July 14, 2020
Here's Your Headlines:
'He made people smile in awe': Celebrated hoop dance champion Nakotah LaRance passes on

Tributes are pouring in from Indian Country following the passing of Nakotah LaRance, a champion hoop dancer whose performances and bright attitude brought joy to audiences throughout the world.

Ben Nighthorse Campbell & Ernie Stevens: The racist history of the Washington mascot

Is the Washington professional football team name racist? Yes. It’s racist!

Tim Giago: Black Hills bill died because of a lack of tribal unity

Most Lakota with any common sense know that there will never be a deal struck to return all of the Black Hills to the Indian people.

Chuck Hoskin: Inter-Tribal Council utilizing technology for meeting and business

With technology, we are able to meet our friends and colleagues, conduct essential business and take a collective stand on issues impacting our governments.

Native Sun News Today: Dakota Access Pipeline shutdown order

Tribal leaders and constituents across Lakota Territory and elsewhere welcomed a hard-won court order to shut off the oil flow in the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Cronkite News: Native community reacts to Washington mascot controversy

"A lot of Native American people do not want to be looked at as a sidekick, a caricature or a stereotype," says Apache artist and activist Douglas Miles.

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Art is politics

The truth is, America is no longer a new country, as it has often said to be. It is an old country inhabited by people who have wanted to create a new history.

Bureau of Indian Affairs orders pipeline company to pay $187 million for trespassing

An energy company has been transporting oil across the Fort Berthold Reservation without consent of landowners for more than seven years.

Cronkite News: Tribes say delayed release of #COVID19 funds hurt #Coronavirus efforts

Tribal communities continue to struggle with the most basic needs. The pandemic is only exposing the inequities.

SCOTUSblog: Justices toe hard line in affirming reservation status for eastern Oklahoma

As Indian law cases go, the dispute in this one is easy to understand: whether the land once granted to the Creek Nation as a reservation retains that status.

'On the far end of the Trail of Tears': Nation's highest court holds U.S. to promise in tribal treaty

The Trump administration suffered yet another rebuke of its Indian Country policy with a narrow but clear victory in a closely-watched tribal sovereignty case.

'We do need additional dollars': Tribes won't let up in fight over COVID-19 relief

Alaska Native corporations will continue to wait for more than a half-billion dollars in COVID-19 relief as tribal nations press the U.S. to fulfill its trust and treaty responsibilities.

N. Bird Runningwater: Enduring Indigenous values in the age of #COVID19

The #Coronavirus pandemic has swept across the planet and has left none of us untouched.

StrongHearts Native Helpline: A new way to connect

StrongHearts Native Helpline, the domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, has launched a new chat advocacy feature.

Native Youth to National Football League: We are not your mascot

As Native American youth, we are powerful. We are resilient, we are unbroken, and we will be silenced no more.

Ben Fate Velaise: Alaska Native Tribes must act fast to close digital divide amid #Coronavirus

The #COVID19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the inequity of the digital divide between rural Indigenous communities and the rest of America.

Indian Country Today: The very risky Dakota Access Pipeline

The Dakota Access Pipeline must be shut down and emptied by August 5, 2020, following a federal judge's landmark decision.

Native Sun News Today: Blackfeet Federation seeks permanent protection for Badger Two Medicine

The Blackfeet Nation is seeking co-management authority for the sacred Badger-Two Medicine Area in Montana.

Albert Bender: Whose Independence Day is it?

In the Declaration of Independence, Indigenous people are referred to as 'merciless Indian savages.'

Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation faces $147 million claim from business owner

A citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation is pursuing a $147 million claim against her own tribe over a business deal gone bad, Buffalo's Fire reports.

'A historic day': Tribes celebrate victory over Dakota Access as pipeline operator strikes back

Tribes fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline won a major victory as a judge ordered oil to stop flowing through treaty territory. But the battle is far from over.

Native Sun News Today: 'Return the Black Hills' chant greets Trump

Donald Trump's visit to Mount Rushmore provoked a rally of some 400 Native Americans and allies, who seized the opportunity to remind him he was trespassing on treaty territory.

Clara Caufield: #COVID19 update from Crow and Cheyenne Country

This is somewhat of an update on what’s going on in Cheyenne and Crow country regarding the dreaded coronavirus.

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Where's the beef?

Stealing Indian land was often made legal with a mere presidential signature.

#COVID19 Updates
CARES Act Litigation: Chehalis Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation v. Mnuchin

A dispute over $8 billion in COVID-19 relief continues, with tribes pursuing an appeal in hopes of preventing Alaska Native corporations from gaining shares of the fund.

National Indian Health Board

An appropriations package under consideration includes roughly $6.5 billion for the Indian Health Service, an increase of approximately $445 million above current levels.

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

On Friday, July 17, at 10 a.m. EDT, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will hold a virtual public briefing to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on Native Americans.

United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY)

United National Indian Youth, Inc. (UNITY) will continue its first-ever virtual national conference with its second general session on July 9, 2020.

Pueblo of Zuni (New Mexico)

The Pueblo of Zuni confirmed four additional deaths from COVID-19 among its citizens in New Mexico, bringing the total to 17 since the start of the pandemic.

Pueblo of Laguna (New Mexico)

Six additional positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed within the Pueblo of Laguna, bringing the total number to 25 on the reservation in New Mexico.

Ohkay Owingeh (New Mexico)

Ohkay Owingeh confirmed a second case of COVID-19 among its citizens, Governor Ron Lovato said in a July 2, 2020, update.

Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus testing data, showing 21,531 COVID-19 cases as of July 5, 2020.

Cherokee Nation (Oklahoma)

The Cherokee Nation mourns the loss of one of its fluent Cherokee speakers and elders to COVID-19. Edna “Dolly” Raper passed away on July 4, 2020.

The Navajo and Hopi Families Relief Fund

Air Serv International is partnering with the Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund to transport critical humanitarian relief items by plane to remote Navajo and Hopi communities.

Navajo Nation (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah)

The total number of COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation is 7,914 as of July 6, 2020. More than 5,600 have recovered from the coronavirus on the largest reservation in the United States.

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (Oklahoma)

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic offers new and innovative ways to continue to provide excellent health care to American Indians amid COVID-19.

Navajo Nation (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah)

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer approved portions of two separate resolutions that address the use of federal CARES Act funding for the Navajo Nation.

Navajo Nation Council (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah)

‘On behalf of the 24th Navajo Nation Council, I wish to recognize our local leaders across the Navajo Nation that have continued to be on the front-lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,’ said Speaker Seth Damon.

First Nations Health Authority (British Columbia)

The toll of the illicit drug toxicity crisis on BC First Nations individuals is rising again this year, erasing previous gains, according to data released ​by the First Nations Health Authority.

Mary Annette Pember: Catholic Church took $30 million in trust funds from Indian students

The impacts of the Indian boarding and day school era extend beyond the emotional, physical and sexual abuse suffered by students. The financial toll, it turns out, was heavy as well.

'A proud day to be Lakota': Activists arrested for protesting Trump visit to Sioux Nation treaty territory

Nearly 200 protestors clashed with law enforcement as they stood in defense of Sioux Nation homelands stolen by the U.S. government.

Indian Health Service takes down 'racist' poster but disavows link to #Coronavirus

A visitor to an Indian Health Service hospital found something upsetting on the wall: a poster with a racist term used by Donald Trump.

Big #NoDAPL News: Federal judge orders shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline

A federal judge has finally invalidated permits for Dakota Access Pipeline following four years of complaints from Indian Country.

Harold Frazier: It is time to put people before profit

It has been six years since the Dakota Access Pipeline began slithering a path through our treaty territory.

Tim Giago: 'The Black Hills are not for sale'

Republicans Kristi Noem and Donald Trump were treading on the sacred ground of the Lakota; plain and simple.

Chuck Hoskin: New grants assist Cherokee community organizations in age of #COVID19

COVID-19 remains a threat, and local community organizations are on the front lines.

Arne Vainio: My grandmother's sewing machine

This is my grandmother's sewing machine. I thought it was lost forever.

Jenni Monet: Making the case for treaties at Mount Rushmore

If true justice and equality are ever to be achieved in the United States, the country must first take seriously what it owes Indigenous Peoples.

Rep. Tom Cole: Police reform must be bipartisan

Even in divided government, Americans deserve and expect their elected officials to work together to produce police reform legislation that upholds the constitutional rights and inherent dignity of every individual.

Native Sun News Today: Alaska Native corporations to garner tribal pandemic relief

A federal judge has cleared the way for Alaska Native corporations to receive shares of an $8 billion COVID-19 relief fund that was designated for tribal governments.

Cronkite News: Dine citizen forms mutual aid group for those in need during #COVID19

"We developed our collective in hopes of providing a system of support for one another," says Harrenson Gorman, a co-founder of the Desert Indigenous Collective.

Norma Dunning: As other leagues rethink racist team names, it's time to rename the Edmonton Eskimos

We stand as Inuit who are outraged, who are hurt by the use of the word 'Eskimos.' And we too hope for a better tomorrow.

Native Sun News Today: New Mexico declares state of emergency

Diego De Vargas is revered as a leader among the Spanish settlers in New Mexico but reviled by others who accuse him of brutal treatment after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.

Native Sun News Today Editorial: Mount Rushmore fireworks and ignorant politicians

Donald Trump and Kristi Noem are using the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore to publicize their political ambitions.

Republican lawmaker finds way to blame tribes for Trump's delay in #COVID19 relief

A bitter dispute over $8 billion in COVID-19 relief for Indian Country continues to simmer on Capitol Hill, with some lawmakers blaming tribes for the Trump administration's mismanagement of the much-needed funds.

Native Sun News Today: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe sues Trump over #Coronavirus checkpoints

The Trump administration is threatening to take away law enforcement from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

'Left out and left behind': Trump administration faces questions about #COVID19 in Indian Country

The Trump administration's COVID-19 response efforts in Indian Country are back in the spotlight again on Capitol Hill.

Native Sun News Today: Lakota youth advocate set to join South Dakota Hall of Fame

Bruce Long Fox, a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, will be joining the South Dakota Hall of Fame.

Cronkite News: Navajo Nation will not ease #Coronavirus restrictions despite improving numbers

The number of new COVID-19 cases on the Navajo Nation is on a downward trend, but tribal leaders said that does not mean they are ready to ease up on health restrictions.

Montana Free Press: Tribal lawsuit adds to Keystone XL hurdles for Trump administration

The Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes have filed the latest lawsuit against the federal government opposing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Harold Frazier: The 'American' faces carved onto our sacred land

Nothing stands as a greater reminder to the Great Sioux Nation of a country that cannot keep a promise or treaty than the faces carved into our sacred land.

Native Sun News Today: New alliance aims to help tribes protect sacred Black Hills

Treaty law, which is the highest law of the land, according to the U.S. Constitution, provides that the Black Hills belong to the Sioux Nation.

Montana Free Press: Blackfeet Nation closes popular park entrance due to #COVID19

Blackfeet Nation leaders, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, have decided to keep the eastern entrances to Glacier National Park closed for the rest of the tourism season.

Cronkite News: Appeals court confirms Trump's border wall funding as 'unlawful'

Just days after President Trump praised border wall efforts, a federal court reaffirmed that the administration’s method of funding that construction was "unlawful."

Judge deals major blow to tribes in dispute over delayed COVID-19 relief

A federal judge has handed the Trump administration a much-needed victory for its coronavirus response efforts, ruling that Alaska Native corporations are entitled to shares of an $8 billion COVID-19 relief fund.

Tim Giago: Racism is a two-way street

If Native Americans are going to seriously discuss racism I think we should be taking a close look at ourselves.

Indian Lawmakers: We refuse to stand idle

As Native Americans, we understand discrimination and racism. We live with it.

Chuck Hoskin: Stay safe amid #COVID19 and vote in June 30 election

With government leaders at all levels making life-and-death decisions about how to respond to COVID-19, this election will be one of the most important we have seen.

Rusty Pickens and Geoffrey Roth: #Coronavirus shows why Oklahoma tribes need Medicaid now

Indian tribes have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and expansion of Medicaid will help pay for costs associated with care.

Native Sun News Today: #Coronavirus won't stop debut of film featuring Native leaders

"The climate crisis is not paused while we battle #Covid-19; we must support and learn from those at the front line of the struggle for climate justice," Esperanza Project founder says ahead of online premiere.

Common Dreams: #DropOutHickenlooper say Indigenous activists

"This sort of red face racism has no place in our politics," says journalist Julian Brave Noisecat.

Native Sun News Today Editorial: The Year of Reconciliation and Native American Day

Wouldn’t it be great if all of the Native and Non-Native schools in South Dakota celebrate together?

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: The legendary words of Chekpa

To know what happened to the indigenous past in America has become more vital than it has ever been.

'Wear your mask, do your part': Tribal citizens in New Mexico bear brunt of coronavirus

Tribal citizens continue to feel disproportionate effects of the coronavirus in New Mexico, more than three months into a pandemic that continues to spread throughout Indian Country.

Native Sun News Today: Tribes obtain another court order for delayed #Coronavirus relief

It took over 80 days for the Trump administration to deliver the full COVID-19 relief promised to tribal governments.

Clara Caufield: Buffalo Calf Road Woman, a Cheyenne warrior girl

They are few and far between, but Maheo’o often sends people of special ability, talent and heart when the people most need them.

Native Sun News Today: Statue of colonizer comes down in Pueblo country

A controversial statue of Juan de Oñate, a Spanish conquistador reviled for brutality against Pueblo people, has come down in New Mexico.

Native Sun News Today: Black Hills Powwow cancelled due to #Coronavirus

Planning is taking place for the next He Sapa Wacipi Na Oskate in 2021.

Tribal leaders decry threats to sacred and historic places

As President Trump was hailing the pace of border wall construction, Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris Jr. was bemoaning it as a project that continues to destroy sacred sites.

Tribal nations sue Trump over EPA clean water rollback

Tribal nations are suing the Trump administration over a clean water rule that critics said would lead to pollution and degradation.

'The Elizabeth Warren of the sci-fi set': Author faces criticism for repeated use of tribal traditions

A popular author is facing renewed accusations of cultural appropriation after repeatedly using tribal stories and traditions without consent.

Supreme Court winds down unusual #Coronavirus term with tribal sovereignty case on docket

As Indian Country continues to wait for a decision in a closely-watched sovereignty case, the nation's highest court is turning away long-running challenges to tribal treaty and land rights.

Native Sun News Today: Santa Fe Indian Market goes online due to #COVID19

Santa Fe Indian Market, billed as the one of the best, largest and oldest market of its kind, will take place online this year.

Native Sun News Today Editorial: Don’t defund the police, disarm them

How many Native Americans in Rapid City would be alive today if the police did not carry guns?

Indian Health Service cites strides in era of #COVID19 as challenges linger

The Indian Health Service has brought a troubled hospital back from the brink as the Trump administration challenges a ruling in a treaty rights case.

'I feel fine': Legendary activist Suzan Shown Harjo on living with COVID-19

Over the past two months, Suzan Shown Harjo has tested positive not just once, but twice, for the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Tim Giago: You have to be carefully taught

The national protests now taking place are clearly pointing out America’s duality in racial discrimination and justice.

Chuck Hoskin: Why I removed Confederate monuments from the Cherokee Capitol Grounds

For the first time in more than a century, the Cherokee Nation will take full control over the images and symbols depicted on our historic Capitol Square.

Doug George-Kanentiio: We need African American allies to replace offensive mascots and statues

The tragic fact is that of all ethnic groups this country's Indigenous people have the highest rate of death by cop.

Native Sun News Today: Native employee fired after speaking out

Ashley Forney, a citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, was terminated after telling superiors about racism and hostility in the workforce.

Cronkite News: Native Americans address mental and behavioral health as #COVID19 wears on

Tribal leaders and health experts have stepped up efforts to address the emotional toll of the coronavirus.

Moldy #COVID19 equipment reportedly used at tribal health center

An employee who raised concerns about moldy personal protective equipment was fired by the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board.

Census 2020 returns to Navajo Nation in era of #Coronavirus

Experts can cite any number of historical and logistical reasons why Native Americans have relatively low response rates to the Census, but there's a new challenge this year – COVID-19.

Gila River Indian Community mourns loss of casino employee to #COVID19

The Gila River Indian Community has temporarily shut down its gaming operation following the death of an employee due to COVID-19.

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: The Indian world is uncomfortable

Our young people deserve the truth. We should tell them that history is not something to escape.

Native Sun News Today: Lakota historian and author Donovin Sprague

Donovin Sprague Hump is a Lakota man of many talents. He's got two lectures on his schedule for June 2020.

Oliver Whaley: Slavery still exists in some parts of America

The fact is that our self-proclaimed "guardian" has repeatedly mismanaged Native American assets.

Cronkite News: #COVID19 cases shatter daily record set four days earlier

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona are on the rise, following the state's decision to life stay-at-home orders.

Clara Caufield: The old quorum problem at Northern Cheyenne

At the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, sooner or later, every president has run into the old quorum problem.

Teen students lead Nashville's largest ever protest against racist police violence

A huge group—led by students—congregated in Nashville to protest the horrific murder of George Floyd and racist police violence.

'We got these monies late': Trump administration makes tribes wait for #COVID19 relief

It's taken over 80 days, numerous lawsuits and public pressure for the Trump administration to pay tribal nations the COVID-19 relief they were promised by the federal government.

Tim Giago: Reflections on Father's Day

With a holiday called Father's Day here I must reflect on the different path most Native Americans had to follow as fathers.

Native Sun News Today: Fire during #GeorgeFloyd unrest guts Native youth nonprofit

"We hope for change," says MIGIZI student Ambersky Stevens. "It shouldn’t have taken a man to die in order for people to understand."

'Justice for Kozee!': Native women seek stronger charges for death of Kozee Decorah

Family and friends are demanding justice for Kozee Decorah, a 22-year-old woman from the Ho-Chunk Nation who was killed on the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska.

Native Sun News Today: Native American candidates fare well in Montana 2020 primary

"If we’re not in control, someone else is," says Montana State Senator Jason Small, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

Chuck Hoskin: Why we must have difficult conversations about race and justice

The United States, through local criminal justice systems, visited injustice and injury upon our ancestors in the 19th century prior to our forced removal.

Indian Country Today: 10 people whose statues should replace Columbus

Around the world statues are coming down. Civil War generals. Mass murderers. And Christopher Columbus.

Rep. Tom Cole: America and the global #COVID19 pandemic response

While I agree that the United States hasn’t been the absolute best in the world in terms of coronavirus response, our nation has certainly fared better than most advanced countries.

YES! Magazine: Indigenous artists turn to technology to tell their stories

Indigenous artists across the Americas are engaging technology and other works to draw attention to their culture and the environmental challenges confronting their communities.

Cronkite News: Supreme Court confirms civil rights protections for LGBTQ workers

The Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights Act protections against 'sex discrimination' also protect gay or transgender employees from discrimination, even if they are not specifically mentioned in the 1964 law.

New Mexico In Depth: Hospital separated newborns from Native mothers amid #Coronavirus

Native women were singled out for #COVID19 testing and separated from newborns after delivery, clinicians told ProPublica and New Mexico In Depth.

Native Sun News Today: Comments due on trapping otters, 'a sacred species for us as Lakota people'

South Dakota is giving the public until June 19 to comment on the first-ever trapping season for the rare native river otter that was reintroduced by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe.

Cronkite News: Native American communities hit harder by #Coronavirus than some states

The disproportionate impact #COVID19 has had on minorities underscores the longstanding failure of federal officials to respond to the needs of Native Americans, a key lawmaker said.

'Patently unfair': Judge won't let Trump administration delay COVID-19 relief again

Tribes will finally see the rest of their payments from the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund after the Trump administration tried to delay the money by playing divide and conquer.

#COVID19 exposes inadequate funding levels at Indian Health Service

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise at disproportionate rates, advocates are calling on Congress to live up to its trust and treaty obligations by providing adequate health care for tribal and urban communities.

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Mohawk Resistance 30 years later
This week, Mohawks from Kanesatake, Canada are acknowledging a 30-year-old land conflict that is still not resolved. On July 11th, 1990, a protest against a proposed golf course expansion and condominium project on land significant to the Mohawk erupted into an armed standoff. For 78 days, Mohawks blocked roads, demanding the Canadian government return the land to the tribe. A provincial police officer was shot and killed. A Canadian soldier stabbed and a Mohawk girl in the chest with his bayonet while the girl held her 4 year old sister. The development project was cancelled, but the land is still not returned to the tribe. We’ll get a review of the original resistance and hear about the legacy three decades later.
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