The United States recorded more than 150,000 new COVID-19 yesterday for the first time since the outset of the pandemic, bringing the seven-day average to 131,445 new cases per day – a 32% increase from this time last week. State and local officials have begun imposing restrictions again to slow the spread ahead of the colder holiday season.
Yesterday, Alaska Governor Dunleavy announced his 30-day COVID-19 precautionary measures through executive actions effective Monday, November 16, at 12:01 a.m. as the number of cases rapidly increases in the state.
Navajo Nation health officials warned this week about the “uncontrolled spread” of COVID-19 in 34 communities on the reservation, with 79 new confirmed cases and one new death reported on Tuesday. The Navajo Nation will have a 56-hour weekend curfew beginning Friday night, and have already urged residents to wear face masks, practice social distancing and limit gatherings to less than five people.
The Office of President-elect Biden has named Kevin Washburn (Chickasaw) to head a team reviewing the U.S. Department of the Interior for the Biden-Harris transition team. The team is charged with making recommendations for key positions within DOI, including Secretary and Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Analysis: Native American Voters In Montana Turned Out For Joe Biden, Democrats
Great Falls Tribune, Nora Mabie, November 11
Though Republicans dominated statewide races and Montana’s three electoral votes went to President Donald Trump, counties with a majority Native American population largely supported Democratic candidates in the 2020 election. Though some may assume Native Americans have little at stake in federal elections, as they have their own tribal governments, experts say issues critical to Indian Country, like tribal sovereignty, violence against women, access to quality health care and land and water rights, are always on the ballot.
Uncontrolled COVID-19 Spread In 34 Navajo Nation Communities
AP News, November 12
Navajo Nation health officials on Wednesday warned residents of the “uncontrolled spread” of COVID-19 in 34 communities on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The Navajo Nation will have a 56-hour weekend curfew beginning Friday night.
34 Communities On Navajo Nation Identified With Uncontrolled Spread Of COVID-19
Native News Online, November 12
The Navajo Department of Health issued a Health Advisory Notice to warn residents of the “uncontrolled spread” of COVID-19 in 34 communities on the Navajo Nation. The cases reflect dates from October 23 to November 5, 2020. The advisory will be in effect until the risk and cases decline.
Kevin Washburn To Head Biden-harris Administration Transition Team’s Review Of Interior Department
Native News Online, November 12
The Office of President-elect has named Kevin Washburn (Chickasaw) to head a team reviewing the U.S. Department of the Interior for the Biden-Harris transition. With the transfer of power taking place when President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are inaugurated at noon on Jan. 20, 2021, the team is charged with making recommendations for key positions within the Interior Dept., including secretary and assistant secretary – Indian Affairs.
Native American Tribe Aims For Net-zero Emissions
The Hill, Anagha Srikanth, November 12
About an hour outside Minneapolis, on the Mississippi River, next to a nuclear generating plant, a Mdewakanton Sioux Indian reservation is creating a net-zero energy system. The state legislature approved $46 million for the Prairie Island Net Zero project as part of a solar energy production incentive bill. The money comes from a renewable development account negotiated in return for allowing XCel Energy, a utility holding company in the area, to “temporarily store nuclear waste in dry casks outside its nuclear power plant that is adjacent to the Tribe’s reservation.”
With Innovative Addiction Clinic, Muckleshoot Tribe Offers Patients, Other Tribes A Way Forward
Native News Online, Amy Sokolow, November 12
The addiction treatment clinic WeCare is entirely funded and owned by the Muckleshoot Tribe, who earn almost all of the profit from its operation, Indigenous Pact, a managed services organization, handles the logistical and legal challenges associated with running such a clinic. Indigenous Pact was launched to fulfill the dual goals of creating “financial inclusion within the health industry” and “expanding access to high-quality health care on and off the reservation.”
Something Else: A Survey To Share Your Thoughts
Indian Country Today, November 12
After CNN posted a graphic showing election results describing Native Americans as “something else,” Crystal Echo Hawk, Pawnee, executive director of the national Native-led nonprofit IllumiNative, has been reaching out to Indian Country for its views on the incident and the erasure of Native people in the media. Meanwhile, Indian Country on social media is still rolling with the trend. Some have even come out with merchandise around the idea of “Something else and proud.”
Natives Help Natives In Online Marketplace
Indian Country Today, Aliyah Chavez, November 12
Many Indigenous artists were negatively affected by canceled powwows and markets this summer. They weren’t allowed to sell their products in person, which has had many looking to the internet. A new Indigenous-owned marketplace, From The People, allows artists to post and sell their products online — and allows buyers from all backgrounds to purchase authentically made and ethically produced crafts from the artist themselves.