Good morning, NUNAverse:
President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the U.S. will donate an initial allotment of 25 million doses of surplus vaccine overseas through the United Nations-backed COVAX program, promising infusions for South and Central America, Asia, Africa, and others. Overall, the White House has announced plans to share 80 million doses globally by the end of June, most through COVAX. Officials say a quarter of the nation’s excess will be kept in reserve for emergencies and for the U.S. to share directly with allies and partners.
The Biden administration is making $1 billion available in federal grants to expand the availability of high-speed internet on tribal lands. The grants come from the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and were included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The program will prioritize the deployment of broadband to underserved households on tribal lands, according to a release. It also invites proposals that address the digital divide, including those related to telehealth, education, and workforce development.
Cleveland’s Baseball Team said yesterday that it now has a final list of possible new team names from an initial pool of nearly 1,200 entries. It is vetting the possible team names for legal purposes after months of research and discussions with fans. In December, the team said they were changing their name for the first time since 1915. Dating to 1865, Cleveland’s Baseball Team has previously been called the Spiders, Blues, and Forest Citys. Among the most popular names pushed by fans on social media are the Spiders, Guardians, and Avengers.
The Passamaquoddy Tribe in Maine has bought back Kuwesuwi Monihq, or Pine Island, which was taken from them more than 150 years ago. In 1794 the island was officially granted to the tribe by Massachusetts for their service during the revolutionary war. But after 1820, when Maine became its own state, colonialists changed its title and voided the treaty. In March, with a grant from conservation charities, the tribe raised $355,000 and finally bought the island back.
Keep reading for a full news update.
US To Swiftly Boost Global Vaccine Sharing, Biden Announces
AP News, Zeke Miller, June 3
President Joe Biden announced Thursday the U.S. will swiftly donate an initial allotment of 25 million doses of surplus vaccine overseas through the United Nations-backed COVAX program, promising infusions for South and Central America, Asia, Africa and others at a time of glaring shortages abroad and more than ample supplies at home. The doses mark a substantial — and immediate — boost to the lagging COVAX effort, which to date has shared just 76 million doses with needy countries. The announcement came just hours after World Health Organization officials in Africa made a new plea for vaccine sharing because of an alarming situation on the continent, where shipments have ground to “a near halt” while virus cases have spiked over the past two weeks.
Apache Tribe Nearly Halts Spread Of Coronavirus
AP News, June 3
The San Carlos Apache Tribe has seen a dramatic turnaround over the past year when one-third of its on-reservation population was infected with the coronavirus. The average number of positive COVID-19 cases is down to less than 1% a week, according to the the San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corp. Early education campaigns, an emergency declaration, and other safety precautions helped the community prepare even before it reported its first case. As testing failed to keep up with demand across the state, San Carlos Apache ensured anyone who sought testing could get it and ramped up vaccine distribution without a need for mass vaccination events.
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Welcomes District Judge’s Ruling Against S.D. Gov. Noem July 4th Fireworks Display At Mt. Rushmore
Native News Online, June 3
The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe welcomed the news on Wednesday that U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange denied by South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem to hold a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore to celebrate Independence Day. The Republican governor sued Secretary Deb Haaland of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior because the department denied Noem’s permit request for the fireworks display. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe entered into the lawsuit filed by Governor Noem against the Secretary Deb Haaland of the Department of Interior. On Wednesday, in a 36-page ruling, Judge Lange, an Obama nominated federal judge, ruled that Noem did not provide a sufficient argument to grant a preliminary injunction. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier said Noem made misleading statements regarding tribal consultation in her lawsuit.
Name Game: Final List Set Of Possible Succesor To Indians
AP News, Tom Withers, June 3
Like expecting parents, the Cleveland Indians are trying to settle on a name.
It’s proving to be a tedious, testing process.
$1B In Grants To Go For Broadband On Tribal Lands
AP News, June 3
The Biden administration is making available $1 billion in federal grants to expand the availability of high-speed internet on tribal lands. Vice President Kamala Harris, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced the funding Thursday. It comes from the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The Federal Communications Commission has estimated that about one-third of people living on tribal lands don’t have access to high-speed internet, but others say the figure is much higher. The program will prioritize the deployment of broadband to underserved households on tribal lands, according to a release. It also invites proposals that address the digital divide, including those related to telehealth, education and workforce development.
Indian Country Receives Broadband ‘Down Payment’
Indian Country Today, Kolby Kickingwoman, June 3
The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated and shined a bright light on a number of issues in Indian Country, perhaps few more than the need for broadband connectivity on tribal lands. On Thursday, the Biden administration announced it is investing in broadband and high-speed internet infrastructure, including $1 billion in grants for broadband connectivity on tribal lands. The $1 billion was an amount determined by Congress and comes from the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act. Twenty-five percent of this initial $1 billion will be allocated so that every federally recognized tribe can receive up to $500,000, and Raimondo encourages tribes to apply for more.The program will prioritize the deployment of broadband to underserved households on tribal lands, according to a news release. It also invites proposals that address the digital divide, including those related to telehealth, education and workforce development.
Explainer: The Suspension Of Arctic Refuge Drilling Leases
AP News, Mark Thiessen, June 3
Decades-long political and legal battles over drilling in America’s largest wildlife refuge took another turn when the Biden administration suspended oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The move Tuesday was a blow to oil and gas proponents, who came as close as they ever have to starting a drilling program after the refuge was expanded 40 years ago to include the oil-rich coastal plain. The refuge was nearly opened to drilling in 1995 until President Clinton vetoed a bill sent to him by Congress. Here is a look at the administration’s decision and how it got there.
NCAI Weighs In On Discovery Of Remains Of 215 Children At Indian Residential School In Canada
Native News Online, June 3
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the largest American Indian national organization, has weighed in on the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the Indian residential school in British Columbia. The NCAI, which passed two different resolutions in the past decade on the issue, is calling for transparency and accountability for historical and generational trauma caused by boarding schools that was a program of the federal government that operated on the mantra to “Kill the Indian, Save the man.” The goal was to strip Native Americans of their culture and language so that the Indigenous boys and girls would become “Americanized.”
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Of Michigan To Pay Respect To Those Lost In Indian Board Schools Virtually On Friday
Native News Online, June 3
The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan will host a “Virtual Honoring, Healing & Remembering” event to commemorate the 87th anniversary of the closing of the Mt. Pleasant Industrial Boarding School on Friday. The Virtual Honoring, Healing & Remembering event recognizes the suffering, strength and resilience of approximately 225 students that perished while attending the Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School.
Native American Tribe In Maine Buy Back Island Taken 160 Years Ago
The Guardian, Alice Hutton, June 4
The advert painted an idyllic picture of White’s Island.
For $449,000 you could buy 143 acres of forests with sweeping views of the rugged shoreline of Big Lake in Maine, on the east coast of the United States. “[It’s] a unique property … steeped in history … with only two owners in the last 95 years,” wrote the real estate agent from privateislandsonline.com.