Good morning, NUNAverse:
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of Mary Simon (Inuk) to be Canada’s 30th Governor General on June 6, followed by a press conference at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec. Simon, a longtime advocate for Inuit rights and a former leader of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, is the first Indigenous person to hold the office. Trudeau said Queen Elizabeth II has approved the appointment.
The New York Times reports on the recent real estate developments made by several tribes in North America. The Squamish Nation, for example, is behind the largest Indigenous development in North America, a mixed-use neighborhood near downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, that is projected to cost $2.67 billion Canadian dollars. In Michigan, the investment arms of two tribes, the Gun Lake and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, recently bought McKay Tower, a commercial and residential property in downtown Grand Rapids on ancestral land.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signed a resolution into law yesterday that will allow Navajo Nation parks to reopen at 50 percent capacity. The Navajo Department of Health will issue a new Public Health Emergency Order on Wednesday, outlining safety protocols and requirements for reopening. The mask mandate remains in effect for the entire Navajo Nation.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has awarded more than $6.5 million in Energy and Mineral Development Program (EMDP) grants to 27 federally recognized tribes and seven Alaska Native Corporations in 15 states. The funding will aid tribal efforts to identify, study, design and develop projects using energy, mineral and natural resources. The Bureau’s EMDP grants, which were announced last week, help eligible tribes obtain technical assistance funding to hire consultants to identify, evaluate, or assess the market for energy or mineral resources that a tribe will process, use, or develop.
Keep reading for a full news update.
American Indians Have The Highest COVID Vaccination Rate In The US
PBS, Sukee Bennett, July 6
Before getting vaccinated against COVID-19 was an option, Francys Crevier was afraid to leave her Maryland home.
She ordered all of her groceries and limited her time outside, knowing that each venture would put both herself and her immunocompromised mother, with whom Crevier shares her home, at risk. Knowing she could provide for Mom was “a blessing, for sure,” Crevier says. After all, American Indians and Alaska Natives were hospitalized and died from COVID-19 at a higher rate than any other racial group in America throughout the pandemic, says Crevier, who’s Algonquin.
First Indigenous Person Appointed As Canada’s Governor General
Indian Country Today, Mary Annette Pember, July 6
A longtime advocate for Inuit rights and a former leader of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference has been tapped as Canada’s 30th governor general, the first Indigenous person to hold the office.
BIA Awards Over $6.5 Million In Energy And Mineral Grants To 34 Tribes And ANCs
Native News Online, July 6
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has awarded more than $6.5 million in Energy and Mineral Development Program (EMDP) grants to 27 federally recognized tribes and seven Alaska Native corporations in 15 states. The funding will aid tribal efforts to identify, study, design and develop projects using energy, mineral and natural resources.
How G.O.P.-Backed Laws In Montana Could Hurt Native American Voting
New York Times, Maggie Astor, July 6
One week before the 2020 election, Laura Roundine had emergency open-heart surgery. She returned to her home on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation with blunt instructions: Don’t go anywhere while you recover, because if you get Covid-19, you’ll probably die.
Feds May Investigate Native American Boarding School In Nevada After Discovery Of Canadian Mass Graves
USA Today, Marcella Corona, July 6
The Stewart Indian School in Carson City may come under federal review following U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s announcement that the government will investigate its past oversight of Native American boarding schools.
California Assembly Member Backs Probe Into Native American Boarding Schools
DT Next, July 6
James Ramos, a California State Assemblyman, has joined other tribal leaders across the state to support a federal investigation of Native American boarding schools operated under the US government’s cultural assimilation program in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Tribal Leaders Urge Interior Sec. Haaland To Return Endangered Species Act; New Film Kicks Off Campaign To Protect the Gray Wolf
Native News Online, Jackie Zupsic, July 7
“Secretary Haaland, please return Endangered Species Act protections to the wolf,” is the closing message of a powerful new film, “Family,” released today that ends with the stark warning, “Before it’s too late.” The Global Indigenous Council has released “Family” as a part of a campaign to restore federal protections to wolves across the continental United States.
Evon Peter: Seeking Indigenous Success
Indian Country Today, Joaqlin Estus, July 7
Surveys show about a third of American workers are not satisfied with their jobs. However, career changes are hard to pull off, especially if there’s a big pay cut involved.
Evon Peter, of Fairbanks, Alaska, recently walked away from one form of success to follow his vision of a revitalized Gwich’in Athabascan language, and with the hope of being more true to his Neets’aii Gwich’in and Koyukon Athabascan roots.
Native American Tribes Move To Make Real Estate A Force For Renewal
New York Times, Linda Baker, July 6
Native Americans have been systematically dispossessed of their ancestral lands for more than a century, thanks to federal land-management policies. But a spate of new real estate projects highlights efforts to reclaim that territory, as tribes invest in land development in an effort to diversify their revenue base and support their members.
Native American Veterans Memorial To Open On Reservation
Wyoming News Exchange, July 6
After 14 years of preparations, a Native American veterans memorial will open Aug. 12 on the Wind River Reservation.
The Path of Honor will be located at the Frank B. Wise Business Center in Fort Washakie. The Aug. 12 opening kicks off with a dedication ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m. honoring all military service members living on the Wind River Reservation. The public is welcome to attend.
Fox News’ Jesse Watters Argues Native Americans’; Lands Not Stolen: ‘We Won This Land On The Battlefield’ (Video)
The Wrap, Aarohi Sheth, July 6
Tuesday on “The Five,” Fox News co-host Jesse Watters disagreed with Rep. Cori Bush’s (D-Missouri) Independence Day tweet in which she stated that, “This land is stolen land, and Black people still aren’t free.”
NW Tribes Want To Be AT The Table For Green Energy Planning
Native News Online, Manola Secaira, July 6
When green energy projects bloom across Washington, many are on cultural sites important to tribes in the region. The Yakama Nation’s director of natural resources feels torn about the increasing number of windmills and dams in his tribe’s ancestral territories. While Phil Rigdon (Yakama) supports the pursuit of greener energy sources, he has also been part of the tribe’s opposition to these developments when they negatively impact cultural sites. Their concerns are not often heard by developers.
Navajo Nation Parks To Reopen At 50 Percent Capacity
Native News Online, July 6
After the long months of the Covid-19 pandemic, Navajo Nation parks are allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity. This comes as Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signed a resolution into law on Tuesday, July 6, 2021.
Harvard Returning Standing Bear’s Tomahawk To Nebraska Tribe
AP News, Philip Marcelo, July 6
A tomahawk once owned by Chief Standing Bear, a pioneering Native American civil rights leader, is returning to his Nebraska tribe after decades in a museum at Harvard.
The university’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology says it’s been working with members of the Ponca Tribe in Nebraska and Oklahoma to repatriate the artifact.