Good morning, NUNAverse:
The Hill published an opinion piece from Abigail Echo-Hawk yesterday that examines the impact COVID-19 has had on Indigenous elders and Indigenous knowledge, noting that with every elder lost to COVID-19 “we bury another story, another song or another prayer.” Echo-Hawk goes on to examine why American Indian and Alaska Native communities are impacted at 3.5 and 1.8 times higher rates than non-Hispanic whites.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that an independent commission should investigate the security failures of the January 6 assault on the Capitol, now that the Senate impeachment trial has concluded. The recommendation for such a commission comes from retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré, whom Pelosi tasked with reviewing Capitol security.
Native News Online celebrated their 10th anniversary yesterday, and they published an article detailing their path from Editor Levi Rickert founding the site and having 16 visitors during their first week to today, when the site draws more than 250,000 readers each month.
Keep reading for a full news update.
COVID-19 Is Killing Indigenous Elders And Indigenous Knowledge
The Hill, Abigail Echo-Hawk, February 15
American Indian and Alaska Native elders are history teachers for indigenous communities. They carry with them the knowledge and traditions that get passed down from generation to generation. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage Native communities, we bury another elder and, with them, we bury another story, another song or another prayer. Often, this happens before it can be passed down. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that the incidence and mortality rates for American Indians and Alaska Natives was 3.5 and 1.8 times higher than that of non-Hispanic whites. The most common question I am asked by non-indigenous groups is why is this happening?
Navajo Nation President Advises Caution Due To COVID-19 Variants
Native News Online, February 15
Even with vaccinations being given on the Navajo Nation, President Jonathan Nez is advising Navajo citizens to be cautious because of COVID-19 variants hitting the United States. The Navajo Department of Health reported 13 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and one more death. The total number of deaths is now 1,112 as of Monday. Reports indicate that 15,826 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 242,830 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 29,283, including one delayed reported case.
American Indians Have Greatest COVID-19 Death Rate In Wisconsin
Fox 6 Milwaukee, Bill Miston, February 15
The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare long-standing inequalities when it comes to health outcomes, particularly devastating among communities of color, including native communities.
Pelosi Calls For A Commission To Investigate January 6 Attack
CBS News, Kathryn Watson, February 16
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday an independent commission should investigate the security failures of the January 6 assault on the Capitol, now that the Senate impeachment trial has concluded. The recommendation for such a commission comes from retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré, whom Pelosi tasked with reviewing Capitol security.
Interior Secretary Nominee On Collision Course With Oil Industry
The Wall Street Journal, Timothy Puko, February 14
Deb Haaland is poised to make History on two fronts, as both the first Native American cabinet secretary and as the architect of what could be a landmark change in the U.S. government’s relationship with oil. First, she will need to be confirmed by the Senate as President Biden’s nominee for interior secretary—and Republicans are girding for a fight. The Democratic congresswoman from New Mexico has joined with pipeline protesters, supported the Green New Deal and opposed fracking on public lands. For a cabinet post that oversees the government’s longstanding, multibillion-dollar partnership with drillers on federal lands, Ms. Haaland’s environmental politics are in contrast to those of her predecessors.
An Unlikely Publisher Celebrates 10 Years Of Covering News In Indian Country
Native News Online, February 15
Levi Rickert was an unlikely publisher when he founded the digital publication Native News Online nearly 10 years ago.
University Of Arizona Part Of Effort To Increase Access To Native American Oral Histories
Tuscon.com, Shaq Davis, February 15
More than $1.6 million will be used to digitize the oral histories of Native Americans collected during the 1960s and 1970s to make them more accessible to the communities they come from. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, established in 1996 in honor of the late daughter of the founder of the American Tobacco Co., is launching the Doris Duke Native Oral History Revitalization Project to ultimately increase access to the stories collected more than five decades ago.
United States Mint 2021 Native American Coin Products On Sale Tuesday February 16th
Sierra Sun Times, February 15
The United States Mint (Mint) will accept orders for product options containing 2021 Native American $1 Coins beginning on February 16 at noon EST.
Joyce Nelson, Influential Oregon Native American Activist And Spirit Of Portland Award Winner, Dies At 86 ‘
The Oregonian, Douglas Perry, February 15
Joyce Nelson, a prominent local Native American activist who helped found the pioneering Native American Rehabilitation Association, died Feb. 4. She was 86.