Leaders of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations said on Monday that they need more time to discuss with their citizens how to allocate jurisdiction following the McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court decision. In a joint statement, the leaders said they “have been, and continue to be, committed to discussing the parameters of the historic Supreme Court decision in the McGirt case. These leaders agree that any path forward requires strong collaboration between the Five Tribes.”
Navajo Nation lawmakers are considering overturning a presidential veto of a bill that cancels the tribe’s primary election over concerns about the coronavirus. Tribal lawmakers approved a bill in April that cancels the tribe’s primary election, instead deciding the winner by plurality vote in the November general election. President Jonathan Nez vetoed the bill, and an override of said veto requires a two-thirds vote from the Navajo Nation Council.
The American Indian Center of Indiana is hosting two discussions this week on the Triple-A Indianapolis baseball team’s name, the “Indians.” The American Indian Center of Indiana hosted a Zoom conversation last night for “interested parties,” and will host an additional session later this week in hopes of drafting a resolution calling for the removal of the team’s name.
The Northern Cheyenne Tribe renewed its push to stop the Trump administration from selling coal from public lands after a previous effort to halt the lease sales was dismissed by a federal judge. Alongside the tribe, Democratic Attorneys General from California, New York, New Mexico and Washington state filed a lawsuit challenging the administration’s coal program in U.S. District Court in Montana. They alleged the administration acted illegally when it resumed coal sales that had been halted under Obama due to climate change and other concerns.
Nearly $6 million in federal grants have been approved for the Lummi Nation Housing Authority, the Muckleshoot Housing Authority, the Nisqually Indian Tribe, the Squaxin Island Tribe, and Tulalip Tribes to pay for programs to combat the spread of COVID-19 and give financial help to tribal members for rent and utility bills.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Cherokee Nation Chief Says Leaders Still Working Toward Agreement On Jurisdiction
The Oklahoman, Chris Casteel, July 21
Leaders of the Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw nations said Monday they need more time to discuss with their citizens how to allocate jurisdiction in the wake of a momentous U.S. Supreme Court decision but that they were still working toward an agreement to present to the state’s congressional delegation.
No ‘Surrender’: Muscogee (Creek) Nation Stands Firm On Sovereignty After Historic Supreme Court Win
Indianz.com, Acee Agoyo, July 20
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is celebrating its treaty rights for a second time this month and is calling on Indian Country to stand up for tribal sovereignty following the collapse of a controversial agreement that threatens to undermine a hard-fought victory at the U.S. Supreme Court. Less than three weeks ago, the nation’s highest court confirmed that the reservation promised to the tribe by treaty continues to exist. But the landmark decision, which was over a century in the making, was called into question by an immediate push to ask the U.S. Congress to step in with legislation.
Navajo Lawmakers To Take Up Coronavirus-Related Bills
AP News, July 19
Navajo Nation lawmakers are considering overturning a presidential veto of a bill that cancels the tribe’s primary election in early August over concerns about the coronavirus. Navajo voters narrow the list of candidates for local chapter officials in line with the statewide primary election in Arizona. Tribal lawmakers approved a bill in April to cancel the tribe’s primary election and decide the winner by plurality vote in the November general election. Tribal President Jonathan Nez later vetoed the action and urged lawmakers and election officials to come up with alternatives to preserve tribal members’ rights to vote.
DAPL, McGirt and the Washington Name Change: Three Victories That Came Through Persistence And Resistance
Native News Online, Levi Rickert, July 20
Not long ago, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans’ eyes were focused on a presidential visit to Mount Rushmore on July 3. President Trump went to the Black Hills, where Mount Rushmore is located, to celebrate America’s 244th birthday.
The presidential pre-Independence Day show was met with hundreds of American Indian protesters, who said the president was not welcome on their territory. At least a dozen individuals were arrested that night.
Native American Group: Indianapolis Indians’ Name Offensive
AP News, July 19
A Native American group that considers the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians’ name offensive is hosting two discussions this week related to the team’s name at a time of reckoning over racial injustice, iconography and racism in the U.S. The American Indian Center of Indiana planned Zoom conversations for “interested parties” Monday evening and again later this week in hopes of drafting a resolution calling for the removal of the minor-league team’s name and any imagery using offensive or false characterizations of Native Americans.
States Try Again To Block Coal Sales That Trump Revived
AP News, Matthew Brown, July 19
A coalition of states, environmentalists and American Indians on Monday renewed its push to stop the Trump administration from selling coal from public lands after a previous effort to halt the lease sales was dismissed by a federal judge. Joined by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and several environmental groups, Democratic attorneys general from California, New York, New Mexico and Washington state filed a lawsuit challenging the administration’s coal program in U.S. District Court in Montana. They alleged the administration acted illegally when it resumed coal sales that had been halted under Obama due to climate change and other concerns.
“Chop On” Sign Removed From Truist Park
Ballpark Digest, Kevin Reichard, July 19
Though the Atlanta Braves say they will keep the Braves name at a time when sports names based on Native American symbols are under reconsideration, it looks like the team will make some adjustments to the branding–with the Tomahawk Chop chant and imagery seemingly on the way out. With the Washington Redskins name and branding on the way out and the Cleveland Indians set to review that team’s name and rebranding, the Braves name would seem to be next to be reviewed. And while the team name may stay, some of the team’s practices and branding look to be on their way out…
I Am Native American And A Former Football Player. Our History Is Much Darker Than Racist Mascots.
Vox, Rory Taylor, July 19
I come from Chatsiks-si-Chatsiks and Chahta communities in Oklahoma. I also was a safety for the Pomona-Pitzer college football team in California. This juxtaposition is not rare. There is a long history of entanglement, violence, and complicated feelings between Indigenous peoples and American football. On Monday, I celebrated as Washington, DC’s NFL team announced its plan to change its name and mascot from a racist caricature that has been deeply offensive to me and Indigenous communities across the country.
Washington Tribes Get Nearly $6 Million For Covid Relief
AP News, July 19
Nearly $6 million in federal grants have been approved for five Washington tribes to pay for programs to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus and give financial help to tribal members for rent and utility bills. The Seattle Times reports the federal COVID-19 response grants are intended to assist in the many ways tribes are combatting the virus, from building tiny houses for quarantine, to building more housing to fight overcrowding and providing financial relief for tribal members strapped by the economic dropoff.
Casino Closures Make Case For Michigan Tribes’ Further Economic Diversification
MiBiz.com, Joe Boomgaard, July 19
In mid March of this year, all 24 of Michigan’s tribally operated casinos fell silent, their more than 22,280 slot machines spitting out their final paydays for lucky patrons or taking one last injection of cash for the house. For the first time in three decades, the 12 federally recognized American Indian tribes based in Michigan — each of them an individual sovereign nation — faced an entirely unclear economic reality thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tim Giago: Native American Culture Lesson 101
Indianz.com, Tim Giago, July 20
All week I have heard so many idiotic comments by fans of the Washington Redskins that I believe it is time for a short lesson in Native American Culture 101. First begin by looking up the word “redskin” in any dictionary or Thesaurus and you will find that the word is derogatory and racist to Native Americans. Now learn about how it was first used. There was an advertisement in a Minnesota newspaper many years ago and it advertised the bounties offered for “red-skins” in the amount of $200.
Bang! Watch A Nooksack River Dam Finally Coming Down, Freeing Miles For Fish Habitat
The Seattle Times, Lynda Mapes, July 20
With a bang, Washington state’s dam-busting binge continued last week, as the city of Bellingham blew up its 25-foot-tall dam here. The $17 million project will open 16 miles of habitat for fish including spring chinook important to southern resident killer whales, and is expected to be completed by September. Next up for detonation in Washington is a dam on the Pilchuck River, under an agreement to benefit salmon between the Tulalip Tribes and the City of Snohomish.
Nakotah Larance, Acclaimed Native American Hoop Dancer, Dies At 30
The New York Times, Julia Carmel, July 19
Nakotah LaRance, a nationally acclaimed Hopi-Tewa hoop dancer who performed with Cirque du Soleil, died on July 12 near the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo in New Mexico. He was 30. He died after falling while climbing a bridge in Rio Arriba County, N.M., his father, Steve LaRance, said. Nakotah LaRance’s career began at age 4, when an aunt took him to a powwow. There he met the hoop dancer Derrick Suwaima Davis, who taught him the basics of the style known as fancy dance.