Judge Amit P. Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied a request by the Shawnee Tribe that would have forced the Treasury Department to hold onto $12 million in relief funding from the CARES Act for the tribe. The tribe argued that their population was undercounted by 98%, and the $12 million was the correct amount they should have been granted under the CARES Act. Read the full opinion here.

The Klamath Tribes Tribal Council sent a letter to Warren E. Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Gregory E. Abel, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, and Stefan Bird, President and CEO of Pacific Power, urging the three to begin the removal of four hydroelectric dams along the Lower Klamath River.

The Kansas City Football team said yesterday that they will prohibit fans from wearing ceremonial headdresses and “Native-style face paint” at their stadium. The team announced that fans will be turned away at the gate if they attempt to enter wearing either.

Following the New York Times opinion piece published yesterday, The Atlantic has published a piece outlining why “the U.S. shouldn’t get to decide if a Navajo man dies,” detailing why the execution of the only Native on death row scheduled for next week should be halted.

The Cherokee Nation has announced the passing of Durbin Feeling, who is considered to be the single largest contributor to the preservation of the Cherokee Language. He wrote the Cherokee dictionary, and was named a Cherokee National Treasure in 2011. Feeling was 74 years old.

The Navajo Nation reported 19 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths, bringing the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Navajo Nation to just over 9,500.

Keep reading for a full news update.


Shawnee Tribe Denied CARES Act Funding By D.C. Judge

Native News Online, August 20

A federal judge on Wednesday denied a request by the Shawnee Tribe that would have forced the Treasury Department to hold onto $12 million in relief funding for the tribe. The tribe had argued that it was due that amount under Title V of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that Congress passed in March.


Navajo Nation Surpasses 9,500 COVID-19 Cases

Native News Online, August 20

On Thursday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 19 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and three recent deaths. The total number of deaths has reached 487 as of Thursday. Reports indicate that 6,996 individuals have recovered from COVID-19. 90,304 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of COVID-19 positive cases is 9,519.


The U.S. Shouldn’t Get To Decide If A Navajo Man Dies

The Atlantic, Matthew L.M. Fletcher and Tamera Begay, August 21

Imagine you live in a state where the death penalty for serious crimes is prohibited. Imagine you are accused of a serious crime against another resident of your state, but your trial is moved to a state where the government can seek the death penalty. Over your objections, the objections of the victim’s family, the objections of your home state, and even the objections of the original prosecutor, you are tried, convicted, and sentenced to death by the foreign jurisdiction.


‘Voting Is Sacred’: Democratic Convention Ends With Calls For Indian Country To Vote For Joe Biden

Indianz.com, Kevin Abourezk, August 21

Speaking on the final night of the Democratic National Convention, one of the first Native women elected to Congress called upon all American citizens to exercise their right to vote and support Joe Biden for president and Kamala Harris for vice president.

Native Mascots:

Kansas City To Prohibit Native Imagery At Arrowhead Stadium

AP News, Dave Skretta, August 20

The Kansas City Chiefs will prohibit the wearing of headdresses, face paint and clothing at Arrowhead Stadium.

They also are discussing the future of the iconic tomahawk chop as they address what many consider racist imagery associated with their franchise.

Kansas City Chiefs Ban Headdresses At Stadium

The New York Times, Michael Levenson, August 20

The Kansas City Chiefs said on Thursday that the team was prohibiting fans from wearing ceremonial headdresses and Native American-style face paint at Arrowhead Stadium, becoming the latest organization to confront offensive symbols amid a nationwide discussion of racist imagery and iconography. 

Northern California Country Hosts Forum On Potential Renaming Of Famous Boulevard

Native News Online, Nanette Kelley, August 20

Indigenous representatives and historians held a forum on renaming a popular road in Northern California after a petition calling for the change was circulated.

Census 2020:

Mail Delays Could Hurt The Census, Too

NPR, Hansi Lo Wang, August 20

Under pressure from the Trump administration to deliver 2020 census results by the end of this year, the U.S. Census Bureau has set a cutoff date for receiving paper forms for the once-a-decade head count, NPR has learned.

West Memphis Offers Drive-Thru Service To Help With 2020 Census

Fox13, Siobhan Riley, August 20

West Memphis city leaders are doing everything possible to get residents to complete census data in the community where numbers are low.

NYC Launches Census Contests To Improve Participation Due To Lagging Response Rates

4NBC New York, August 20

New York City officials announced Thursday that NYC Census 2020 has launched a number of competitions to mobilize participation so that its residents “get their fair share” after the city has seen itself lagging in census response rates. 


Cherokee Nation Mourns Passing Of Longtime Linguist Durbin Feeling

Native News Online, Levi Rickert, August 20

The Cherokee Nation announced the passing of “Cherokee National Treasure” Durbin Feeling, considered the single largest contributor to the preservation of the Cherokee language since the legendary Sequoyah. Feeling was 74.

‘Into The Fire’: New AIM Leaders Face Pivotal Time

Indian Country Today, Stewart Huntington, August 20

When Frank Paro and Lisa Bellanger took the helm of the American Indian Movement from Clyde Bellecourt this spring, they became the first nonfounders at the head of the half-century-old grassroots Native advocacy organization.

An Open Letter From The Klamath Tribes

Klamath Tribes, August 19