Good afternoon, NUNAverse:

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office this morning in Washington, D.C., and President Biden plans to take 17 executive actions this afternoon that will halt construction of President Trump’s border wall, reverse his travel ban targeting largely Muslim countries, and embrace progressive policies on the environment and diversity that President Trump spent four years blocking.

The Native American Women Warriors and TikTok star Nathan “DoggFace” Apodaca were among the participants in today’s virtual “Parade Across America” celebrating President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Members of the Native American Women Warriors wore regalia emblazoned with traditional beadwork as well as military insignia. 

Meanwhile, President Trump issued 73 pardons and 70 commutations after midnight last night, but did not issue a pardon for himself or anyone in his immediate family. President Trump did pardon former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, rapper Lil Wayne, and LaVonne Roach, a tribal citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, who has been incarcerated since 1997 for a non-violent drug charge.

In Minnesota, a letter dated January 14 and signed by leaders of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe rebukes Representative Pete Stauber, a member of the House subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples, for his attempts to derail President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Interior Secretary, Representative Deb Haaland.

Keep reading for a full news update.


Biden Targets Trump’s Legacy With First-Day Executive Actions 

CNN, Eric Bradner, Christopher Hickey, January 20 

President-elect Joe Biden plans to take 17 executive actions during his first hours in office Wednesday, moving faster and more aggressively to dismantle his predecessor’s legacy than any other modern president.

Trump Pardons Steve Bannon, Lil Wayne In Final Clemency Flurry 

NPR, Ryan Lucas, Ayesha Rascoe, January 20 

President Trump pardoned Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist who was indicted over allegedly defrauding hundreds of thousands of people in an online campaign to raise funds for a southern border wall — one of dozens of acts of clemency in the final hours of his administration.

Lakota Sioux Woman, LaVonne Roach, Among Those Pardoned By Trump Overnight

Native News Online, January 20 

Overnight outgoing President Donald Trump issued a pardon to his former aide Steven Bannon. Additionally, Trump issued dozens of other pardons to individuals with lower public profiles. Among the list of individuals pardoned overnight by Trump is LaVonne Roach, a tribal citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, who has been incarcerated since 1997 for a non-violent drug charge.

Tribal Leaders Blast Congressman Opposed To Biden Nomination

AP News, January 19

A group of Native American tribes in a Minnesota congressman’s district is rebuking him for his attempts to derail President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Interior secretary.  If confirmed, Rep. Deb Haaland, a Democrat from New Mexico, would be the first Native American to lead the Department of the Interior. Republican Rep. Pete Stauber, a member of the House subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples, has been asking fellow lawmakers to join him in urging Biden’s transition team to withdraw Haaland’s nomination. As a member of the House, Stauber has no say in approving the nomination.

Tribes Push Back Against GOP Lawmaker Trying To Prevent Deb Haaland’s Cabinet Nomination

Native News Online, Jenna Kunze, January 19

Five Minnesota tribes in Rep. Pete Stauber’s (R-Minn.) congressional district criticized their leader for not representing Native interests in his effort to derail Rep. Deb Haaland’s nomination for Interior Secretary. President-elect Joe Biden nominated Haaland (Pueblo of Laguna), a congressional representative from New Mexico (D-N.M.), on Dec. 17. If confirmed, she will be the first-ever Native American Cabinet member. She will also help drive Biden’s promise to transition America away from fossil fuels and reinstate protections on public lands.


How A National Tribute Helps Americans Grieve Lives Lost To COVID-19 

NPR, January 19 

NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly talks with historian Micki McElya, who wrote The Politics of Mourning, about the significance of the tribute at the Lincoln Memorial in honor of those who died of COVID-19.

A New COVID-19 Challenge: Mutations Rise Along With Cases 

Los Angeles Times, January 19 

The race against the virus that causes COVID-19 has taken a new turn: Mutations are rapidly popping up, and the longer it takes to vaccinate people, the more likely it is that a variant that can elude current tests, treatments and vaccines could emerge.


Canceling Pipelines Presents Challenges

Indian Country Today, Mary Annette Pember, January 29

President-elect Joe Biden has indicated that his first order of business as president will be cancellation of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Rescinding the pipeline permit fulfills a campaign promise he made in May. The proposed 1,210-mile pipeline is owned by TransCanada Pipeline; it will carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to ports on the United States’ Gulf Coast.

Biden Is Poised To Stop Keystone XL Pipeline

Native News Online, January 19

Stopping the Keystone XL pipeline has been a decade-long fight for Great Plains tribes and other tribes. If published articles are true, the tribes will get their wish. Major newspapers are reporting President-elect Joe Biden is planning to stop the controversial Keystone XL pipeline through an executive order within days of assuming the presidency. Biden will be inaugurated tomorrow at 12 noon.

Women Warriors, Nathan Apodaca To Join Inaugural Parade

Indian Country Today, Vincent Schilling, January 19

The Native American Women Warriors and TikTok star Nathan “DoggFace” Apodaca will be among the participants in Wednesday’s virtual “Parade Across America” celebrating President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. The event, set to begin at 3:15 p.m. EST, will feature “diverse, dynamic performances in communities in all 56 states and territories,” according to a release from the Biden-Harris Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Navajo Dance Troop Set To Perform At Biden’s Inauguration Ceremony

12 News, January 19

With the inauguration less than a day away, final preparations are underway including the “virtual” inauguration ceremony. A very special Native American dance group from Phoenix were chosen to perform for the millions that will be watching the event on Wednesday morning, but it’s not their first time on a national stage. Phoenix-based Indigenous Enterprise introduced the nation to their unique cultural dancing this past spring.