President Trump took to Twitter to criticize Washington’s Football team and Cleveland’s Baseball team for considering changing their respective team names, and Target joined Nike and Walmart in removing all Washington Football team merchandise from their website while IllumiNative Founder Crystal Echo Hawk, retired PGA Tour golfer Notah Begay, and two former executive directors of the National Congress of American Indians were among more than a dozen Native leaders and organizations that sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell calling on the league to force Washington’s Franchise to change the team name immediately.
The Trump administration released a list of small businesses that received $150,000 or more in Paycheck Protection Program loans under the CARES Act. Though these loans account for nearly 75% of total approved loan dollars, they cover less than 15% of the total number of loans. You can read the full list here.
The Navajo Department of Health issued a Stay at Home (Shelter in Place) order that requires all individuals on the Navajo Nation to stay at home and strictly limit movement within and outside of their immediate communities.
A federal judge has ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline to shut down and remove all oil within 30 days, a huge win for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and the other plaintiffs. Judge James E. Boasberg ordered a shutdown of the controversial oil project that runs through Sioux Nation treaty territory. The U.S. Supreme Court reinforced a lower court ruling and upheld that the companies and the government did not follow the proper protocols before initiating work on the pipeline.
The Department of Justice has hired a new Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) coordinator, veteran FBI agent Joel Postma, to cover the 12 federally recognized tribes in Michigan.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Native American Groups Ask NFL To Force Redskins Name Change
AP News, Stephen Whyno, July 7
More than a dozen Native American leaders and organizations sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday calling for the league to force Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the team name immediately.
Snyder Won’t Deserve Credit For Redskins Name Change, Native American Leader Says
Forbes, Shlomo Sprung, July 7
Daniel Snyder, the owner of Washington’s NFL team, is indeed considering a name change from the Redskins, amid public pressure from corporate sponsors and public pushback against a potential change from President Trump. But if the 55-year-old Snyder does change the team’s nickname to Red Tails, Hogs or anything else, he definitely doesn’t deserve credit for this progressive move, according to one Native American leader.
Donald Trump Defends Redskins, Indians Team Names
ESPN, July 6
President Donald Trump criticized the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians on Twitter for considering changes to their respective team names, accusing the teams of “trying to be politically correct.”
IllumiNative Founder Calls For Ban Of All Native American Imagery In Sports
Bloomberg, July 6
In this edition of “Bloomberg Equality,” Crystal Echo Hawk, founder and executive director of IllumiNative, discusses the renewed calls for sports leagues to stop using Native team names and mascots.
American Indian Response To Washington NFL Franchise Review To Replace Racist Name
Native News Online, July 6
The statement by the Washington National Football League (NFL) franchise on Friday, July 3, that the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name won the praise of American Indians across social media. The Cherokee Nation released the following statement from Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr.: “I applaud the Washington NFL organization for moving away from any and all depictions of Native Americans as mascots, in chants and any other form of team promotion.”
Target Pulls Merchandise As Leaders Ask NFL To Force Name Change
Indian Country Today, Aliyah Chavez, July 6
President Donald Trump tweeted his support for the Washington NFL franchise Monday, the same day more than 14 Native leaders and organizations penned a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asking him to require the team to “immediately change” its name. Meanwhile, major retail corporation Target joined Walmart and Nike in pulling merchandise of the Washington NFL franchise from their online shops. A Target representative confirmed to Barron’s, a financial and investment news organization, that merchandise was removed from its website as of Monday morning.
‘A Proud Day To Be Lakota’: Activists Arrested For Protesting Trump Visit To Sioux Nation Treaty Territory
Indianz.com, Kevin Abourezk, July 6
Nearly 200 protestors, including many Native and Black Lives Matter activists, clashed with sheriff’s deputies and National Guard soldiers Friday just outside the entrance to Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota during a visit to the monument by President Donald Trump. The protestors began protesting shortly after 3 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, holding signs and singing Lakota songs as a small group of sheriff’s deputies stood watch.
Author Sues To Stop Removal Of Controversial Kentucky Mural
AP News, Rebecca Yonker, July 6
Award-winning Kentucky writer Wendell Berry and his wife sued the University of Kentucky on Monday to try to stop the removal of a mural that has been the object of protest for its depictions of Black people and Native Americans. University President Eli Capilouto announced last month that the mural would be coming down. The 1930s fresco mural by Ann Rice O’Hanlon shows the history of Lexington in a series of scenes, including Black men and women planting tobacco and a Native American man holding a tomahawk. Efforts to remove the mural have been made since at least 2006.
Harold Frazier: It Is Time To People Before Profit
Indianz.com, Harold Frazierm July 6
It has been six years since the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) began slithering a path through our treaty territory. In 2016 water protectors stood up to the dangers that have threatened this land of which we are all a part. Today, the US District Court ordered that the snake of oil moving through are territory cease on August 5th, 2020, and that the Army Corps of Engineers begin the process of conducting a real Environmental Impact Study.
Indian Health Service Takes Down ‘Racist’ Poster But Disavows Link To Coronavirus
Indianz.com, Rhonda LeValdo, July 6
A sign posted in an Indian Health Service facility in Oklahoma urged visitors to protect themselves from the “Kung Flu” — a derogatory phrase President Donald Trump has used when talking about the COVID-19 pandemic. A visitor to the Claremore Indian Hospital recently took a photo of the poster, which features the official IHS logo, and wanted to remain anonymous. But the person felt the need for it to be pointed out. The person also felt the sign was “racist.”
Norma Dunning: As Other Leagues Rethink Racist Team Names, It’s Time To Rename The Edmonton Eskimos
Indianz.com, Norma Dunning, July 6
In the space of a few hours on July 3, three North American sports teams announced they were going to reassess their racist names. Baseball’s Cleveland Indians, the Washington Redskins of the National Football League and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League have for years resisted calls to drop their team nicknames. But recent worldwide protests about systemic racism have forced the sports franchises to address the issue once again.
Stay-At-Home Order Re-Issued For Navajo Nation
Native News Online, July 6
On Monday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 74 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and no new deaths. The total number of deaths remains at 378 as previously reported. Reports from all 12 health care facilities on and near the Navajo Nation indicate that approximately 5,604 individuals have recovered from COVID-19.
Cronkite News: Mutual Aid Groups Band Together To Help Those In Need During Covid-19
Indianz.com, Katelyn Reinhart, July 6
With grocery stores picked over by panicked shoppers and relief checks slow to arrive in mailboxes, Arizonans are coming together to distribute goods and services to those in need through grassroots “mutual aid” groups that target the most vulnerable.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez Line-item Vetoes $73 Million In Coronavirus Relief Expenditures
Indianz.com, July 5
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez line-item vetoed $73 million in coronavirus (COVID-19) response funding Saturday that was approved on Jun. 19 by the 24th Navajo Nation Council. President Nez eliminated COVID-19 response funding for all 110 local Navajo Nation communities, funding to support the Judicial Branch and Navajo Nation courts, immediate assistance for burnout families at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19 without shelter and pandemic-related support for Navajo traditional practitioners.
Trump Administration Releases List Of Companies That Received Most Money From Small Business Bailout Loans
CNBC, Lauren Hirsch and Jacob Pramuk, July 6
The Trump administration on Monday disclosed the names of many small businesses which received loans under a program intended to blunt the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.
Nez-Lizer Approve Cares Act Funds For Special Duty Pay And PPE For Frontline Workers, Disinfecting Government Facilities, And More
Indianz.com, July 5
On Saturday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer approved portions of two separate resolutions that address the use of federal CARES Act funding for the Navajo Nation. “Signing portions of these resolutions into law is a big win for our first responders and the Navajo people.”
‘Historic Day’ For Standing Rock As Pipeline Company Told To Shut Down, Remove Oil
Indian Country Today, Kolby KickingWoman, July 6
A federal judge has ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline to shut down and remove all oil within 30 days, a huge win for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and the other plaintiffs. In a 24-page order, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wrote that he was “mindful of the disruption” that shutting down the pipeline would cause, but that it must be Done Within 30 Days.
Judge Shuts Down Controversial Dakota Access Pipeline Project
Native News Online, July 6
A federal judge on Monday ordered the Dakota Access pipeline to shut down pending additional environmental review, providing the Standing Rock Sioux tribe with a “hard fought” victory in the long-running battle to protect its land. Judge James Boasberg of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ordered that the controversial 1,172-mile-long pipeline must shut down within 30 days.
Big #NoDAPL News: Federal judge orders shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline
Indianz.com, July 6
A federal judge has finally invalidated permits for Dakota Access Pipeline following four years of complaints from Indian Country. On July 6, 2020, Judge James E. Boasberg ordered a shutdown of the controversial oil project that runs through Sioux Nation treaty territory.
US Supreme Court Deals Blow To Keystone Oil Pipeline Project
AP News, Matthew Brown, July 6
The U.S. Supreme Court handed another setback to the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline from Canada on Monday by keeping in place a lower court ruling that blocked a key environmental permit for the project. Canadian company TC Energy needs the permit to continue building the long-disputed pipeline across U.S. rivers and streams. Without it, the project that has been heavily promoted by President Donald Trump faces more delay just as work on it had finally begun this year following years of courtroom battles.
Justices Rule States Can Bind Presidential Electors’ Votes
Indian Country Today, July 6
Faith Spotted Eagle, Yankton, made history in the 2016 election when she received Electoral College votes for president. Now the Supreme Court said Monday that states can require presidential electors to back their states’ popular vote winner in the Electoral College. The ruling, just under four months before the 2020 election, leaves in place laws in 32 states and the District of Columbia that bind electors to vote for the popular-vote winner, as electors almost always do anyway. So-called faithless electors have not been critical to the outcome of a presidential election, but that could change in a race decided by just a few electoral votes. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
Black Hills Treaty Defender Faces Felony Charges
Indian Country Today, Dalton Walker, July 6
The leader of an Indigenous-led advocacy organization, who spent the holiday weekend in jail after defending his people’s unceded territory in the Black Hills, called the serious charges he’s facing “bullshit.” Nick Tilsen, Oglala Lakota, president and CEO of NDN Collective, is charged with multiple offenses, including two felonies, related to the July 3 Mount Rushmore protest that ended with 20 treaty defenders — 19 adults and one juvenile — in jail, according to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.
Rep. Haaland’s Bill Will Allow Military Women To Rent Maternity Wear
Native News Online, July 6
After hearing from military women around the country who were struggling with the cost and availability of military maternity uniforms, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM-01) introduced a bill to help alleviate the problem. Haaland, one of the first American Indian women to serve in Congress, introduced the “Rent the Camo: Access to Maternity Wear Act” as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed the House of Representatives in late June with bipartisan support. Under the “Rent the Camo” pilot program, pregnant military service members will be able to access maternity uniforms and related items at no cost.
DOJ Appoints Missing And Murdered Indigenous Persons Coordinator For Michigan
Native News Online, July 6
The Department of Justice has hired a new Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) coordinator to cover the 12 federally recognized tribes in Michigan. The U.S. Attorneys for the Western and Eastern Districts of the state announced July 2 that they appointed veteran FBI agent Joel Postma to the post. Postma is one of 10 MMIP coordinators nationwide appointed by the DOJ to investigate cases involving missing and murdered Native Americans.
Migizi’s Fire Aftermath Brings The Community Together
Native News Online, Monica Pigeon, July 6
On the early morning of May 29, Migizi Communication staff scrambled to save what they could from the burning flames that consumed its building during the George Floyd riots. The fires spread from building to building, leaving Migizi caught in the middle and leaving its 40-year legacy in uncertainty. Migizi’s current and former executive directors, Kelly Drummer (Lakota) and Laura Waterman Wittstock (Seneca), were seen comforting one another outside of wreckage while wearing their facial masks and keeping their distance.
NANA-Owned Federal Contractor Secures $7 Million Doe Contract
Native News Online, July 6
The Alaska Native Corporation NANA has announced that one of its federal contracting subsidiaries has been awarded a $7 million contract from the U.S. Department of Energy. Under the five-year contract, Colorado Springs, Colo.-based RiverTech LLC will provide technical support services to the Department of Energy’s Western Area Power Administration in its Rocky Mountain Region. RiverTech, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Herndon, Va.-based Akima, which in turn is owned by NANA, offers a range of mission support, systems engineering, and I.T.
First Nations Illicit Drug Deaths Rise During COVID-19 Pandemic
Indianz.com, July 6
The toll of the illicit drug toxicity crisis on BC First Nations individuals is rising again this year, erasing previous gains, according to data released today by the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). Suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths spiked between January and May this year. And during this period, 89 First Nations individuals lost their lives. This is a 93 percent increase in deaths compared to the same period last year.
We Don’t Need Donald Trump And His Cohorts Telling Us Who Our American Heroes Are
Native News Online, Levi Rickert, July 6
President Donald Trump went to Mount Rushmore on the eve of Independence Day and brought a message aimed to excite his base as the summer progresses to the November presidential election. Trump’s appearance was already an insult to American Indians, particularly the Sioux leaders who banned him from their historical treaty territory. He managed to make it worse when he unveiled a proposed national “National Garden of American Heroes” there.
America ‘Called Out’ To Re-examine White Supremacy At Mount Rushmore
Indian Country Today, Patty Talahongva, July 6
This weekend as the president staged a fourth of July rally at Mount Rushmore, treaty defenders took a stand to remind Americans the Black Hills are sacred and the 1868 treaty still stands. About 100 treaty defenders blocked the road leading into Mount Rushmore. The standoff was organized by NDN Collective. This non-profit group was founded to build the collective power of Indigenous peoples and help create a world built on justice and equity for all people and the planet.