Good morning, NUNAverse:
Yesterday, President Biden officially signed legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, making June 19 the national day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. The law went into effect immediately, making today the first federal Juneteenth holiday. The federal Office of Personnel Management announced that most federal employees would observe the holiday today, since June 19 falls on a Saturday this year. The Nasdaq Stock Market said U.S. markets, however, are expected to remain open on Friday.
Earlier this week, reports emerged that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has submitted a recommendation to President Joe Biden to return the Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monuments to the sizes they occupied before drastic reductions were made by President Donald Trump. Her recommendation is that full protections should be restored to the three national monuments, preserving about 5 million acres of federal land and water. Haaland’s report was confidential and sources spoke on condition of anonymity.
Maine’s House of Representatives approved a bill this week that will enable four tribes in the state to establish gaming businesses on their lands. The gambling legislation was carved out of another bill that has been carried over to the 2022 legislative session that seeks to make a series of 22 changes to the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act. If enacted, the changes would restore much of the sovereignty that tribal leaders say they lost 40 years ago.
The remains of 10 American Indian and Alaska Native children who died more than 100 years ago while attending Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania are scheduled to be returned home to their communities in Alaska and South Dakota this week, according to a notice from the Department of the Army, which oversees the cemetery. There are 180 marked gravesites for Indigenous students at the former school grounds, but there are a dozen more that are marked as “unknown” and are believed to belong to Native students as well.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Bill To Allow Tribes To Open Gambling Facilities Moves Ahead In Legislature
Portland Press Herald, Scott Thistle, June 17
The Maine Legislature has ended years of opposition and given initial approval to a bill that enables four Native American tribes in Maine to establish gambling businesses on their lands.
The Remains Of 10 Children At The Carlisle Indian Boarding School Are Returning Home
Native News Online, Jenna Kunze, June 17
The remains of 10 Native American and Alaska Native children who died more than 100 years ago while attending Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania are scheduled to be returned home to their communities in Alaska and South Dakota this week, according to a notice from the Department of the Army, which oversees the cemetery.
Interior Secretary Reportedly Recommends To President Biden To Restore Boundaries To National Monuments
Native News Online, Andrew Kennard, June 17
The Washington Post reported on Monday evening that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has submitted a recommendation to President Joe Biden return the Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monuments to the sizes they occupied before drastic reductions were made by President Donald Trump.
Indigenous Knowledge Is Key To ‘Ecosystem-Wide Phenomena’
Indian Country Today, Joaqlin Estus, June 17
Alaska Native elders with decades of experience in daily interactions with their environment saw changes in species that forage across a wide spectrum — near shore, far from shore and both on the surface and at ocean depth.
How To Transition From Coal Is The Question
Indian Country Today, June 16
Navajo and Hopi witnesses agreed the region needs to move away from its economic dependence on coal, but specific proposals on how to get there remained elusive after a House hearing Tuesday.
Biden Signs Law Making Juneteenth A Federal Holiday
The New York Times, Annie Karni, Luke Broadwater, June 17
President Biden signed legislation on Thursday to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, enshrining June 19 as the national day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.
Two Parks Changing To Honor Veterans, Native Americans
Tulsa Public Radio, Elizabeth Caldewll, June 17
Some monuments to veterans are moving.
At a press conference today, officials announced that Veterans Park will be moving to Centennial Park. One reason for the change is to create more visibility for the Veterans Park monuments.
Tribal Leaders Bring Litany Of Needs To Hearing On Federal Funding
Cronkite News, Brooke Newman, June 17
To the Tohono O’odham chairman, it’s schools and health care. To the Hopi chairman, it’s badly needed jail improvements. Those were among the laundry list of needs outlined at a hearing Thursday on federal facilities in Indian Country.
Wilma Mankiller To Be Featured On U.S. Quarter Coin
Native News Online, Levi Rickert, June 17
The United States Mint has chosen Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to serve as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, to be honored during the first year of American Women Quarters Program. The program begins in 2022.
Indigenous Fathres Take Lessons From Their Own Experience To Create Healthy Lifestyles For Their Children
National Geographic, Julian Brave Noisecat, June 17
Josué Rivas didn’t know his father well. When he was seven, his mother left Mexico to look for work in the United States, leaving her boy in the care of the man. But Rivas says his dad didn’t know how to be a dad. He was a photographer who struggled with alcoholism and gave away nearly as many portraits as he sold. Under his care, Rivas quickly wound up on the streets and was homeless for four years until his mom came and brought him to America. After that, Rivas didn’t hear from his father much.
Native Students Fight To Wear Traditional Regalia At Graduation
High Country News, Charlotte West, June 16
Eighteen-year-old Nyché Andrew stepped on stage to take the podium in front of her classmates and their families on an overcast afternoon last month. “We would like to take this moment to acknowledge the Dena’ina Athabascan people and the wisdom that has allowed them to steward the land on which Anchorage and Service High School reside,” the high school senior said.