Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump for the second time in two yearsby a vote of 232 to 197. Every member of the Democratic Party voted in favor, while ten Republicans broke ranks and voted to impeach the President. As expected, the six Native members of the House of Representatives voted along party lines.
Following the vote in the House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that the Senate would not take up the impeachment trial until after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in next week, stating that “given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week.”
A task force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) has found that Indigenous people account for 21% percent of homicides in Wyoming, despite only making up three percent of the state’s population. Based on data from a report that was released last week, 105 Indigenous people (34 females, 71 males) were victims of homicide between 2000 and 2020, accounting for 21% of all homicide victims.
Apache Stronghold, on behalf of traditional Apache religious and cultural leaders, sued the Trump administration this week in U.S. District Court in Phoenix to stop the transfer of 2,500 acres that several southwest tribes consider sacred and utilize for ceremonial purposes to British-Australian corporate mining giant Rio Tinto and its subsidiary, Resolution Copper.
Indian Country Today reports that the Serpent Mound, the world’s largest effigy mound that is considered a sacred site by tribes such as the Shawnee, Eastern Shawnee, Miami, and Delaware, is threatened by conspiracy theorists that claim the Serpent Mound and other earthworks in the region were built by Nephilim, giant fallen angels who are mentioned in the Bible’s book of Genesis.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Navajo Nation Reports 169 New Covid Cases And Five More COVID-Related Deaths
Native News Online, January 13
The Navajo Department of Health reported 169 new Covid-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and five more deaths. The total number of deaths is now 879 as of Wednesday. Reports indicate that 13,092 individuals have recovered from Covid-19, and 218,791 Covid-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive Covid-19 cases is now 25,746.
House Impeaches Trump For Role In Deadly Capitol Riot
CNN, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Melissa Mahtani, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, January 14
The House voted today to impeach President Trump for a second time in a swift and bipartisan condemnation of the President’s role in inciting last week’s riot at the US Capitol.
McConnell Rebuffs Democrats’ Call For Speedy Impeachment Trial, But Is Undecided On Convicting Trump
CNN, Manu Raju, Clare Foran, January 13
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rejecting Democratic calls to bring the Senate back immediately to convict President Donald Trump, a decision that is likely to allow the President to serve out his final days in office.
Indigenous Lawmakers Split Trump Impeachment Vote
Indian Country Today, Dalton Walker, January 13
Three Indigenous members of Congress voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump, charged with “incitement of insurrection.” He is the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. The U.S. House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump, with 10 Republicans voting yes. The vote fell along party lines for the Indigenous lawmakers. Democratic Reps. Sharice Davids, Ho-Chunk, of Kansas, Kai Kahele, Kanaka Maoli, of Hawaii, and Deb Haaland, Laguna and Jemez Pueblos, of New Mexico, voted in favor. Republicans Tom Cole, Chickasaw, Markwayne Mullin, Cherokee, both of Oklahoma, and Yvette Herrell, Cherokee, of New Mexico, voted against.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Condemns U.S. Capitol Attack
Native News Online, January 13
American Indian leaders continue to denounce the violent attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday. Last Friday, the National Congress of the American Indians, the largest national American Indian organization in the country, released a statement that called out President Donald Trump for inciting the violence at the Capitol. During his State of the Nation address during a tribal council meeting on Monday evening in Tahlequah, Okla., Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. spent his first minute addressing the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. last Wednesday.
Apache Stronghold Files Lawsuit In Federal Court To Stop Oak Flat Transfer
Native News Online, January 13
Even though it appeared as if President Donald Trump refused to acknowledge he lost the 2020 presidential election to President-elect Joe Biden, those in the Trump administration knew their days in power were numbered. And since the election they have rushed to fast-track some of their mining projects that American Indians oppose.
Navajo Nation, New Mexico Reach Settlements Over Mine Spill
AP News, Susan Montoya Bryan, January 13
The Navajo Nation’s Department of Justice announced Wednesday it has settled with mining companies to resolve claims stemming from a 2015 spill that resulted in rivers in three western states being fouled with a bright-yellow plume of arsenic, lead and other heavy metals. Under the settlement with the Navajo Nation, Sunnyside Gold Corp. — a subsidiary of Canada’s Kinross Gold — will pay the tribe $10 million.
Native Americans Sue Trump Administration Over Arizona Copper Project
Nasdaq, Derek Francis, January 12
Members of the San Carlos Apache tribe in Arizona on Tuesday said they have sued the Trump Administration to block a pending land swap that would give Rio Tinto RIO.AX, RIO.L the land it needs to build its Resolution Copper project. Apache Stronghold, a non-profit organization that filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Phoenix, said it sought to stop the publication of a final environmental impact statement that will trigger the transfer of Oak Flat land to Resolution Copper.
MMIP Report: Native People Account For Over 20 Percent Of Homicides In Wyoming
Native News Online, Alina Bykova, January 13
A task force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) has found that Indigenous people account for 21 percent of homicides in Wyoming, despite only making up three percent of the state’s population. This grim conclusion is based on data from a report that was released last week. According to the report, 105 Indigenous people (34 females, 71 males) were victims of homicide between 2000 and 2020, accounting for 21 percent of the homicide victims. Additionally, the report also stated that 710 Indigenous people were reported missing between 2011 and 2020.
Conspiracy Theories Threaten Native Sacred Sites
Indian Country Today, Mary Annette Pember, January 13
Built by ancient Indigenous peoples, the Serpent Mound, the world’s largest effigy mound, is considered a sacred site by tribes such as the Shawnee, Eastern Shawnee, Miami and Delaware who once called Ohio their homes. This fact, affirmed by mainstream archaeology and the Ohio History Connection, the organization that owns the site, gets lost in the swirl of conspiracy theory enthusiasts who use the mound to support their beliefs.