Good Morning, NUNAverse,

Last week, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Big Fire Law and Policy Group, filed a lawsuit at the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska on behalf of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, and individual tribal members against Thurston County and elected county officials for adopting county supervisor districts that intentionally dilute the Native vote and do not comply with federal Voting Rights Act (VRA) protections.

One week after the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska signed the official deed to put its first parcel of land into federal trust, the state of Alaska has sued the federal government in an effort to nullify the land transfer. The state challenged a Department of the Interior decision to accept the parcel of land in downtown Juneau into trust on behalf of the tribe and to proclaim the land a reservation. The state claims that the decision limits the state’s sovereign jurisdiction and undermines key terms of the Alaska Native Claims Settle Act, known as ANCSA.  

In Hawai’i, the Air Force has returned 363 acres (147 hectares) it leased on Molokai Island to the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, opening the possibility that Native Hawai’ians could move onto the land. The Air Force took over the land in 1981 and used the land as a high frequency receiver for radio communications. In 2007, the Air Force determined it didn’t need the land anymore and began preparing to clean it up and return it. The lease expired on Dececember 31.

After nearly three years, the requirement that people wear masks on the Navajo Nation was lifted through a public health order announced on Friday by newly inaugurated President Buu Nygren, Speaker Pro Tem Otto Tso, and the Navajo Deptartment of Health. The order went into effect on Friday, January 20, 2023. The announcement says wearing masks in public is optional with a few exceptions: nursing homes, healthcare facilities, and schools that provide early childhood, primary and secondary education. People who have COVID-19 symptoms, test positive or were exposed to someone who tested positive must also wear masks. 

Keep reading for a full news update. 


Sexual Misconduct Case Against Pawnee Artist Moves To Trial

Indian Country Today, Kolby KickingWoman, January 20

Tribes And Voters Sue Nebraska County To Secure Equal Representation

Native American Rights Fund, ​​January 19

Seneca Nation Denounces Hochul’s Veto Of Unmarked Burial Site Protection Act

Native News Online, January 18

State Of Alaska Sues Interior Over Tlingit And Haida Land Trust Transfer

Native News Online, Brian Edwards, January 18

State Sues Feds Over Tlingit And Haida Land Trust

Juneau Empire, Clarise Larson, January 17

Calls For Congress To Fund Law Enforcement On Tribal Land

Daily Montanan, Blair Miller, January 14

Boarding Schools:

‘Road To Healing’ Visits Arizona To Hear From Boarding School Survivors, Descendants

Native News Online, Levi Rickert, January 22

Deb Haaland’s Road To Healing Tour Stops In Arizona

Indian Country Today, Noel Lyn Smith, January 20

171 “Plausible” Gravesites Found At Former Residential School In Ontario

Native News Online, Brian Edwards, January 20


After 1,000 Days, Mask Mandate Is Lifted On The Navajo Nation

Native News Online, Levi Rickert, January 21

Indian Health Service Reaffirms Its Commitment To Tribes And Urban Indian Organizations With 2023 Agency Work Plan

IHS,  Roselyn Tso, January 15


Native American Tribe In Va. Reclaims Big Parcel Of Its Homeland

The Washington Post, Dana Hedgpeth, January 20

First Native American Woman In Space Steps Out On Spacewalk

AP News, Marcia Dunn, January 20

Biden-Harris Administration Unveils National Strategy to Advance Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Communities

HHS, January 17

Native American Education Advocates In NM Seek Long-Term Funding For Reform

Source New Mexico, Megan Taros, January 17

Native Leaders Say Tribal Education Trust Fund Would Be Game Changer

New Mexico In Depth, Bella Davis, January 17

NCAI President Fawn Sharp Attends World Economic Forum In Switzerland

Native News Online, January 16

Nation Of Hawai’i Signs Friendship Treaty With Timbisha Shoshone Tribe

Native News Online, Darren Thompson, January 16

US Military Returns Land On Molokai Island To Hawaii

AP News, Audrey McAvoy, January 13