Good morning/afternoon, NUNAverse:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on Tuesday recommending indoor mask use in areas with high transmission rates after new data suggested fully vaccinated individuals are not just contracting COVID-19 but could potentially infect others as well. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said recent studies had shown that those vaccinated individuals who do become infected with COVID-19 have just as much viral load as the unvaccinated, making it possible for them to spread the virus to others. Based on that finding, Walensky said the CDC is also recommending that all school children wear masks in the fall.
While the Kansas City Football Team won’t be changing the team’s nickname anytime soon, they are retiring their horse mascot named “Warpaint,” according to organization president Mark Donovan. The Warpaint tradition was reintroduced as part of the team’s 50th anniversary season after a 20-year hiatus, and in earlier iterations, Warpaint had been mounted by a rider dressed in traditional Native headdress and garb. In August 2020, the Kansas City Football Team banned fans from wearing ceremonial headdresses and Native-style face paint in the team’s stadium. The team still allows fans to do a cheer called the tomahawk chop and there is also a pregame tradition of beating a drum.
Colleen Echohawk (Pawnee) and Casey Sixkiller (Cherokee) are two of 15 candidates for mayor of Seattle, the largest city in Washington and the 18th largest city in the United States with a population of 769,000. In seven years as executive director of the Chief Seattle Club, which serves homeless Native people, Echohawk guided the building of $180 million in affordable housing, moved homeless residents from encampments and into hotel rooms, and started an urban farm where homeless Natives grow traditional foods that are served at the Chief Seattle Club. As deputy mayor, Sixkiller has worked to create housing and shelters, expand access to parks and green spaces, and secure funds to restore habitat, replace failing bridges, and invest in mass transit. The primary election is August 3. The top two vote-getters will advance to the November 2 general election.
Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo ruled yesterday that the San Francisco school board violated state law when it voted to cover up a 1930s mural that critics said is racist and degrading in its depiction of Black and Indigenous people. Judge Massullo said the board failed to conduct an environmental impact review before it voted in 2019 to cover up the sprawling mural at George Washington High School that depicts the life of George Washington. In addition to depicting Washington as a soldier, surveyor, and statesman, the 13-panel, 1,600-square-foot mural contains images of white pioneers standing over the body of a Native person, and slaves working at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.
Keep reading for a full news update.
CDC Recommends The Vaccinated Wear Masks In Areas With Low Vaccinatoin Rates
NBC News, Shannon Pettypiece, Heidi Przybyla, Laura Strickler, Meg Tirrell, July 27
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance on Tuesday recommending indoor mask use in areas with high transmission rates after new data suggested fully vaccinated individuals are not just contracting Covid-19 but could potentially infect others.
An Indigenous Person Could Be The Next Seattle Mayor
Indian Country Today, Richard Arlin Walker, July 27
An Indigenous politician could be the next mayor of a Pacific Northwest city where Native people once were banned from living within the city limits and longhouses were destroyed by arsonists. Colleen Echohawk, Pawnee, and Casey Sixkiller, Cherokee, are two of 15 candidates for mayor of Seattle, the largest city in Washington and the 18th largest city in the United States with a population of 769,000. In the seven years as executive director of the Chief Seattle Club, which serves homeless Native people, Echohawk guided the building of $180 million in affordable housing; moved homeless residents from encampments and into hotel rooms; and started an urban farm where homeless Natives grow traditional foods that are served at the Chief Seattle Club. As deputy mayor, Sixkiller has worked to create housing and shelters, expand access to parks and green spaces, and secure funds to restore habitat, replace failing bridges and invest in mass transit.
Judge Won’t Let San Francisco School Mural Be Covered
AP News, July 27
The San Francisco school board violated state law when it voted to cover up a 1930s mural that critics said is racist and degrading in its depiction of Black and Native American people, a judge ruled Tuesday. Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo said the board failed to conduct an environmental impact review before it voted in 2019 to cover up the sprawling mural at George Washington High School that depicts the life of George Washington, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The 1936 mural was painted by Victor Arnautoff, one of the foremost muralists in the San Francisco area during the Depression. In addition to depicting Washington as a soldier, surveyor and statesman, the 13-panel, 1,600-square-foot (149-square-meter) mural contains images of white pioneers standing over the body of a Native American and slaves working at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.
Pinto Horse Warpaint Retiring From Chiefs Football Games
AP News, July 27
The Kansas City Chiefs are retiring Warpaint the horse, president Mark Donovan said Monday at training camp. Warpaint is a two-time Pinto World Champion who galloped on the field at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium before games and after the Chiefs scored a touchdown.
The pinto horse was originally ridden by a man in full Native American headdress. For years, a cheerleader has ridden Warpaint instead as the Chiefs distance themselves from Native American imagery. Last season the Chiefs prohibited fans from wearing headdresses or war paint amid a push for more cultural sensitivity, and began pushing for a subtle change to the tomahawk chop celebration amid complaints that it’s racist.
Legislation To Change Native American Team Names Lacks Momentum In Arizona
Cronkite News, Henry Greenstein, July 27
In Arizona in 2018, then state Rep. Eric Descheenie, D-Chinle, introduced a bill targeting the Washington NFL team, prohibiting the display of team names that tribes deemed disparaging in publicly funded facilities. He said the bill was never assigned to committee and “died upon arrival.” Now, amid the mounting legislative action in neighboring states, does Descheenie think the issue would go over any better in Arizona? The Republican-controlled Legislature is unwilling to have difficult conversations about topics like Native American mascots, Descheenie said. Descheenie said his 2018 bill, focused on the application of tax dollars, was influenced by the contemporaneous Red for Ed campaign for more school funding. Through the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, he argued, taxpayers were subsidizing the promotion of the Washington team name at the time, e.g., through the printing of tickets, when the team visited State Farm Stadium to play the Cardinals.
Alleged Police Brutality Puts Paiute Man In Hospital
Indian Country Today, Joaqlin Estus, July 27
A brutal beating by two police officers of an Indigenous man in California near the Nevada border has left more questions than answers. Just after 2 a.m. Saturday, police came across an “agitated” man with his dog in an empty parking lot in Bishop, California. Now the man, George Barlow, III, Paiute, age 32, reportedly is in intensive care, and his dog is dead. Police had received a call about violation of a restraining order. No one linked to the call was found. But the two responding officers did see Barlow yelling outside a closed gas station on the Bishop Paiute Reservation.
Red Lake Police Officer Killed While On Duty
Native News Online, Darren Thompson, July 27
A Red Lake Nation Police Officer was shot and killed on Tuesday while on duty. The officer has been identified as Ryan Bialke, a non-tribal member. The incident occurred east of Redby, Minn. on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. The Red Lake Tribal Police Department did not provide a comment as of press time in regards to the incident, but is expected to make a statement soon. One person is in custody in connection with the incident.
Warming Rivers In US West Killing Fish, Imperiling Industry
AP News, Daisy Nguyen, July 27
Baby salmon are dying by the thousands in one California river, and an entire run of endangered salmon could be wiped out in another. Fishermen who make their living off adult salmon, once they enter the Pacific Ocean, are sounding the alarm as blistering heat waves and extended drought in the U.S. West raise water temperatures and imperil fish from Idaho to California. Hundreds of thousands of young salmon are dying in Northern California’s Klamath River as low water levels brought about by drought allow a parasite to thrive, devastating a Native American tribe whose diet and traditions are tied to the fish. And wildlife officials said the Sacramento River is facing a “near-complete loss” of young Chinook salmon due to abnormally warm water.
Native Americans Are Targets Of Voter Suppression Too
The Hill, Frederick Hoxie, July 27
Montana Republicans’ new vote restriction legislation could easily suppress the Indian vote. The new measure forbids an individual from delivering another person’s absentee ballot to the polls. That delivery method is essential for home-bound voters in places without mail service — the situation on many Montana reservations and others across the country. And many elderly Indians living on reservations do not have cars. The Republicans controlling Montana’s legislature know that subtracting small numbers of votes can change election outcomes. In 2018, Democratic Sen. Jon Tester “won seven of eight Montana counties containing the headquarters of a federally recognized tribe and received 50.3 percent of the vote statewide.” To justify voter restrictions, Republican state legislators across the country rely on the deception that they are targeting voter fraud.