Good morning, NUNAverse:
The House of Representatives is set to deliver the Senate an article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump tonight at about 7 P.M. EST. The U.S. Senators will be sworn in as jurors tomorrow, and the trial itself will begin on Feb. 9, giving the nine House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team two weeks to file briefs and finalize their legal preparations.
While tribal leaders and advocates across Indian Country are celebrating President Joe Biden’s executive order rescinding the Keystone XL pipeline’s permit to cross from Canada into the United States, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his dismay with Biden’s decision on the pipeline during a phone call between the two leaders on Friday. The President defended the move, saying he was upholding a campaign promise and restoring a decision made by the Obama administration.
Earlier this morning, President Biden signed an executive order repealing the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military that former President Donald Trump had put in effect. President Biden’s order “immediately prohibits involuntary separations, discharges, and denials of reenlistment or continuation of service on the basis of gender identity or under circumstances relating to gender identity,” the White House said.
The New York Times reports on how West Virginia has become the country’s leader of COVID-19 vaccination, with about 9 percent of all West Virginians having received a first dose of the COVID vaccine, a larger segment than in every state but Alaska and double the rate of some. West Virginia has also given a larger share of its residents a second dose than any other state.
New Mexico Representative Yvette Herrell (Cherokee) is decrying President Biden’s efforts to halt construction of President Trump’s border wall. “There’s no doubt that the border wall has made New Mexico — and the entire country — more safe and secure,” Congresswoman Herrell, an avid Trump supporter, said in a newsletter.
Keep reading for a full news update.
House Poised To Transmit Article Of Impeachment Against Trump To Senate
NPR, Barbara Sprunt, January 25
At about 7 p.m. ET Monday, the House will deliver to the Senate an article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump, a move that will trigger preparations for a historic trial.
Biden Reverses Trump’s Transgender Military Ban
NBC News, Geoff Bennet and Adam Edelman, January 25
President Joe Biden on Monday signed an executive order repealing the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military, a ban that former President Donald Trump had put in effect, the White House said.
Joe Biden Halts Drilling In Arctic Refuge
Indian Country Today, Joaqlin Estus, January 24President Joe Biden put a hold on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic just hours after being inaugurated. He signed an executive order placing a temporary moratorium on all federal activities related to oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Just the day before, nine leases had been signed by the Trump administration, well ahead of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s 2024 deadline requiring two lease sales in the refuge.
First-Term New Mexico Rep. Yvette Harrell (Cherokee) Condemns Biden’s Plan To Stop Southern Border Wall
Native News Online, Darrent Thompson, January 23
In her first month in Congress, New Mexico lawmaker Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.), a member of the Cherokee Nation, is decrying President Biden’s efforts to halt construction of President Trump’s border wall. “There’s no doubt that the border wall has made New Mexico — and the entire country — more safe and secure,” Congresswoman Yvette Herrell, an avid Trump supporter, said in a newsletter.
Biden Pulls Andrew Jackson’s Portrait From The Oval Office
Native News Online, January 22
Every time the White House changes leadership, the Oval Office décor is updated to be reflective of the wishes of the president. By the time President Joe Biden entered the Oval Office late Wednesday afternoon his office was already set up for him. Gone from the wall was the portrait of President Andrew “Indian Killer” Jackson that was there during Biden’s predecessor’s time in the Oval Office. The removal of the Jackson portrait was welcome news for Indian Country.
How West Virginia Became A U.S. Leader In Vaccine Rollout
New York Times, Sarah Mervosh, January 24
Carolyn Zain had heard horror stories about the nation’s coronavirus vaccine rollout: long waits, clunky websites, people being turned away. So when her health department announced it was expanding appointments, she armed herself with two phones — cellphone in one hand, landline in the other — and held her breath.
Heat To Use COVID-19-Sniffing Dogs To Screen Fans At Games
Associated Press, Tim Reynolds, January 24
The Miami Heat are bringing back some fans, with help from some dogs.
COVID-19 Cases Surpass 27,000 On Navajo Nation; Death Toll Rises To 966
Native News Online, Levi Rickert, January 23
The total number of COVID-19 cases reported on the Navajo Nation surpassed 27,000 positive cases on Saturday. The Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 132 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation, which took the total number of positive Covid-19 cases is now 27,109. Also, on Saturday, 12 additional deaths were reported, which takes the death to 966. Reports indicate that 13,910 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 227,845 COVID-19 tests have been administered.
Navajo Nation Keeps Stay-Home Order, Lifts Weekend Lockdowns
AP News, January 22
The Navajo Nation has announced it is extending its stay-at-home order with a revised nightly curfew to limit the spread of COVID-19 and will lifting weekend lockdowns after this weekend to allow more vaccination events.
Aaron’s Death Prompts Call To Change Name: Braves To Hammers
AP News, Paul Newberry, January 23
As his adopted hometown mourned Hank Aaron’s death, some fans called on the Atlanta Braves to change their name to the Hammers in his honor. “Hammerin’ Hank” died Friday at age 86, drawing praise from all segments of society for his Hall of Fame career and providing inspiration to Black Americans by overcoming intense racism in his pursuit of baseball’s home run record. The Hammer spent nearly all of his 23-year career with the Braves, whose nickname has drawn some criticism as being offensive to Native Americans. Social media buzzed with calls to change the moniker to match Aaron’s nickname. There was even a fledgling online petition backing the idea.
Indian Country Adds Flair To Bernie Sanders Memes
Native News Online, Darren Thompson, January 24
A photograph taken of Senator Bernie Sanders (D—VT) on Inauguration Day has taken over social media with what some estimate more than 100,000 memes. There is pretty much a Bernie meme out there for every taste, view, and scene including many in Indian Country. Bernie outside a sweat lodge. Bernie with Nathan Apodaca. Bernie at the Black Hills Powwow. Bernie inside the South Dakota State Capital chambers. It doesn’t matter where he is, the overall consensus is it’s just funny.
COVID-19 Hurting Salmon Market, Creating Risky Conditions For Tribal Fishers
Underscore News, Dawn Stover, January 23
The novel COVID-19 outbreak is making it harder for Native Americans to fish along the Columbia River. Depleted salmon runs and the federal government’s failure to improve fishing sites had already impacted culturally and economically important harvests.
Keystone XL Decision Delights Tribes, Dismays Canada
Indian Country Today, January 22
Tribal leaders and advocates across Indian Country are lauding President Joe Biden’s executive order rescinding the Keystone XL pipeline’s permit to cross from Canada into the United States. However, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Treadeau was disappointed with the decision and has repeatedly indicated that the Canadian government fully supported the pipeline project, which originates in Alberta.
LaVonne Roach Returns Home To Family, Indian Tacos And New Beginning After Trump Pardon
Native News Online, Jenna Kunze, January 22
On her first day of freedom after 23 years of incarceration, LaVonne Roach, 56, was mind blown by simple things: watching the prison shrink smaller in the car’s rear view mirror; racks of clothing choices at Walmart; the plushness of a couch; using a key; gum. Roach was released from Federal Prison Camp Alderson in West Virginia on Jan. 20. She was among the list of 143 prisoners that received pardons or clemency from exiting President Donald Trump in his final 24 hours in office.