SE Ruckman

freelance reporter

My goal is to give a voice to American Indians on national issues that matter to us like the environment and health. We are statistically the most afflicted group and the most overlooked in our original lands.  


A one-time resident of Arizona, Stephanie Big Crow and her family now make their lives in Kenai, Alaska, 156 miles southwest of Anchorage. She is also one of the several thousand American Indians who have enrolled in federal health insurance paved by the Affordable Care Act.

Across the country, Indians live urban lives, interwoven into different social fabrics as a result of earlier (arguably unsuccessful) federal programs that sought to familiarize Natives with the larger society. In other cases, Indians live in rural areas and are remarkably isolated.

There is a saying bouncing around regional Indian country right now. It goes: When the wrong people leave your life, the right things happen. That is hitting the mark for me right now. I had left a taxing relationship and within weeks, I received my Health Fellowship. I left USC feeling a certain de

Imagine living in communities that defy social definition. This is Indian country, where our identification is usually stereotyped as sports mascots, grandparents raise their grandchildren and the annual household income isn't even in the same neighborhood as the national average.  ...