and bladder infections. The reasons for this are numerous and complicated and I will try to use this blog to both address the problem and look for solutions. We have a lot of great ideas and with vision and persistence we can make a better future for our children.