Good morning, NUNAverse:
The American Indian Movement (AIM) Twin Cities chapter held a press conference and protest last Thursday outside the Cathedral of Saint Paul in the Saint Paul, Minnesota. The event brought several dozen people from around the Twin Cities to protest the recent discoveries of more than 1,000 children found in unmarked graves at various residential schools in Canada. Organizers posted American Indian Movement flags, sang on the drum, and addressed the history of boarding schools and the role played by the Catholic Church. Demonstrators held signs in traffic that read “Search Every School!” and “From Canada to the USA, Honor Native Treaties.”
Ku Stevens, a senior-to-be at Yerington High School in Nevada, plans to retrace his great-grandfather’s journey in escaping from the Stewart Indian School outside of Carson City. He’s calling it: “The Remembrance Run.” Stevens’ great-grandfather, Frank Quinn, escaped from the Stewart Indian School and ran 50 miles (80.47 kilometers) when he was 8 years old to try to get back to his family home on the Yerington Paiute reservation. The Stewart Indian School operated from about 1890 to 1980.
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe opened the first cannabis dispensary in South Dakota on July 1, 2021, the first day medical marijuana became legal in the state. The opening is seen by some as a test to the tribe’s sovereignty – South Dakota state officials have warned that it could take another year before cannabis could be legally sold in the state. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe was the first tribal nation to legalize marijuana after the Department of Justice issued a memorandum in December 2014 stating that tribal nations may grow and sell marijuana as long as the states they are in have also legalized the use of marijuana.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida has donated $250,000 to help their neighbors affected by the collapse of Champlain Towers South condominiums in nearby Surfside, Florida. The tribe made the cash donation to the Support Surfside fund, which was created by the Coral Gables Community Foundation, the Key Biscayne Community Foundation, the Miami Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Miami Heat, and the Miami Heat Charitable Fund. Workers at Hard Rock Café Miami will also prepare and deliver 100 dinners each day starting Saturday, July 3, to help feed Miami-Dade Fire Rescue workers at the site.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Nevada Runner To Retrace Escape From American Indian School
AP News, July 5
Ku Stevens will not let history be forgotten. Later this summer, the senior-to-be at Yerington High School plans to retrace his great-grandfather’s journey in escaping from the Stewart Indian School outside of Carson City. He’s calling it: “The Remembrance Run.” Stevens told the Reno Gazette Journal he was inspired earlier this year by the discovery of 215 children’s graves in Canada. The remains of the children were found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The Stewart Indian School, which operated from about 1890 to 1980, was one about 200 military-style boarding schools for native students nationwide.
Trudeau Denounces Church Burnings, Vandalism In Canada
AP News, Jim Morris, July 3
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday denounced the burning and vandalism of Catholic churches that has followed discovery of unmarked graves and former schools for Indigenous children. Several Catholic churches have recently been vandalized or damaged in fires following the discovery of more than 1,100 unmarked graves at the sites of three former residential schools run by the church in British Columbia and Saskatchewan that generations of Indigenous children had been forced to attend .
Indian Boarding School Survivors Take Action at Cathedral of Saint Paul
Native News Online, Darren Thompson, July 3
The American Indian Movement (AIM) Twin Cities chapter held a press conference and protest on Thursday outside the Cathedral of Saint Paul in the Saint Paul, Minn. The event brought several dozen people from around the Twin Cities to protest the recent discoveries of more than 1,000 children found in an unmarked graves at various residential schools in Canada. Organizers posted American Indian Movement flags, sang on the drum, and addressed the history of boarding schools and its complicated relationship with the Catholic church. Demonstrators held signs in traffic that read “Search Every School!” and “From Canada to the USA, Honor Native Treaties.”
Indigenous Group Questions Removal Of Boarding School Plaque
AP News, Susan Montoya Bryan, July 2
A historical plaque memorializing the dozens of Native American children who died while attending a boarding school in New Mexico more than a century ago has gone missing, sparking concern among Indigenous activists. Members of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women are among those pushing the city of Albuquerque to investigate. The small plaque was in a park near the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the original site of the Albuquerque Indian School.
Native Americans Fear Supreme Court Ruling On Arizona Voting Law Will Create Barriers
CNN, Nicquel Terry Ellis, July 3
A Supreme Court ruling that upheld two provisions of Arizona voting law that restrict how ballots can be cast will make it more difficult for Native Americans in the state’s tribal communities to vote, Navajo Nation activists say. Allie Young, founder of Protect The Sacred, said Friday that the court ruling would be a setback after organizers worked hard to register and assist many Native Americans last year who hadn’t voted in previous elections. Navajo Nation was largely credited with helping Biden win the reliably red state. Roughly 75% of Arizona’s Native residents voted for Biden, according to an analysis by the Arizona Republic. Maricopa County, where many of the state’s tribal communities are located, was key to Biden’s victory.
How The SCOTUS Ruling On Arizona Voting Restrictions Impacts The Navajo Nation
Native News Online, Jenna Kunze, July 2
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld that two provisions of Arizona voting law that restrict how ballots can be cast are not discriminatory towards minority groups. The decision, passed in a 6-3 vote, left the court’s three liberal judges in dissent: Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. The case hinged on whether or not two of Arizona’s voting laws—one that can throw out ballots cast in the wrong precinct, and the other that restricts who can collect an early ballot to include only a postal worker, an elections officials, or a voter’s caregiver, family member, or household member—violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits racial discrimination in voting.
Navajo Police Seeks Public Assistance To Locate Missing Navajo Woman
Native News Online, July 3
The Navajo Police Departent in Shiprock, N.M. are asking for assistance to locate a Navajo woman, who has been missing since June 15, 2021. The missing woman is Ranelle Rose Bennett. She was was last seen by her mother the morning of June 15, 2021, at Ranelle’s residence in Hogback, New Mexico. She is also known as “Tiny.”
Low Vaccination Rate Continues For Native Americans In Vermont
WCAX, July 2
Many Native American Vermonters still have not been vaccinated and tribal chiefs say they don’t think that will change much. While 82.2% of the state’s population has received at least one dose, the rate among Native Americans continues to lag at less than 30%. The Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi has hosted three clinics at their Swanton office so far, vaccinating hundreds of members. Chief Richard Menard says many don’t trust medical professionals and the government. Other Vermont tribal leaders insist Native American Vermonters have been overlooked by state programs serving BIPOC communities. They suggest the Scott administration distribute some federal COVID funds to tribal groups so they can hire their own people to provide assistance.
Without The State’s Approval, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Opens First Cannabis Dispensary In South Dakota
Native News Online, Darren Thompson, July 5
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe opened the first cannabis dispensary in South Dakota on July 1, 2021, the first day medical marijuana became legal in the state. South Dakota voters approved Measure 26, the Medical Marijuana Initiative, on November 3, 2020. Located 40 miles north from Sioux Falls, S.D. on the Flandreau Indian Reservation, the dispensary is being operated through FSST Pharms, LLC, a company owned by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (FSST) made national news after becoming the first tribal nation to legalize marijuana, this after the Department of Justice issued a memorandum in December 2014, stating that tribal nations may grow and sell marijuana as long as the states they are in have also legalized the use of marijuana.
Osage Women Dress KOTFM Actress For Pawhuska Inlonshka
Osage News, Shannon Shaw Duty, July 5
Indigenous actress Cara Jade Myers, who is portraying Anna Brown in Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated film “Killers of the Flower Moon,” received the full Inlonshka experience at Pawhuska on Thursday. With a sweltering high of 98 degrees and a heat index of 108, Janese Sieke and her daughter Gianna, the Osage Nation Princess, dressed Myers in Osage clothes for both the afternoon dance and evening dance. Myers is enrolled in the Wichita Tribe and is also Kiowa. Janese and Gianna are from the Lasley Family, and they dressed Myers at the Grayhorse District camp.
Long Island Man Murdered In Home On Native American Reservation
New York Post, Kenneth Garger, July 5
A man was murdered in his home at Native American reservation on Long Island, police announced Sunday. Josue Bedell, 47, was found by police on Sunday morning dead with a gunshot wound at his home on Poospatuck Reservation in Mastic, authorities said.
Seminole Tribe Donates $250,000 To Surfside Rescue Efforts
Indian Country Today, Sandra Hale Schulman, July 3
The Seminole Tribe of Florida – owner of a restaurant and hotel empire that includes Hard Rock and Seminole gaming – has donated $250,000 to help their neighbors affected by the collapse of Champlain Towers South condominiums in nearby Surfside, Florida. The tribe made the cash donation to the Support Surfside fund, which was created by the Coral Gables Community Foundation, the Key Biscayne Community Foundation, the Miami Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Miami Heat and the Miami Heat Charitable Fund.
More Than Bones And Science: Stolen Chickasaw Remains Finally Returning Home To Rest
Native News Online, Aliyah Veal, July 3
After its archeology collection moved recently to the nearby Two Museums in downtown Jackson, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History made a grim and disturbing discovery. Boxes filled with archeological artifacts contained human remains that were, to date, unreported to the federal government as law required. In March 2021, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History announced that it has repatriated 403 Native American remains and 83 lots of burial objects to the Chickasaw Nation, the largest return of human remains in the state’s history and the first for the department.
The Wrap: Indigenous Invited To The Academy In Hollywood
Native News Online, July 2
Four alumni of Sundance Institute’s Indigenous program were invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, according to Bird Runningwater, director of the program. The Academy announced its list of 395 artists and executives on Thursday. This year’s class is 46 percent women, 39 percent come from underrepresented ethnic or racial communities, 53 percent international from 49 countries outside of the states, according to Variety.