End-of-life Care

Issues in Treatment and Response to Treatment

Varies from tribe to tribe with cultural tradition and individual acculturation. General preference for naturalness and home care is preferred unless there is a cultural taboo regarding death (Navajo). Many American Indian tribes/nations have specific rituals and ceremonies concerning care of the body after death in order that the spirit crosses over safely to the other side, and is not held here by inappropriate behavior or thoughts by the deceased person’s family.

Most American Indian traditions teach that there will be a joining with the ancestors and those that have gone before, and that death is a natural part of the life cycle.