Former Colorado Governor and current U.S. Senate candidate John Hickenlooper is under fire after photos emerged of him dressed in imitative Native dress at the “One Shot Antelope Hunt,” a hunting competition. Winners of the event dress in a costume headdress, while the “loser” of the event is dressed as what event attendees call a “squaw.” A group of Indigenous women from across the country drafted a letter calling for Former Governor Hickenlooper to withdraw from the 2020 Colorado Senate race and to “educate himself on the legacy of violence and discrimination towards Indigenous women, so that repair and reconciliation might follow.” The letter was co-signed by a number of organizations and Native leaders – read the full text here.
Last week, NUNA reported on a court case involving Navajo Nation and the State of New Mexico in which the court mandated action be taken to address inequalities in the state’s education system. While the Governor had filed a motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that the state should have full oversight for education reforms, not the courts, First District Judge Matthew Wilson denied that motion on Monday, stating that the court will continue to oversee the case until the state makes long-term, “comprehensive educational reform that demonstrate substantial improvements of student outcomes.”
The Montana American Indian Caucus penned an opinion piece published on Indianz.com in which they stand in solidarity with Black Americans as protests against police violence continue across the country. The Caucus notes that Native Americans more likely to be shot by a police officer than any other race or ethnic group, and although Native Americans make up around 6.7 percent of Montana’s population, they make up 16 percent of the prison population.
NPR published a piece covering the difficulties that many Native Americans face when trying to vote, noting the lack of street addresses on many reservations, internet access creating a barrier to registration, and the need for translations on mail-in-ballots for Indigenous languages.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Indian Lawmakers: We Refuse To Stand Idle
Indianz.com, Montana American Indian Caucus, June 29
The senseless death of a black American has ignited civil protests around the globe. We will always remember George Floyd’s name and the eight minutes forty-six seconds that Minneapolis police officers assisted a fellow officer in pinning Floyd’s neck to the ground until he remained motionless.
‘#DropOutHick’: Outcry From Indigenous Women, Allies Over Hickenlooper In Red Face
The Hill, Anagha Srikanth, June 29
In 2018, then-Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was one of three winners of the “One Shot Antelope Hunt,” a competition to harvest a pronghorn with a single shot that plays off of Native American stereotypes.
COVID 19’s Impact On The Native American Community
The Hill, Joseph Kunkel, June 29
From coast to coast, outrage over the murder of George Floyd has brought to bear what BIPOC have always known: That “normal” has never been good enough.
For months now, COVID-19 has been redoubling the gaps in white privilege that have always existed. If higher death rates among Black and Brown people laid bare the structural weakness of “normal,” then protests over Floyd’s death are the wrecking ball that will finally bring it to the ground. And it’s about time.
New Mexico Judge: More Education Reform Needed
Indian Country Today, Aliyah Chavez, June 29
The state has not fulfilled the requirements of a 2018 ruling ordering substantial improvements to education for New Mexico children, a judge said Monday.
First District Judge Matthew Wilson denied a motion to dismiss a landmark education lawsuit filed by Navajo and Hispanic and plaintiffs, saying the court will continue to oversee the case until the state makes long-term, “comprehensive educational reform that demonstrate substantial improvements of student outcomes.”
How The Blackfeet Nation Boxing Club Is Fighting To Save The Lives Of Native American Women
ESPN, Donna Kipp and Charlotte Gibson, June 30
In 2003, one year after I was born, my dad, Frank Kipp, founded and opened the Blackfeet Nation Boxing Club on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana. I grew up at the boxing club. I found my strength at the boxing club. I gained confidence at the boxing club. And, most importantly, I discovered my purpose at the boxing club.
As Opioids Flooded Tribal Lands Across The U.S., Overdose Deaths Skyrocketed
Washington Post, Sari Horwitz, Debbie Cenziper, Steven Rich, June 29
Zach Williams checked himself into a hotel room, sat down on the edge of the bed and waited. Chills soon racked his body, and he started to shiver. He couldn’t keep food down. He was drenched in sweat.
For two days in 2018, the 37-year-old Native American pharmacist for the Chickasaw Nation pushed through the wrenching symptoms of opioid withdrawal, determined to go cold turkey. On the third day, he stumbled outside to his Chevy truck, where he kept a stash of pain pills hidden among his children’s dolls and McDonald’s Happy Meal toys.
Osage Nation Lays Off 45 Workers Due To Low Revenue Stream
Osage News, Shannon Shaw Duty, June 29
The Osage Nation has notified 45 employees they will no longer have a job after July 6.
Due to a grim financial forecast for the Nation’s 2021 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear said that every department and program director was asked to cut two positions. The layoffs and eliminated positions combined equaled 62 positions cut and saved the Nation a little over $2 million.
Utah Congressional Primary Features One Native Candidate
Indian Country Today, Aliyah Chavez, June 29
Former Northwestern Band of Shoshone Nation Chairman Darren Parry is running as a Democrat for an open U.S. House seat in Utah.
He is one of 16 Native candidates still in the running for Congress this year, either in primaries or the November general election.
For Navajo Nation In Arizona, The Election Process Is Complicated And Problematic
NPR, Laurel Morales, June 29
Tonalea on the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona is the hometown of Darrell Marks. His mother and grandmother still live there.
“That’s about 5 miles of zigzagging down a dirt road to get to their residence,” Marks says.
He says it has always been difficult for his family to get their mail. They rely on a P.O. box at the trading post.
NDSU To Stop Offering American Public Indian Health Masters Degree As UND Adds Indigenous Health Doctoral Program
Grand Forks Herald, April Baumgarten, June 29
When students consider what degree to pursue at North Dakota State University this year, a master’s degree related to Native American health will no longer be an option.