Good morning, NUNAverse:

The Senate voted yesterday that the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is constitutional following debate between the House Manager’s and Trump’s defense team. All but six Republicans voted that the trial was unconstitutional, highlighting the difficulty that House Managers face in obtaining the two-thirds majority needed for a conviction. 

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee advanced Michael Regan’s nomination to lead the Environmental Protection Agency by a vote of 14-6, setting up a confirmation vote from the full Senate. Meanwhile, Senator John Barrasso from Wyoming has joined Senator Steve Daines from Montana in publicly opposing Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s nomination to be the Secretary of the Interior. 

In Arizona, Jasmine Blackwater-Nygren (Diné) was selected to serve as a State Representative for Arizona’s District Seven following former State Representative Arlando Teller (Diné) resigning last month to accept a position in the Biden Administration. Blackwater-Nygren, 25, received her law degree from Arizona State University and passed the Arizona bar exam last year. She is also a graduate of Stanford University.

The New York-based Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced Tuesday that it has awarded more than $1.6 million in grants to help with the translation, transcription, and indexing of the oral histories of thousands of Native peoples that were collected a half century ago as part of a project initiated by the late philanthropist Doris Duke. The goal is to create a website that will act as a central hub where visitors can access the materials, some of which include reel-to-reel magnetic tapes that have been collecting dust in library archives and university repositories for decades. Plans also call for expanding the collections with contemporary voices.

Keep reading for a full news update.


Senators Vote That Impeachment Trial Is Constitutional Following House Managers And Trump Lawyer Debate 

CNN, Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju, Laruen Fox, February 9 

The Senate voted Tuesday that the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is constitutional after the House impeachment managers made an emotionally compelling case showing how rioters violently breached the US Capitol and attacked police officers last month, invoking Trump’s name as they tried to disrupt the certification of the November election.

Diné Woman Appointed To Vacant Seat In Arizona Legislature

Indian Country Today, Aliyah Chavez, February 9

Jasmine Blackwater-Nygren, Diné, will serve as a state representative for Arizona’s district seven, filling a pivotal vacant seat in the state’s Legislature. The selection was made at a special meeting Tuesday where the Apache County Board of Supervisors filled the vacancy left by former state Rep. Arlando Teller, Diné, who resigned last month to accept a position in the Biden administration. Blackwater-Nygren, 25, received her law degree from Arizona State University and passed the Arizona bar exam last year.

GOP Slams Interior Pick; Senate Panel Advances EPA Nominee

AP News, Matthew Daily, February 9

A third Biden nominee, Deb Haaland, has not yet had a hearing on her selection to lead the Interior Department. Two Republican senators, Steve Daines of Montana and John Barrasso of Wyoming, have announced they will oppose Haaland, a New Mexico congresswoman. Both lawmakers cite concerns over Biden’s decision to impose a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands, and his rejection of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. Daines said in a statement he will seek to block Haaland’s nomination on the Senate floor.

Native Mascots:

Native American Mascots In Schools Harmful, Should Be Dropped, Utah Legislative Panel Says

Deseret News, Marjorie Cortez, February 9

A resolution that acknowledges the harms of using Native American mascots in Utah public schools and encourages their retirement will be debated by the House of Representatives. The House Education Committee voted 6-5 late Monday to give the resolution a favorable recommendation, although some committee members who voted “no” said they wanted the bill to move forward to the full House of Representatives with changes. The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Weight also encourages the Utah State Board of Education, school districts and charter schools to provide instruction in Native American culture and history.


Navajo Department Of Health Identifies 44 Communities With Uncontrolled Spread Of COVID-19

Native News Online, February 8

On Monday, the Navajo Department of Health identified the following 44 communities in the latest Health Advisory Notice, with uncontrolled spread of Covid-19 from Jan. 22, 2021 to Feb. 4, 2021. “This week we have a slight reduction in the number of communities identified with uncontrolled spread of Covid-19, but we cannot let up now. This is a good indication that the number of new daily cases is flattening, but it doesn’t take much to see a large surge as we’ve seen in the past. Keep staying home as much as possible and always wear a mask or two in public,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

Navajo Nation Reports 54 New COVID-19 Cases, 15 More Deaths

AP News, February 9

Navajo Nation health officials on Tuesday reported 54 new COVID-19 cases and 15 more deaths.  The latest figures raised the totals to 28,994 cases and 1,075 known deaths since the pandemic began. The tribe has extended its stay-at-home order with a revised nightly curfew to limit the virus’ spread on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.


Duke Foundation Grants $1.6M For Native Oral History Project 

The College Post, Bea Castañeda, February 10 

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) in New York has announced that it is providing more than $1.6 million in grants through the Doris Duke Native Oral History Revitalization Project to enhance the accessibility of Native American oral histories to students and the public.

Fresh Funding Aims To Revitalize Indigenous Oral History

AP News, Susan Montoya Bryan, February 9

A major effort is getting underway at several universities, tribal museums and libraries around the U.S. to digitize the oral histories of thousands of Native Americans that were collected a half century ago as part of a project initiated by the late philanthropist Doris Duke.  The New York-based Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced Tuesday that it has awarded more than $1.6 million in grants to help with the translation, transcription and indexing of the recordings so they can be accessible to Native communities, students and the wider public.

Meet The Inuk Woman Giving Youth Daily ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ Through Social Media

Native News Online, Jenna Kunze, February 9

For more than 114 days, Annie Neevee Buscemi (Inuk) has woken up in her home in the Canadian territory of Nunavut to the same routine. She sits on her bed facing the window and records an Inuit-specific reason to stay alive. In Buscemi’s hometown of Iqaluit, the capital city of nearly 8,000 people in Nunavut that serves as a hub for surrounding villages, the 23-year-old said it’s impossible to find someone that hasn’t been touched by suicide in one way or another.

Coast Salish Art Changing The Seattle Waterfront Narrative

Indian Country Today, Richard Walker, February 9

Monumental works by several Coast Salish artists will soon be installed on the Seattle waterfront, serving to bolster the words of noted Upper Skagit elder and educator taqᵂšǝblu Vi Hilbert, who died in 2008 at age 90. The art installations are part of Waterfront Seattle, a city project to remake a thoroughfare along downtown’s waterfront into a 1.5-mile, pedestrian-friendly swath of park space, children’s play areas, and walkable connections to restaurants, stores and neighborhoods. Advocates of Indigenous art as a storytelling tool say the presence of Coast Salish art here will help correct a story that is often distorted or incorrectly told about the city of Seattle, which is historical Duwamish territory.