The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the Trump administration’s request for an administrative stay that would halt Judge Koh’s order to continue the Census enumeration efforts until the original deadline of October 31. 9th U.S. Circuit Judges Johnnie Rawlinson and Morgan Christen ruled to deny the stay, while Circuit Judge Patrick Bumatay dissented. As a result, the Census count will continue as Justice Koh ordered.

Plaintiff’s in the Northern California-based lawsuit have asked Judge Koh for a temporary restraining order against the Trump administration enjoining them from any actions that are a result of or related to the December 31, 2020 date for reporting the final tabulation of the total population, or any data collection or processing timelines shorter than the COVID-19 plan that ends enumeration efforts on October 31.

Meanwhile, a decision in the Maryland-based lawsuit over the 2020 Census schedule is not likely to be released until October 3 at the earliest as the 3-judge panel hearing the case wants the Trump administration to explain the impact of the October 5 “target date” announcement. Yesterday also saw the Trump administration add their fourth political appointee to the Census Bureau in three months, with Earl “Trey” Mayfield appointed to serve as counselor to the Bureau’s director, Steven Dillingham.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s Not Invisible Act and Congresswoman Norma Torres’ Savanna’s Act yesterday, two bills that address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. If signed into law, the Not Invisible Act would be the first bill in history to be introduced and passed by four members of federally recognized tribes: Deb Haaland (Pueblo of Laguna), Tom Cole (Chickasaw Nation), Sharice Davids (Ho-Chunk Nation), and Markwayne Mullin (Cherokee Nation).

The National Park Service shut down roads to Quitobaquito Springs in Arizona, a decision that prohibits access to the sacred Tohono O’odham site. Park service officials say the decision was made at the request of Customs and Border Protection, who stated that they are working closely with the Interior Department’s land management agencies to “mitigate recent risks to public safety concerns associated with ongoing border wall construction.”

The University of Hawaii has proposed installing a 28-inch telescope on Mauna Kea, the state’s highest mountain, and is seeking public input on the project. The proposed telescope is far smaller than the stalled Thirty Meter Telescope project, which opponents said would desecrate land considered sacred by some Native Hawaiians.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr told tribal leaders in Oklahoma yesterday that funds were being allocated to hire four federal prosecutors, two for the eastern and northern districts of Oklahoma, in order to help address an increase in criminal cases following the Supreme Court ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma.

Keep reading for a full news update.


COVID-19 Cases Increase On Navajo Nation; Health Experts Call For More Weekend Lockdowns

Native News Online, September 30

On Tuesday, the Navajo Department of Health issued Public Health Emergency Order No. 2020-24, which revises the daily curfew during weekdays from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. starting on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, and implements two additional 57-hour weekend lockdowns as the result of increases in COVID-19 cases in many regions of the Navajo Nation.

2020 Census:

An Inaccurate Census Has Major Implications For Indian Country 

High Country News, Anna V. Smith, October 1

The first place the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed for the 2020 census was Tooksook Bay, Alaska, part of the agency’s long tradition of conducting early counts in the state’s remote villages.

Appeals Court Rejects Push To End Census Early By Trump Administration 

NPR, Hansi Lo Wang, September 30

A federal appeals court has denied the Trump administration’s request to temporarily block a lower court order that extends the 2020 census schedule.

Census Bureau Gets 4th Trump Appointee In 3 Months As Count Nears End 

NPR, Hansi Lo Wang, September 30 

The Trump administration has added its fourth political appointee in three months to the Census Bureau amid growing concerns about partisan interference with the 2020 census.

2020 Census Count To Continue Until At Least October 5

Native News Online, September 30

The U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday said it had moved its target date to conclude 2020 Census self-response and field data collection operations to Oct. 5, 2020. The extension comes as a lawsuit is being heard in a federal court attempting to extend the count until October 31. The case was brought forward by the Navajo Nation, Gila River Indian Community, and several local municipalities.

Navajo Drives Unite Two Goals: COVID-19 Relief And Upping Census Participation

Cronkite News, Daja E. Henry,  September 29

Navajo Nation continues to focus on helping the 174,000 residents of the reservation stay safe in the pandemic and increase Navajo participation in the census before counting ends.

Montana Presses To Finish Census, Eyeing 2nd House Seat

AP News, Iris Samuels, September 29

A complete count of Montana’s households could come with a big reward — a second seat in Congress and millions of federal dollars annually. The situation is even more urgent for the state’s eight Native American tribes, which rely on an accurate census count for federal aid worth millions of dollars.


Haaland, Torres MMIW Bills Signed by Speaker Pelosi, September 30

Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s (NM-01) Not Invisible Act and Congresswoman Norma Torres’ (CA-35) Savanna’s Act. The two bills work to address the missing and murdered indigenous women’s crisis.

Court Weighs Pueblos’ Rights To New Mexico River

AP News, Susan Montoya Bryan, September 30

A decades-long battle over a northern New Mexico river has taken another turn, as a panel of federal appellate judges has reversed a lower court ruling by determining that the aboriginal rights of Indigenous communities were not extinguished by Spain when it took control centuries ago of what is now the American Southwest.

Trump Administration Deals With Fallout From Tribal Victory At Supreme Court, Acee Agoyo, September 30

The Trump administration’s top legal official is in Oklahoma to learn more about the impacts of the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision that affirmed the treaty rights of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. But Attorney General William Barr, the head of the Department of Justice, is prepared to snub the tribe whose victory in the closely-watched McGirt case is still being celebrated across Indian Country.


US Attorney General Pledges Resources At Cherokee Meeting

Indian Country Today, Kolby Kickingwoman, September 30

U.S. Attorney General William Barr told tribal leaders in Oklahoma on Wednesday that additional resources are planned to help address an increase in criminal cases that followed a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

McSally Secures Protections For Tribes’ Affordable Housing Funding, September 30

U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) announced today that tribes will not lose future Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) funding as a result of the CARES Act funding they received. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is exempting tribes from the disbursement requirement that would have reduced the amount of future IHBG funding that a tribe is eligible for.

Hopi Leader: Congress Must Act To Save ‘Life-Changing’ Diabetes Program

Cronkite News, Calah Schlabach, September 30

A “life-changing” diabetes program for Native Americans will expire December 11 if Congress doesn’t take action, advocates said. Hopi Chairman Timothy Nuvangyaoma said it is “critical” that lawmakers reauthorize the Special Diabetes Program for Indians, which serves tribes across Arizona and the nation.

University Of Hawaii Proposes Teaching Telescope On Mountain

AP News, September 29

The University of Hawaii has proposed installing a teaching telescope on the state’s highest mountain and is seeking public input on the project. The new 28-inch (71-centimeter) telescope is far smaller than the stalled Thirty Meter Telescope project, which opponents said would desecrate land considered sacred by some Native Hawaiians.

Feds Cite Safety For Quitobaquito Closing; Critics See Other Motives

Cronkite News, Claire Chandler, September 29

The National Park Service cited public safety concerns for its decision this week to prohibit access to a sacred Tohono O’odham site, a move that has been seen by some as a way to limit border wall protesters and tribal citizens from holding ceremonies at Quitobaquito.