Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the Republican version of a second stimulus bill, calling it the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act. The bill would provide another $1,200 stimulus check to the same group of taxpayers that received checks in the CARES Act, reduce the unemployment benefits from $600 per week to $200, however, the bill does not provide additional aide to states and municipalities. Negotiations are expected to continue into August, leaving aid up in the air, as many protections passed in the CARES Act time out at the end of this week.
Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Chuck Hoskin Jr., announced the implementation of the Respond, Recover and Rebuild Education Initiative, designed to help Cherokee families cope with disruptions to education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative includes $400 technology grants for Cherokee citizens ages from five to 18 as well as $750 technology grants for the 5,000 college students on Cherokee Nation scholarships.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio questioned whether the city’s official seal, which features a Native in a breechcloth and an early American settler holding a long rope with what appears to be a loop on its end, “makes sense for the 21st century.” The seal dates to a 1914 city commission charged with choosing a seal and flag for the newly unified five boroughs.
Ivanka Trump and Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt attended the opening of an office devoted to investigating cold cases involving missing and murdered Native peoples, particularly women and girls. The office is part of the Operation Lady Justice Task Force that President Donald Trump created through an executive order to address violence against Native Americans.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Navajo Nation COVID-19 Monday Update: Cases Near 9,000
Native News Online, July 27
On Monday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 21 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and two more deaths. The total number of deaths has reached 441 as of Monday. Reports indicate that 6,554 individuals have recovered from COVID-19. 77,741 people have been tested for COVID-19. The total number of COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation is 8,912.
‘That Was The Last Time I Heard From Her’: Death Of Young Omaha Woman Under Investigation Following COVID-19 Diagnosis
Indianz.com, Kevin Abourezk, July 27
Shortly after she was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late June, Lenice Blackbird packed her things and left her home in Macy, Nebraska, for a cabin in a nearby park where she planned to quarantine herself until she recovered from the virus. Her family reached out to a tribal health worker who was overseeing those quarantined in the tribe’s cabins, Donna Blackbird said. They asked the worker to check on Lenice. After doing so, the worker told Lenice’s family that she wasn’t in the cabin.
Chuck Hoskin: New Grants Available For Cherokee Students And Families During Pandemic
Indianz.com, Chuck Hoskin Jr., July 27
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has put strains on Cherokee families, the economy in northeast Oklahoma and our local public schools. The coming academic year will be unlike any other in history as we rapidly transition to virtual education, and many families will need help adapting to the new educational landscape. The Respond, Recover and Rebuild Education Initiative is designed to help Cherokee families across the nation cope with disruptions to education caused by the pandemic.
Republicans Release HEALS Act; Stimulus Provides $1,200 Checks, Cuts To Unemployment Payments
Forbes, Ryan Derousseau, July 27
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the Republican version of a second round of stimulus bill, calling it the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act while laying out the vision for the aid, as Congress works to secure support to those at home and strengthen the economy as coronavirus cases and unemployment rises. Parts of the proposed bill will look familiar to those that received aid in the March CARES Act. Others will lead to significant negotiations with Democrats, as well as with other Republicans.
(Opinion) In The Pursuit Of Protecting Sovereignty Post-McGirt: Five Tribes Should Not Trust Oklahoma Officials
Native News Online, Levi Rickert, July 27
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma on July 9 reaffirmed that Congress never “disestablished” the 1866 boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, which encompasses three million acres in eastern Oklahoma and includes most of the city of Tulsa. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma on July 9 reaffirmed that Congress never “disestablished” the 1866 boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, which encompasses three million acres in eastern Oklahoma and includes most of the city of Tulsa.
House OKs Bill Protecting Mashpee Wampanoag’s Land
AP News, July 27
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation that would prevent the Trump administration from rescinding a Native American tribe’s contested reservation in Massachusetts. The amendment, included in a broader spending package passed by the Democratic-controlled chamber Friday, bars the Interior Department from revoking its 2015 decision to place some 300 acres of land into trust for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.
Federal Warrant Issued For Suspect Involved In East Tulsa Murder
8 ABC Tulsa, Megan Butler, July 27
Tulsa police say the FBI issued a warrant Monday for 30-year-old Kyle Sago following a deadly shooting.
N.Y.C. Seal, With A Native American In Loincloth, Faces Scrutiny
The New York Times, Dana Rubinstein, July 27
Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was worth examining if the seal, which dates to 1914, “makes sense for the 21st century.” It features a Native American in a breechcloth and an early American settler holding a long rope with what appears to be a loop on its end, and for more than a century, it has served as the official seal of New York City — but perhaps not for much longer.
Inter-Tribal Council Supports Legislation For $300M In Tribal Broadband Improvements
Muskogee Phoenix, July 27
Leaders of the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes met for their quarterly meeting July 10, for the first time via videoconference as a precaution due to COVID-19.
Ivanka Trump Headlines MMIW Office Opening
Indian Country Today, Vincent Schilling, July 27
Ivanka Trump and Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on Monday attended the opening of a Bloomington, Minnesota, office devoted to investigating cold cases involving missing and murdered Native Americans. The office is part of the Operation Lady Justice Task Force that President Donald Trump created through an executive order in November to address violence against Native Americans, particularly women and girls.
Debating The Science: A Massive Mine Or The World’s Richest Salmon Fishery
Indian Country Today, Joaqlin Estus, July 27
Last week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a final environmental analysis that pits two of the Alaska’s major industries against each other: mining and fishing. On one hand is a proposed copper-molybdenum-gold mine that would be the largest such mine in North America and one of the largest in the world. On the other hand is one of the nation’s top fisheries, the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery.
North Dakota Jail Employee Resigns After Social Media Post
AP News, July 26
A Cass County jail employee has resigned after recently posting a video on social media that some found offensive. Holland earlier acknowledged posting a video on TikTok that featured a Native American caricature. The post was sent from her personal social media account while off-duty.