Today, the Native People Count California (NPCCA) campaign, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), and Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) kicks off its unprecedented statewide Indigenous Week of Action for the 2020 Census in California from September 7-12. On September 10, NPCCA, EPIC, and MICOP will celebrate the 2020 California Census Indigenous Peoples Day and host a live stream event from 9:00-10:00 am on the EPIC Facebook page in celebration of the Indigenous communities coming together as a unified voice to get our hard-to-count communities counted. 

Ireland’s lacrosse team announced over the weekend that they would voluntarily withdraw their men’s field team from the 2022 World Games to ensure that the Iroquois Nationals are able to compete. This is the latest chapter in the longstanding relationship between Ireland and Indian Country that began in 1847 when Choctaw leaders gave $170 – roughly $5,000 today – to the Irish during the potato famine.

The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise is working with Census officials to host a series of events they hope will boost participation in the enumeration efforts. Casinos in Arizona and New Mexico will host events where individuals can drive through or sit with a representative to complete the Census.  

President Trump’s re-election campaign is fighting a lawsuit filed by a group of Navajo Nation citizens who want Arizona’s mail-in voting requirements to change to ensure that ballots sent from the tribe’s reservation will be counted in November.

Indian Country Today covered a virtual Native American talking circle that met this past Friday. The public event was convened by the Biden-Harris Presidential campaign, and featured five Native women from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The talking circle covered a number of issues, and ended with a strong call to action for Native people to register and vote this November.

University of Colorado Boulder President Mark Kennedy has come under fire from the school’s Native American and Indigenous Studies Center after a meeting write-up that was published last week quoted him as saying “on-campus is declining and online is growing. If we don’t get online right… we have a trail of tears in front of us.” Kennedy has apologized, and the quote was deleted from the university’s account of the meeting.


Navajo Nation COVID-19 Update: 10 New Cases Reported On Friday

Native News Online, September 5

On Friday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 10 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation. The total number of deaths is now 520 as of Friday. Reports indicate that 7,142 individuals have recovered from COVID-19 and 96,734 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 9,883.


Virtual Talking Circle As A Precedent; Showcasing Native Women

Indian Country Today, Mary Annette Pember, September 4

Five Native women leaders from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan met Friday during a virtual Native American talking circle to discuss the Democratic presidential and vice presidential candidates. The public event was organized as a Native American talking circle, but it ended being what could be the first national campaign focused exclusively on Native women.

Trump Campaign Seeks To Block Navajo Nation Voters’ Lawsuit Over Arizona Mail-in Ballots

NBC News, Erik Ortiz, September 4

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is fighting a group of Navajo Nation citizens who want Arizona’s mail-in voting requirements changed in line with a dozen other states, for fear that ballots sent from the tribe’s reservation won’t be counted in the November election. The motion filed in federal court by the Trump campaign and other state and national Republican committees attempts to undercut the message of six Navajo plaintiffs who say in a lawsuit that the state’s current stipulation could disenfranchise Native American voters.

Tribe Renews Voting Site Push, Sets Up Showdown With Pima Recorder

Cronkite News, Calah Schlabach, September 4

At least two Pima County supervisors will “press forward” to get an early voting site reinstated on the Pascua-Yaqui reservation, setting up a showdown with the county recorder who rejected the request again this week. Tribal officials told county supervisors this week that COVID-19 has raised concerns about voting accessibility for tribal members, many of whom are elderly and don’t have access to vehicles. 

National Census 

Navajo Casinos Join Effort To Boost Census Participation

AP News, September 5

Casinos on the Navajo Nation are teaming up with census officials for a series of events they hope will boost participation in the count. Billions of dollars in federal funding are at stake along with congressional representation, and many Native American communities are historically undercounted. The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise will be hosting events in Arizona and New Mexico where people can either drive through or sit with a representative to complete the census questionnaire.

Early Census Deadline ‘Feels Like An Attack’

Indian Country Today, September 4

Two tribes joined cities, counties and nonprofit organizations in a lawsuit against the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Commerce for shortening the 2020 Census deadline. The Navajo Nation and Gila River Indian Community announced that they want the bureau to continue its operations until Oct. 31, the date set in April as part of the bureau’s COVID-19 plan. 


Sharing Language With The World

Indian Country Today, Vincent Schilling, September 6

In a famous scene that resonated with Indian Country, Eugene Brave Rock spoke Siksikaitsitapi to Wonder Woman in the 2017 blockbuster movie. Since that time, Brave Rock has used his platform on social media and in the film industry to promote the resilience and importance of preserving Native languages worldwide. His latest initiative — a partnership with Blackfoot elder Sheldon First Rider and Red Iron Labs — is a multimedia approach to revive his own Blackfoot language. The initiative is appropriately called the Blackfoot Language Revival.

Houlton Band Of Maliseet Indians To Receive Funds For Community Center

AP News, September 6

A Native American tribe and seven organizations in Maine are slated to receive more than $5 million in federal grants and loans that are intended to boost rural institutions. The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians in Littleton has been selected to receive $50,000 to improve the community center it operates on tribal lands in Houlton.

Concerns Mount As Wildfire Destroys 47,000 Acres On Two Montana Indian Reservations

Native News Online, September 5

A Red Flag warning remains in effect until Sunday evening due to the 78 square mile Sarpy Fire that has burned grass and ponderosa pine on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations in Montana. The fire is zero percent contained as of Friday night. And, fortunately there have been no human injuries reported as of Friday. The fire that went out of control due to high winds on Wednesday has destroyed 27,000 acres on the Crow Indian Reservation and roughly 20,000 acres on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.

Friendship Between Ireland, Tribes Lives On

Indian Country Today, Dalton Walker, September 5 

This week, the Ireland Lacrosse team bowed out of an international tournament to open up a spot for the Iroquois Nationals. It’s the latest in a series of gestures between the island nation and Native American tribes that date back to 1847, when Choctaw leaders gave $170 to the Irish as their country battled a potato famine that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands. Historians estimate today’s value of the amount at roughly $5,000.

Native American Activists Call On City Council To Replace Columbus Day With Indigenous Peoples Day

Chicago Tribune, Sophie Sherry, September 4

Young Native American activists pressed Chicago aldermen to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day during a City Council committee meeting Friday. While Friday’s discussion was only a subject matter hearing and involved no formal vote, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th, said it was an important step toward advancing the matter before the full council.

University Leader Criticized For Using ‘Trail Of Tears’

AP News, September 4

University of Colorado Boulder President Mark Kennedy has received criticism from its Native American and Indigenous Studies Center after using the phrase “trail of tears” colloquially in a faculty meeting last week. “On-campus is declining and online is growing. If we don’t get online right… we have a trail of tears in front of us,” Kennedy said. 

Colorado University President Taking Heat For “Trail Of Tears” Comment

Native News Online, September 4

University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy is being called out by faculty and the school’s native studies center for saying online classes needed to increase in order for the university to avoid “a trail of tears.” The comment was made on Aug. 27 during a meeting between Kennedy and the university faculty meeting.

Tribal Communities Still Waiting For Klamath Dam Removal

Indian Country Today, Frankie Myers, September 4

In 2010, national headlines declared the largest dam removal project in US history was poised to move forward. Four large dams along the Klamath River in southern Oregon and northern California would be removed, restoring one of America’s greatest salmon rivers and revitalizing the tribal communities that have depended on salmon since the dawn of time. It’s now 2020 and the dams remain in place, Klamath salmon are closer to extinction, and tribal communities still suffer a profound loss of culture.