As protests continue across the country, Crosscut published a piece by NCAI President Fawn Sharp, Activist James Rideout, and author Matthew Randazzo V detailing how communities of color succeeded in “changing the law to restrain police violence and make it easier to hold badged killers accountable” by passing Initiative 940 in 2018 with 62% of the vote.

A D.C. man opened his doors to dozens of protesters last night who were “corralled” by police just before the citywide 7 p.m. curfew. NBC Washington reports that up to 60 people took refuge inside the home overnight, and they emerged this morning just after 6 a.m. when the curfew was lifted.

The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule curtailing the rights of states, tribes, and the public to object to federal permits for energy projects and set a one-year deadline for states and tribes to certify or reject proposed projects — including pipelines, hydroelectric dams, and industrial plants — that could discharge pollution into area waterways.

The Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes in northern Montana sued the Trump administration for authorizing construction of portions of TC Energy Corp’s Keystone XL pipeline near their reservation, saying authorities failed to consider the risk of the project’s construction exposing them to COVID-19 and a pipeline leak contaminating their drinking water.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez is looking to utilize CARES Act funding to create a water system for the 27,000 square mile reservation where 30 percent of the residents do not have running water or electricity. While Navajo Nation recently reported that hospitalizations due to COVID-19 peaked a month earlier than anticipated, there is a growing fear that the tribe could witness a spike in cases as cities bordering the reservation begin to reopen businesses.

The Pokagon Gaming Authority announced on Monday that it was planning to reopen its Four Winds Casinos in Michigan and Indiana on June 15.

Indian Country Today reports on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the high number of Indian and Alaska Native candidates running for office across the country this year.

Keep reading for a full news update. 

Nationwide Protests:

Protesters Shelter in DC Home Overnight After Being ‘Corralled,’ Pepper-Sprayed by Police

NBC Washington, Justin Finch and Sophia Barnes, June 2

A D.C. man opened his doors to dozens of protesters overnight Tuesday after he said officers physically attacked and pepper-sprayed the demonstrators.

Protesters emerged from the three-story rowhome a few minutes after a citywide curfew expired at 6 a.m. and clapped for the man who housed them overnight, Rahul Dubey.

Tribal Nations In WA Helped Prove Police Accountability Is Possible 

Crosscut, Fawn Sharp, James Rideout, Matthew Randazzo, June 1

They said it couldn’t be done.

They said it was hopeless: Communities of colors would never succeed in changing the law to restrain police violence and make it easier to hold badged killers accountable. 

Doug George-Kanentiio: On The American Uprising Of 2020, Doug George-Kanentiio, June 1

That an American police force assaults and kills a member of an ethnic minority is not unusual for Native people who have endured murderous and deliberate violence applied upon them by those who are supposed to serve and protect. In Canada and the U.S., Native people have been attacked and died at the hands of the police, at times in the most brutal of ways. In Saskatchewan a Cree man, Lawrence Wegner, dies after the Saskatoon cops take him on a “starlight tour” in January 2000 and abandon him far from shelter in subzero temperatures to freeze to death.


Native Candidates Adjust Campaigns Amidst COVID-19

Indian Country Today, Kolby KickingWoman, June 2

Knocking on doors, shaking hands and kissing babies.

Maybe not so much that part now but that was the campaign trail pre-COVID-19. The global pandemic has upended life for a lot of people, including those who are running for public office.

Native American Tribes’ Pandemic Response Is Hamstrung By Many Inequities

Government Executive, Lindsey Schneider, Joshua Sbicca, and Stephani Malin, June 2

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is novel, but pandemic threats to indigenous peoples are anything but new. Diseases like measles, smallpox and the Spanish flu have decimated Native American communities ever since the arrival of the first European colonizers. 

Navajo COVID Curve Flattens, But Leaders Fear Post-Holiday Spike In Cases, Bree Florence, June 1

After weeks of grim news as the pandemic tore through the Navajo Nation, the curve of positive COVID-19 cases has begun to flatten, President Jonathan Nez said Thursday.

The rate of hospitalizations peaked April 25, Nez reported during a town hall on Facebook Live, nearly a month ahead of the mid-May date projected to be the peak by the Navajo Area Indian Health Service projection rate.

Cheyenne River Youth Project Offers Face-Mask Sewing Classes At Cokata Wiconi, June 1

This week, the Cheyenne River Youth Project welcomed local youth to its new learning space in the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) gymnasium for three days of sewing classes. From Tuesday, May 26 to Thursday, May 28, youth learned to sew protective face masks under the direction of native artist Michelle Reed.

Sunday Navajo Nation Covid-19 Update: 1,840 Recoveries, 98 New Cases Of COVID-19, And Five More Deaths Reported

Native News Online, June 1

The Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 98 new cases of COVID-19 for the Navajo Nation and five more deaths. The total number of deaths has reached 246 as of Sunday.

CARES Act Funding:

Pascua Yaqui Tribe Receives Roughly $27 Million In Coronavirus Relief

Arizona Public Media, Emma Gibson, June 1

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe said it’s receiving approximately $27 million in coronavirus relief nearly two months after President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act.

The CARES Act allotted $8 billion to tribal governments across the United States in March. The Navajo Nation, one of the tribes hit hardest by the pandemic, received $600 million.

Native Sun News Today: Navajo Would Use CARES Act Money To Create Water System, Katherine Saltzstein, June 1

The Navajo Nation has received $600 million from the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) and the Navajo Nation Council is collecting public comments to determine the best ways to spend the money. The Council has set up committees and ways for the Navajo people to send written comments to offer suggestions for ways the money can be put to use. 

Tribes, Treasury Seek Wins In COVID-19 Funding Row 

Law 360, Andrew Westney, June 1

The Treasury Department and federally recognized tribes have asked a D.C. federal judge for quick wins in the tribes’ suits against the government seeking to block Alaska Native corporations from receiving millions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief, battling over whether the companies qualify for the funds under the CARES Act.


California Tribes Unhappy With The State’s Sports Betting Proposal

Golden Casino News, June 1

California lawmakers recently proposed a new bill that would legalize sports betting in the state. The new bill is a constitutional amendment proposed by Sen. Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray. It would need the support of two-thirds of legislatures in both chambers. The support must be gathered before June 25 so that the issue can go to November’s election ballot.

Connecticut Puts Up Warnings As Casinos Reopen

Indian Country Today, Susan Haigh, June 1

Electronic signs warned travelers to two of the world’s largest casinos about COVID-19 on Monday, the first day they partially reopened to the general public over the governor’s objections. Four portable signs installed by the state Department of Transportation near Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun flashed “Avoid Large Crowds, Don’t Gamble With COVID” as cars — many with Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York license plates — passed by.

Four Winds Casino Planning June 15 Reopening 

MLive, Kayla Miller, June 1

Four Winds Casinos is planning to reopen June 15.

The Pokagon Gaming Authority announced Monday, June 1, it was reopening the four casino locations in Michigan and Indiana.

Navajo Gaming Ramps Up Extreme Precautionary Measures During Closure, Prepares for Reopening, June 1

Navajo Gaming prepares to reopen all four of its properties by mid-June, including deep cleaning and sanitization of each property: Twin Arrows Casino Resort in Flagstaff, AZ; Fire Rock Casino in Church Rock, NM; Northern Edge Casino in Upper Fruitland, NM and Flowing Water in Hogback, NM.


EPA Limits States And Tribes’ Ability To Protest Pipelines And Other Energy Projects

The Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin, June 1

The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule Monday curtailing the rights of states, tribes and the public to object to federal permits for energy projects and other activities that could pollute waterways across the country. The move, part of the Trump administration’s push to weaken environmental rules it sees as standing in the way of new development, upends how the United States applied a section of the Clean Water Act for nearly a half century.

Montana Tribes Sue To Stop Nearby Keystone Pipeline, Cite COVID-19

Reuters, Sebastien Malo, June 1

Indian tribes in Montana have sued in federal court in Great Falls the Trump administration for authorizing construction of portions of TC Energy Corp’s Keystone XL pipeline near their reservation, saying authorities failed to consider the risk of the project’s construction exposing them to COVID-19 and a pipeline leak contaminating their drinking water.

Nebraska Study Shows 73.3 Percent Of Missing Native Americans Are Boys 17 Years Old And Younger

Native News Online, June 1

In a study released late last month from the Nebraska State Patrol and other organizations reveal the majority of Native Americans missing in Nebraska are boys age 17 or younger. The study, called LB154 Report: Prevalence of Missing Native American Women and Children in Nebraska; Barriers to Reporting and Investigating; and Opportunities for Partnerships, reports that nearly three quarters (73.3%) of the Native American missing persons are boys (age 17 years old or younger).

Restarting Indian Country’s Economic Engine

Indian Country Today, June 1

Several researchers recently released a report about the need for federal funding to support tribes during this pandemic and the importance of $8 Billion dollars in CARES Act funding quickly. Today on Indian Country Today two of those researches talk about the report and the letter they sent to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief: Why I Support State Question 802 Medicaid Expansion

Native News Online, Chuck Hoskin, Jr., June 1

On June 30, voters will make a big decision about the future of health care in Oklahoma. State Question 802 would have a $27 million economic impact on Cherokee Nation Health Services. That money would go to support good jobs for health care professionals and provide life-saving treatments and medicine to Cherokees.

The Kwek Society Helps Native Women, But Needs Your Vote

Native News Online, Rich Tupica, June 1

The Kwek Society (Kwe’k means “women” in Potawatomi) wakes up every morning with the same mission: supplying Native women with products they desperately need. The nonprofit, which formed in 2018, provides tampons, pads and other menstrual supplies to Native American communities across the country who lack access to these expensive products.

Tim Giago: Families Of Murdered Men Still Waiting For Closure, Tim Giago, June 1

It started in May of 1998 when bodies began to show up in Rapid City Creek. Of the eight bodies discovered six were Native Americans, and all were homeless men. I will keep writing about this every year until these deaths are resolved. All in all in the years 1998 to December of 2000, there were 11 unexplained deaths in Rapid City, most of them involving Indians or homeless men.