“Today is Monday. There may be 2 or 33 days left to get counted for the #2020Census — depending on what the courts and Congress decide to do. For now, your household can still respond at http://My2020Census.gov.” – NPR Reporter Hansi Lo Wang

On Friday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court ruled 3-0 that Alaska Native Corporations (ANC) are not eligible for any of the $8 billion of CARES Act funding that was allocated for tribal governments. After a months-long legal dispute, the three-judge panel ruled that ANC’s are not tribal governments.

For a complete summary of how tribal CARES Act funding has been allocated thus far, click here. 

A Montana Judge struck down the Ballot Interference Prevention Act that restricted third-party collection of absentee ballots on Friday. Several Native groups argued that they rely on ballot collection efforts to cast their votes, and the law exacerbated the barriers rural Natives face in voting.

After “Schitt’s Creek” creator and star Dan Levy posted on Instagram about the “Indigenous Canada” course he had signed up for online, more than 64,000 people signed up as well. The 12-week course covers Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada and is entirely online, but Levy has set up a weekly “study group” where he meets virtually with professors from the university to go over the lessons.

Keep reading for a full news update.


Alaska Native Corporations Ineligible For Coronavirus Funds

Indian Country Today, Kolby Kickingwoman, September 27

Alaska Native Corporations are not eligible to receive any of the $8 billion of the federal coronavirus relief money set aside for tribes, an appeals court ruled Friday. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit determined Alaska Native Corporations are not tribal governments.

Appeals Court Sides With Tribes In COVID-19 Funding Dispute

Indianz.com, Acee Agoyo, September 25

Alaska Native corporations (ANCs) are not entitled to shares of the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday. The 24-page ruling, accompanied by a two-page concurrence, comes just two weeks after the D.C. Circuit heard arguments in the closely-watched case.

COVID-19 Relief Fund Allocations For Tribal Governments

Indianz.com, September 24

Indianz.com is publishing the payments made to tribes from the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund, based on information from usaspending.gov, a U.S. government website.

Census 2020:

Federal Judge Orders 2020 Census Count To Continue To End Of October

Native News Online, September 25

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration’s Census Bureau must continue counting until October 31 of this year instead of its attempt to slash a month off the enumerating process, a move the administration announced in early August.


Montana Judge Tosses Law, Saying It Restricts Native Voting Rights

AP News, Amy Beth Hanson, September 25

A Montana judge on Friday struck down a voter-enacted law that restricted third-party collection of absentee ballots after several Native American groups argued they rely on ballot collection efforts to vote.

Navajo Police Start Shutting Down Hemp Farms

Navajo Times, Arlyssa Becenti, September 27

Navajo Nation Police are documenting illegal hemp farms in “Operation Greener Pastures.” Chief of Police Phillip Francisco explained this operation is significant and uses extra manpower — 21 officers from multiple departments.

Action On Missing, Murdered Women Legislation Caps Years Of Advocacy

Cronkite News, Calah Schlabach, September 25 

Native American advocates and victim’s families have worked for years to draw attention to Indian Country’s epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women. The House gave final approval this week to two bills, Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act, that would essentially force a review of the problem and create a federal plan of action.


Shinnecock Partner With Seminole Hard Rock On Casino Venture

Indian Country Today, Sandra Hale Schulman, September 27 

The Shinnecock Nation, based in Southampton, Long Island, has partnered with tribal gaming giant Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment on a proposed resort-casino. The joint gaming venture will further the tribe’s “inherent sovereignty through economic growth and development,” while creating hundreds of jobs and a revenue stream for the tribe and the state.


Shoshone Leader Competes For Utah US House Seat

Indian Country Today, Meghan Sullivan, September 27 

Darren Parry, Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation, is running for election to the U.S. House, vying for an open seat in northern Utah’s 1st Congressional District. The former tribal chairman is running on the Democratic ticket after having defeated Jamie Cheek in a close June primary.

2020 Elections:

Native American Tribes In Texas Rally To Increase Voter Turnout

Texas Tribune, Trinity Joslin, September 25

Cecelia Flores, Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, and other members of the Tribal Council are hoping to increase tribe members’ voter participation in hopes that Texans in Congress take the tribe’s issues more seriously — and support legislation they need.


Blackfeet Tribe Imposes 14-day Lockdown As COVID-19 Cases Surge

AP News, September 25

The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council is imposing a 14-day lockdown as COVID-19 cases surge on the reservation east of Glacier National Park. The tribe’s business council said Thursday the shutdown would begin Sunday at midnight, the Great Falls Tribune reported. Law enforcement will cite and fine people who do not comply, the tribe said in a news release.


‘Schitt’s Creek’ Star, And His Fans, Are Taking Indigenous Studies

The New York Times, Catherine Porter, September 26

Schitt’s Creek creator Dan Levy suggested in an Instagram post that his fans study Canadian Indigenous history along with him. About 64,000 people signed up. 

Trump Administration Sets Logging Plans For Alaska Forest

Indian Country Today, Joaqlin Estus, September 25

The U.S. Forest Service has released a report laying the groundwork to open more than 9 million acres in the nation’s largest national forest to logging. The preferred alternative in its environmental study, released Friday, would exempt southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest from a rule prohibiting road construction and timber harvesting. That would remove 9.37 million acres from roadless designation and provide the most possible timber harvest opportunities of six options the agency considered. 

Nevada Dubs Sept. 25 ‘Native American Day’

Indian Country Today, Meghan Sullivan, September 25

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that Sept. 25 will officially be Native American Day in Nevada, joining a growing number of states that have dedicated a day toward honoring Native American people and cultures.

Ceremony Marks Start Of Construction On Memorial At National Cemetery

NBC Palm Springs, Ceci Partridge, September 25

U.S Department of Veterans Affairs officials Friday broke ground on a memorial honoring Native Americans and others interred at Riverside National Cemetery. The cemetery addition will consist of a bronze statue symbolizing the American Indian in service to the nation and will feature a plaza and walkway.

Bringing Awareness To Indigenous Men’s Mental Health Through Biking

Indian Country Today, Aliyah Chavez, September 26

A group of Indigenous men cycling more than 800 miles say they have one goal in mind: to bring hope and healing for Black and Indigenous men. The ride is sponsored by Break the (BI)CYCLE, an organization dedicated to bringing awareness to the mental health challenges faced by men of color. It began in Wyoming and will conclude in New Mexico.