Politico published an interview with University of Michigan Professor Stephanie Fryberg covering the negative psychological impacts Native mascots and imagery have on Native youth. Fryberg, a member of the Tulalip Tribe, has spent years studying the psychological effects of Native stereotypes and logos on both Native Americans and non-Natives.

“Being shown the mascot actually lowered Native high schoolers’ self-esteem more than giving them negative statistics about [Native American communities], like high suicide rates, depression, dropout rates,” Fryberg said. “That really gives you a sense of how powerful the imagery is.”

Meanwhile, after Washington’s Football Team announced on Monday that they would be retiring their name, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported yesterday that minority shareholders in the team have hired the investment bank, Moag & Company, to vet buyers and sell their stake in the team. This comes after a Washington Post story yesterday detailing claims from 15 women who said they were sexually harassed while employed by Washington’s Football Team. Several high ranking executives and officials within the organization were accused of sexual harassment by former team employees, according to the article, including play-by-play announcer Larry Michael, who recently retired, Alex Santos, the director of pro personnel, and Richard Mann II, the assistant director of pro personnel, who were both recently fired.

Five Oklahoma tribes and Oklahoma’s Attorney General announced an agreement on proposed federal legislation regarding civil and criminal jurisdiction following the Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma. Leaders of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole nations and Republican Attorney General Mike Hunter agreed that any proposed legislation should recognize tribal sovereignty and the respective tribal boundaries outlined in treaties with the federal government.

Native groups rallied in front of the Massachusetts Statehouse to urge passage of legislation banning the use of Indian mascots and reviewing the state seal, which depicts a Native American. The North American Indian Center of Boston, the United American Indians of New England, and other groups organized the rally to call for the passage of three bills as the July 31 legislative session approaches. One proposed bill would create a special commission to review the state seal and motto. Another would ban public schools in the state from using Native American mascots. A third would strengthen the state’s law protecting Indian burial sites and sacred objects.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that Alaska businesses received a relatively low share of the loans handed out under the federal Paycheck Protection Program when compared to the percentage of small businesses in other states that received the loans, according to an analysis by the Center for Economic Development at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Despite this, Alaska recorded larger loans on average than most other states perhaps due to the higher cost of doing business, according to the analysis.

Keep reading for a full news update.

Native Mascots:

From Dream Job To Nightmare [Subscription] 

Washington Post, Will Hobson and Liz Clarke, July 16

How Native American Team Names Distort Your Psychology 

Politico, Zack Stanton, July 16

When Washington’s NFL team announced this week that it was dropping its “Redskins” moniker, the national conversation played out more or less as expected. Many applauded the long-overdue decision. Some moaned about political correctness. Others dismissed it as merely symbolic, the latest front in the debate over the meaning of statues, team names and corporate logos.

Washington N.F.L. Team Faces Sexual Harassment Claims From 15 Women 

The New York Times, Ken Belson, Kevin Draper, and Juliet Macur, July 16

The N.F.L. team in Washington has hired the law firm Wilkinson Walsh to review the claims of 15 women who, in an article published by The Washington Post on Thursday, said they were sexually harassed while employed by the team.

Adam Schefter Has Update On Redskins’ Minority Owners 

The Spun, Matt Hladik, July 16

As the sports world awaits the apparent “bombshell” Washington Post report set to drop about the Washington NFL franchise, several of the club’s minority owners are going forward with their efforts to sell their shares.

Report: Canadian Football League Team To Change Controversial Mascot 

Indian Country Today, Dalton Walker, July 16

The Canadian Football League team in Alberta known for its controversial mascot appears to be shifting directions on a name change.

The Edmonton football franchise has made an “internal decision” to change its nickname, according to a TSN report. Earlier this month, the franchise announced it was keeping the name following an “extensive yearlong formal research and engagement program with Inuit leaders and community members across Canada,” according to The Associated Press.

Amanda Blackhorse: ‘Holding My Breath’

Indian Country Today, Mark Trahant, July 16

The newscast looks at the Washington NFL dispute from several angles. We start with a conversation with Amanda Blackhorse. She was the lead plaintiff in the trademark litigation against the Washington team.

Washington NFL Team Hires Law Firm To Review Culture

AP News, Stephen Whyno, July 16

Owner Dan Snyder has hired a District of Columbia law firm to review the Washington NFL team’s culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct. Beth Wilkinson of Wilkinson Walsh LLP confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday that the firm had been retained to conduct an independent review. ESPN was first to report the hiring. The Washington Post reported Thursday that 15 female former employees said they were sexually harassed during their time with the team.


MHA Nation Sues Federal Government Over Mineral Rights Under Missouri River

Native News Online, Levi Rickert, July 16

The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation (MHA Nation), also known as the Three Affiliated Tribes, is suing the U.S. government due to the Department of the Interior’s failure to complete title and mapping work in a portion of the Missouri River riverbed within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. According to the lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, the Interior Department is seeking to illegally strip the MHA Nation of part of their reservation that was ceded to the tribes before North Dakota became a state.

As Deadline Looms, Congress Urged To Reauthorize Diabetes Program For Native Americans

Cronkite News, Deagan Urbatsch, July 16

Arizona’s U.S. senators are pushing legislation to renew a federal program that fights diabetes in Indian Country – an initiative tribal leaders say is vital amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Special Diabetes Program for Indians is critical in our fight against diabetes and viruses such as COVID-19,” Navajo President Jonathan Nez said in a statement. “If we want our people to be stronger and able to prevent and fight off viruses, then we need our people to eat healthy foods and build their immune system.”

Oklahoma AG Reaches Jurisdiction Agreement With Five Tribes

AP News, July 16

Oklahoma’s attorney general and five major Native American tribes in Oklahoma on Thursday announced an agreement on proposed federal legislation regarding civil and criminal jurisdiction following a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. Republican Attorney General Mike Hunter announced the deal with leaders of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole nations after the high court ruled last week that much of eastern Oklahoma remains an Indian reservation.

After Supreme Court Win, Jenner Hires Native American Law Team

Bloomberg Law, Roy Strom, July 16

Jenner & Block has hired an eight-member group that handles Native American law just a week after the firm scored a major victory at the U.S. Supreme Court that affirmed tribal sovereignty and could lead to further litigation. The new hires include partners Keith Harper, Charles Galbraith, and Robert Harmala, who join the firm in Washington from Kilpatrick Townsend. Harper, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, will be co-chair of the Native American law practice.

Nationwide Protests:

Indigenous Groups Push For Mascot Ban And State Seal Change

AP News, Philip Marcelo, July 16

Native American groups and their supporters rallied in front of the Massachusetts Statehouse Thursday to urge passage of legislation banning the use of Indian mascots and reviewing the state seal, which depicts a Native American. Protesters held signs saying “Humans are not mascots” and chanted “Cities and towns, We’re going to take these mascots down.” At times, though, they were drowned out by an equally vocal group of protesters opposed to a police accountability bill making its way through the legislature.

Time To Reconsider Native American Names, Say Activists And Academics

Reuters, Amy Tennery, July 16

As the Washington, D.C. National Football League franchise contemplates a new identity, some activists, academics and branding experts say other teams should reconsider their Native American names and symbols. The Washington team announced on Monday plans to drop its “Redskins” name after a review. That decision has put a spotlight on other teams with Native American names and symbols such as Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves, as well as the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.


Alaska Trailed Most Other States In The Rate Of Federal COVID-19 Loans Received, Analysis Shows 

Anchorage Daily News, Alex DeMarban, July 16

Alaska businesses received a relatively low share of the loans handed out under the federal Paycheck Protection Program when compared to the percentage of small businesses in other states that received the loans, according to an analysis by the Center for Economic Development at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Fort Hall Reservation Sees Spike In COVID-19 Cases

Native News Online, July 16

Tribal officials at the Shoshone-Bannock tribes on the Fort Hall Indian reservation are concerned about the spike in COVID-19 cases. As of Wednesday, the reservation has 19 COVID-19 positive cases and two hospitalizations, according to the Tribal Office of Emergency Management (TOEM). Test results were compiled by the Fort Hall Indian Health Services Unit (IHS) and Community Health Resource Center (HRSA).

Navajo Nation Reports 79 New COVID-19 Cases; Death Toll At 407

Native News Online, Levi Rikcert, July 16

On Thursday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 79 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and two more deaths. The total number of deaths has reached 407 as of Thursday.


Half Of Oklahoma Is “Indian Country.” What If All Native Treaties Were Upheld? 

The Intercept, Alleen Brown, July 17

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision last week that altered the map of Oklahoma. The eastern half of the state, including much of Tulsa, is now, for legal purposes, Indian country. The Supreme Court decision was uncommon — Indigenous people have seen few victories so sweeping in the high court — but treaty violations like those that occurred in Oklahoma are not.

Broken Treaties With Native Americans Not Fixed By Supreme Court Ruling 

The Hill, Terry L. Anderson and Adam Crepelle, July 16

On July 9, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision McGirt v. Oklahoma, a case to determine whether Oklahoma or the federal government had jurisdiction over a crime committed by a tribal member. Oklahoma contended that it had jurisdiction because the Muskogee (Creek) Reservation, where the rape took place, had long since ceased to exist. The majority opinion, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, concluded, however, that “At the end of the Trail of Tears was a promise… Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word.”


Coronavirus Pandemic Threatens Accurate Census Count For Native American Tribes

NBC News, Erik Ortiz, July 15 

Vernon Livingston found his 2020 census packet strewn on the ground three weeks ago outside his home on the Navajo Nation, presuming it had blown away after someone dropped it off. Livingston, who usually retrieves his mail from a post office, said he dutifully filled out the form and sent it back last week, acknowledging that if he had had to do it online, he might have given up. For some of his neighbors, he said, participating in the census may not feel like a priority these days.