House Democrats formally introduced their resolution to impeach President Donald Trump on Monday, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol. Democrats also tried to move a resolution Monday urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from power, but House Republicans blocked the request.
On Friday evening, Twitter announced that they have permanently banned President Trump’s personal Twitter account from the platform, citing “plans for future armed protests [that] have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the U.S. Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021,” and the possibility that the President’s tweets are “likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so.”
Meanwhile, the New York Times has compiled a running list of notable arrests following the attack on the Capitol building last Wednesday, reporting that the F.B.I. has received more than 40,000 tips, including photos and videos, a number that does not include tips that people have submitted by phone.
The Associated Press reports on the widespread distrust of the COVID-19 vaccine that is prevalent in many Native communities. While about 460 Native people participated in the trials for the vaccine by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, few of the country’s 574 federally recognized tribes have signed on for the studies, a hesitation often rooted in suspicion and distrust. After the Navajo Nation government said it would welcome Pfizer clinical trials, tribal members accused their government of allowing them to be guinea pigs, pointing to times in the past when Native people didn’t consent to medical testing or weren’t fully informed about procedures.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been working with local, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to translate and publish more than a dozen missing person and homicide posters in the Navajo language. The FBI began developing the posters earlier this year and released the first poster in March.
“The posters developed by our federal partners bring light to these cases by recognizing and creating awareness through a large population of our Navajo Nation who read and speak the Navajo language,” Navajo Nation Police Chief Phillip Francisco said. “We continue to ask the public for any information that will help bring justice for these victims and answers to those with missing loved ones.”
Finally, one of NPR’s All Things Considered hosts, Michael Martin, spoke with Aaron Carapella of Tribal Nations Maps about children’s books that address the history and experiences of Native people – listen to the four minute clip here.
Keep reading for a full news update.
U.S. Capitol Attack | Narrative Tracking
House Democreats Introduce Impeachement Resolution, Charging Trump With ‘Incitement Of Insurrection’
CNN, Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju, Lauren Fox, Phil Mattingly, January 11
House Democrats formally introduced their resolution to impeach President Donald Trump on Monday, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in last week’s riots at the US Capitol.
Permanent Suspension of @realDonaldTrump
Twitter, January 8
After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.
Notable Arrests After The Riot At The Capitol
The New York Times, Marie Fazio, January 10
On Wednesday, a mob of Trump supporters, encouraged by President Trump himself, converged on the U.S. Capitol, swept past law enforcement and rampaged through the halls of Congress.
COVID-19 Cases Surpass 25,000 On Navajo Nation; President Nez Advises People To Stay Home
Native News Online, January 10
The Navajo Department of Health reported 233 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and two more deaths. The total number of deaths is now 871 as of Sunday. Reports indicate that 12,817 individuals have recovered from Covid-19, and 215,708 Covid-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive Covid-19 cases is now 25,216, including four delayed reported cases.
Vaccine Trials’ Fast Rollout Reveals Distrust
AP News, Felicia Fonseca, January 4
Daily coronavirus cases were in the single digits, down from a springtime peak of 238 that made the Navajo Nation a U.S. hot spot. The tribe, wanting to ensure a COVID-19 vaccine would be effective for its people, said it would welcome Pfizer clinical trials on its reservation spanning Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Right away, tribal members accused their government of allowing them to be guinea pigs, pointing to painful times in the past when Native Americans didn’t consent to medical testing or weren’t fully informed about procedures.
Native Americans Reliant On Hospital Feel Abandoned By U.S. During Pandemic
The New York Times, Mark Walker, January 3
Faced with a budget shortfall, the Indian Health Service reduced a federally funded hospital in New Mexico to a clinic as coronavirus cases continued to rise in the state. The Indian Health Service cut services at its hospital in Acoma Pueblo, N.M., closing its inpatient critical care unit, women’s services and emergency room.
Montana Adds Tribes, Prisoners To Next Phase Of Vaccinations
AP News, December 30
Montana health officials deviated from national guidelines by including Native Americans, other people of color and residents of congregate care and corrections facilities in the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, the state health department announced. The second phase is set to begin next month, after vaccinations are given to health care providers and long-term care facility staff and residents.
Tribes Try To Shield Elders And Their Knowledge From Virus
AP News, Christine Fernando, December 27
Tribes across the nation are working to protect elder members who serve as honored links to customs passed from one generation to the next. The efforts to deliver protective gear, meals and vaccines are about more than saving lives. Tribal elders often possess unique knowledge of language and history that is all the more valuable because tribes commonly pass down their traditions orally. That means losing elders to the virus could wipe out irreplaceable pieces of culture.
Native Americans Push Biden To Restore Us National Monuments That Trump Reduced
The Hill, Anagha Srikanth, January 8
When President-elect Joe Biden takes office later this month, he will inherit an executive branch whose powers have been vastly expanded over the past four years. With that power comes the expectations of many, including Native Americans who want to see the return of once-protected lands.
Misty Kuhl, Fort Belknap Tribal Member, To Lead Montana Department Of Indian Affairs
Native News Online, January 8
Misty Kuhl, an A’aniiih member of the Fort Belknap Indian Community, has been appointed by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte to lead the state’s Department of Indian Affairs. Kuhl serves as director of Native American Outreach at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont., and has decades of experience working with Native communities in areas such as business and leadership.
The Move Biden Can Make To Reverse Centuries Of Exploitation Of Native Americans
The Washington Post, David Gessner, December 29
The nomination of Deb Haaland to be interior secretary is not just a historic but a redemptive act. For the first time in our history a Native American will hold a Cabinet-level post. As secretary of the interior, Haaland will play a key role at a crucial moment in our nation’s relationship with its more than 450 million acres of public lands, and will have a chance to reverse our exploitive history toward our country’s first people.
‘I’ll Be Fierce For All Of Us’: Deb Haaland On Climate, Native Rights And Biden
The Guardian, Nina Lakhani, December 27
Debra Haaland is making American history. The 60-year-old congresswoman from New Mexico will next month become the first Native American cabinet secretary in US history, when she takes responsibility for the country’s land and natural resources as head of the Department of the Interior under Joe Biden.
Judge Allows Oil, Gas Lease Sales In Arctic Refuge
AP News, Becky Bohrer, January 5
A U.S. judge has refused to halt oil and gas lease sales in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that were pushed by the Trump administration in its final days. U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason made the decision Tuesday. It involves a region valued by conservationists for its beauty and wildlife and seen as sacred to some Indigenous people but viewed by others as a way to boost oil production and create jobs.
Tribes Join Washington State AG Lawsuit To Stop Seattle National Archives Building
Native News Online, January 4
Twenty-nine federally recognized tribes, Alaskan tribal entities, and tribal communities from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska, as well as nine community organizations, have joined a lawsuit filed by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Monday against the federal government for illegally proceeding with the sale of the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) building in Seattle.
Tribes Sue To Stop Relocation Of Rare Documents
AP News, Gene Johnson, January 4
More than two dozen tribes, and cultural groups from the Northwest are suing the federal government to stop the sale of the National Archives building in Seattle, a plan that would force the relocation of millions of invaluable historical records to California and Missouri.
Florida Tribes ‘Deeply Appalled’ By Wetlands Deal
Indian Country Today, Sandra Hale Schulman, December 24
Florida tribes are blasting an agreement that shifts control of wetlands development from the federal government to the state, saying it’s an attack on their sovereignty and will have far-reaching and destructive environmental effects.
Coalition Sues To Block Logging In Alaska Rainforest
Indian Country Today, Joaqlin Estus, December 23
A coalition of tribal, conservation and business organizations has filed suit challenging a decision to open the nation’s largest national forest, the Tongass in southeast Alaska, to logging. The group seeks to overturn a final decision exempting the Tongass from a 2001 “roadless rule” that banned road construction and reconstruction and timber harvests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture had issued the exemption decision on Oct. 29.
Navajo Gaming Lays Off More Than 1,100 Employees
Native News Online, Alina Bykova, January 5
The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (NNGE) temporarily laid off 1,120 employees, 776 of whom are tribal members, on January 1 due to the “drastic and prolonged” economic issues associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some California Tribal Casinos Ring In 2021 As Virus Spreads
AP News, Elliot Spaget, December 31
Splashy messages on websites and freeway signs for California’s tribal casinos are a jarring contrast with the sober restraint that Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered amid a crushing surge in coronavirus cases that has overwhelmed hospitals statewide. California’s self-governed tribal casinos have largely left safety rules unchanged since reopening in the spring as the government has stiffened restrictions on other businesses in most of the state.
For Native Americans, The Fight Against Mascots Is Much Bigger Than Sports
ABC News, Deena Zaru, December 31
For decades, advocates for Native American rights had been working relentlessly to convince the teams to change their names — from filing lawsuits to protests to applying pressure on teams and their sponsors. But it was not until an immense movement swept the nation in the summer of 2020 after the police killing of George Floyd — an unarmed Black man from Minneapolis — that some of the most high profile teams relented.
Arizona Nonprofits Team Up To Provide Outerwear To Native Americans In Need
FOX 10 Arizona, Anita Roman, January 10th
Valley nonprofit Arizona Helping Hands, which provides essential needs to children in foster care throughout Arizona, shared a generous donation with Native American communities also experiencing great need. The donation, which included boxes of jackets and other articles of clothing, was given to Native American Connections, a nonprofit that serves Native American communities throughout the Valley.
National Congress Of American Indians Statement On U.S. Capitol Storming By Trump Supporters
Native News Online, January 9
After the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday by pro-Trump supporters that resulted in violence that contributed to five deaths, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Administrative Board Officers met in response to the events surrounding the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and released a statement.
Prom Dress Promoting MMIW Joins Smithsonian Show
Indian Country Today, Emma Sears, January 9
For Isabella Aiukli Cornell of Oklahoma City, her junior prom in 2018 was about more than just wearing a stylish gown in a high school gymnasium. It was an opportunity to call attention to what has been described as an epidemic of murder and abuse faced by Native American women.
Sentenced to 3 Months In Prison, Ex-ihs Doctor Gets Slap On Hand For $45,540 Kickback Scheme
Native News Online, January 8
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris in Great Falls, Mont. on Thursday imposed a slap-on-the-hand sentence on a former Indian Health Service (IHS) doctor who pleaded guilty to engaging in a $45,540 kickback scheme. Dr. Arnold Scott Devous, 68, of Billings, Mont. pleaded guilty on Sept. 10, 2020 for prescribing a diabetes drug from a pharmacy in exchange for kickbacks. Devous worked on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
Mackenzie Scott Donates To Three Tribal Colleges In Montana
Native News Online, January 6
Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has donated to three tribal colleges in Montana. Scott, who previously donated $20 million to the American Indian Graduate Center and $5 million to the Institute of American Indian Arts, announced in December that she had donated $4.2 billion over four months to 384 organizations across the country.
Tlingit Artist Designs Video Game Artwork
Indian Country Today, Meghan Sullivan, January 6
Tlingit artist, Gordon Greenwald of Hoonah, Alaska was approached by Dontnod, a video game developer that recently partnered with Xbox to create the adventure game, “Tell Me Why,” to create art for the new game. The game follows Tyler, a transgender man, and his twin sister Alyson, as they revisit childhood memories and investigate a traumatic event from their past. While the duo isn’t Tlingit, other main characters in the game are.
United Houma Tribe Gets Building From Healthcare Facility
AP News, January 1
A Native American tribe in Louisiana has been given a building that it plans to turn into a new tribal office and cultural center. A healthcare facility called The Oaks of Houma has moved about two miles (3.2 kilometers), and has given its original building to the United Houma Nation, which has about 14,000 members in six parishes, The Courier reports.
Tasing Of Native American Male At Petroglyph National Monument Draws Attention Of Members Of Congress
Native News Online, Levi Rickert, December 30
What started as a Sunday walk at Petroglyph National Monument by a Navajo/Oneida man ended in a confrontation with a National Park Service ranger that left the Native man screaming on the ground after he had been tased multiple times. The incident has drawn the attention of several members of Congress.
National Park Service Investigates Video Showing A Ranger Using A Taser On A Native American Man Walking His Dog Off-Trail
The Washington Post, Andrea Salcedo, December 30
Darrell House was walking through the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque on Sunday with his dog and his sister when he strayed off the marked trail. House, who identifies as Native American, says that he’s often done so in the past to pray on land he considers his ancestral home. This time, though, he was confronted by a National Park Service ranger. Moments later, House was lying on the ground in a fetal position, crying for help as the officer repeatedly used a Taser on him.
Native Groups To Help Decide What To Do With Prehistoric Remains Found Along Lake Michigan
AP News, December 25
Officials are communicating with Native American groups to help decide what to do next with prehistoric human remains found along a Michigan Lake shoreline in a northwestern Michigan park.
FBI Cold Case Posters Being Translated Into Navajo Language
AP News, December 25
Federal authorities are incorporating the Navajo language in a bid to find leads in cold cases on or near the country’s largest Native American reservation. KOAT-TV in Albuquerque reported Thursday that the FBI has begun a new initiative to release posters on decades-old homicides and missing persons cases that are translated into Navajo.
NAJA, New York University Announce Full-tuition Journalism Scholarship
Native News Online, December 23
The New York University Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute is offering a new full-tuition scholarship to a Native American Journalism Association (NAJA) member admitted to one of the ten NYU journalism graduate programs in fall 2021. The scholarship is worth more than $70,000. The goal of the NYU Journalism-NAJA scholarship is to support a journalist who might not otherwise have the opportunity to earn a graduate journalism degree in one of the school’s top-level NYU graduate journalism programs.