The NAACP, Navajo Nation, Chicago, and Los Angeles County are interested in joining the plaintiffs in the National Urban League-led lawsuit over the shortened 2020 Census schedule, the plaintiffs’ attorney Melissa Sherry said during a virtual case management conference.

The State of Alaska is suing the Federal Subsistence Board over the closure of hunting lands that are part of the traditional homelands of Ahtna Athabascans to everyone but locals. The state argues there are enough moose, and more than enough caribou, to let the hunt go on as it has in the past.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer released a statement on the execution of Lezmond Mitchell, the only Native on death row who was executed earlier this week.

“We don’t expect federal officials to understand our strongly held traditions of clan relationship, keeping harmony in our communities, and holding life sacred. What we do expect, no, what we demand, is respect for our People, for our Tribal Nation, and we will not be pushed aside any longer,” the two wrote.

The Cook Inlet Tribal Council has bought from Cook Inlet Region Inc., the Alaska Native Corporation that represents the region’s Athabascan, Southeast Indian, Inupiat, Yup’ik, Alutiiq, and Aleut people. The online portal aims to connect Alaska Native and Native people with local job opportunities.

Keep reading for a full news update.


‘A Disgraceful Insult’: Joe Biden Campaign Calls Out Navajo Leader For Republican Speech, Acee Agoyo, August 27

The Joe Biden presidential campaign is taking the unusual step of calling out a tribal leader, accusing Vice President Myron Lizer of the Navajo Nation of making “misleading” claims about rival Donald Trump’s record on Indian issues. Through a surrogate, the Biden campaign on Wednesday evening responded to Lizer’s prime-time video address at the Republican National Convention from the night prior. Glenmore Begaye, a Navajo veteran, called the GOP speech a “disgraceful insult” to his people and said it ignored the Trump administration’s mistreatment of Indian Country, particularly during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Biden For President Responds To Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer’s Remarks At The Republican National Convention, August 27

Biden for President released a statement responding to misleading claims made by Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer last night at the Republican National Convention. In his remarks, Lizer touted Donald Trump’s recent attempts to paper over his failed leadership with Native communities. But Trump’s empty and careless gestures have left Navajo Nation underfunded against the COVID-19 pandemic, and hurt thousands of Native businesses and employees.

Native Mascots:

Newton May Reconsider City Seal Over Its Depiction Of Native Americans

Boston Globe, John Hilliard, August 27

As communities across the state drop Native American imagery from team mascots, Newton’s mayor wants to rethink the city’s longstanding official seal because of its depiction of a white man standing over indigenous people. The seal depicts the moment when a group of Massachusett tribe members, including leader Waban, listened to a sermon by English missionary John Eliot in 1646.  


Navajo Nation Thursday COVID-19 Update: Four New Cases And One More Death

Native News Online, August 27

On Thursday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported four new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and one more death. The total number of deaths has reached 499 as of Thursday. Reports indicate that 7,027 individuals have recovered from COVID-19. 93,565 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of COVID-19 positive cases is 9,601.


Alaska Natives Protest State Lawsuit On Subsistence Hunting

Indian Country Today, Joaqlin Estus, August 27

Caribou and moose hunting season opened this month in Alaska, but only locals will be hunting at a popular destination for urban Alaska hunters. The state argues there are enough moose, and more than enough caribou, to let the hunt go on as it has in the past, therefore, the state is suing over the closure of this swath of land to non-local hunters for the 2020-22 hunting seasons. Six Alaska Native organizations are asking for a halt to “state oppression of Indigenous ways of life” and are protesting the state’s opposition to the federal closure. 

Navajo Nation Wants More Say Over Criminal Justice Matters

AP News, Felicia Fonseca, August 27

Shortly after the only Native American man on federal death row took his last breath, his tribe blasted the federal government and accused it of violating the spirit of a law that allows tribes to decide whether to subject their citizens to capital punishment. The Navajo Nation had asked President Donald Trump to reduce Mitchell’s punishment to life in prison. As the execution neared, Trump took no action and courts declined to intervene.


Jonathan Nez And Myron Lizer: A ‘Sad Day’ For The Navajo Nation, August 27

A statement from President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer of the Navajo Nation. The two leaders reached to the execution of Lezmond Mitchell by the U.S. government on the evening of August 26, 2020. 

Tohono O’odham Police Officer Killed

Indian Country Today, Dalton Walker, August 27

A tribal officer in southern Arizona died Thursday after being seriously injured while apprehending a suspect, authorities said. Tohono O’odham Police Officer Bryan Brown had responded to reports of a public disturbance by an armed and erratic driver in the community of Why, according to a release. He was badly hurt during the apprehension and was airlifted to a Phoenix hospital, where he died.

Cold Case Units Focus On Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women

AP News, Mark Thiessen, August 27

Hundreds of Alaska Native or American Indian women have gone missing over the years, and in many instances, their cases have gone cold. Now the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services is opening seven Operation Lady Justice Task Force cold case offices across the country to concentrate on the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Hurricane Laura Moves Deeper Inland

Indian Country Today, August 27

The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana posted on Facebook Wednesday night that the tribe was doing its best “to prepare for high water and more, but most importantly, doing everything we can to be the helping hand that will no doubt be necessary.”

Without Reservations: Wash Your Hands

Indian Country Today, Patty Talahongva, August 27

New Mexico’s Indian Affairs and Human Services departments have partnered with cartoonist Ricardo Caté to create a COVID-19 coloring book for tribal youth. Caté’s cartoon “Without Reservations” is published daily in the Santa Fe New Mexican and The Taos News.

Alaska Nonprofit Buys Job-Seeker Website

Indian Country Today, Meghan Sullivan, August 27 

A south-central Alaska nonprofit has acquired a website for Alaska Native job seekers. The Cook Inlet Tribal Council bought from Cook Inlet Region Inc., the Alaska Native corporation that represents the region’s Athabascan, Southeast Indian, Inupiat, Yup’ik, Alutiiq and Aleut people. The online portal aims to connect Alaska Native and Native American people with local job opportunities.