Patrice Kunesh Spotlights Native Children as Silent Sufferers of Caregiver Loss in Pandemic

Patrice Kunesh (’89), Founding Director of Peȟíŋ Haha Consulting, authored an essay for National Native Children’s Trauma Center outlining strategies for community well-being for Native children who experienced the highest level of caregiver loss in the COVID-19 pandemic (“How Are the Children?” Jan. 14). “Among these COVID ‘orphans,’ a staggering number of Native children have lost parents and caregivers. These children face an ‘epidemic of mental health challenges,’ but only partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic—their well-being should be our top policy priority. . . . This challenge is as much a moral imperative as it is a public health mandate. We can honor the lives lost to the pandemic, especially the parents and caregivers, by focusing community investments on child well-being and fostering their optimal healing and resiliency.”