Elder Abuse pp 523-540 | Cite as

RETRACTED CHAPTER: Disrespect: Native American Elder Abuse

  • Jacqueline S. GrayEmail author


Throughout history Native American cultures have valued and honored their elders and elder abuse was an extremely rare occurrence. It occurs much more frequently today because of the impact of Western colonization. However, elder abuse in Native American populations including American Indian tribes, Alaskan villages, and Hawaiian homesteads is more easily identified as disrespect. Among the greatest issues for elder abuse in indigenous communities for legal and policy entities are the issues of cross-jurisdictional questions as to whether the crime is tribal, county or state, or federal for prosecution. However, for the elders themselves, the focus is more on restorative justice and resolving the problems without prosecution of the offender. Few tribes have the elder abuse codes necessary to address the issue. Even less have the resources and services to meet the needs and enforcement of the codes if they exist. The paucity of research provides little insight into the extent of the problem or the effectiveness of programs developed to address the issue. Even where evidence-based practices exist, they have not been tested in Indian Country to see if they work for indigenous communities. This chapter addresses the lack of data on the incidence of elder abuse in indigenous communities, the legal and policy issues, and the practice of preventing and responding to elder abuse issues in our communities. Promising practices in indigenous communities will be described and recommendations are made for the next steps to address this problem among the special populations of the indigenous people of the United States.


Elder abuse Native American Indian Promising practices Policy 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Rural HealthUniversity of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health SciencesGrand ForksUSA

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