Early this morning, President Trump tweeted that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, and that they would isolate themselves during their infections. First reports say that the President is experiencing cold-like symptoms, and the New York Times has live updates on his condition. 

Counting for the 2020 Census must continue through October 31 for now, according to a new court order from Judge Koh that clarifies an earlier order, and the final tabulation must be reported to the President by April 30, 2021.

Meanwhile in Congress, Representative Carolyn Maloney, House Oversight Committee Chair, has asked for a briefing from Census Bureau officials on the decision to set October 5 as the “target date” for ending the Census Count, and Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have sent a letter to the Census Bureau Director and the Secretary of Commerce noting they think the October 5 deadline “runs counter” to Judge Koh’s court order. 

Time magazine published an article covering in detail why Alaska Native Corporations were not able to receive funding from the $8 billion set aside for Indian Country in the CARES Act relief package.

As more and more people come to the website looking for Halloween costume ideas, Pinterest will now allow its users to flag posts that are culturally insensitive, especially for Indigenous people, and advice from experts and Pinterest employee groups on how to respectfully celebrate Halloween will appear on the site. 

Sarah S. Channing was sworn in as Chief to the Seneca-Cayuga Nation this week, becoming the first woman to ever hold the position for the tribe. 

Keep reading for a full news update.


Trump Tests Positive For The Coronavirus 

New York Times, Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman, October 2 

President Trump revealed early Friday morning that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had tested positive for the coronavirus, throwing the nation’s leadership into uncertainty and escalating the crisis posed by a pandemic that has already killed more than 207,000 Americans and devastated the economy.

Why Native Alaskans Missed Out On Washington’s Pandemic Relief Efforts 

Time, Philip Elliot, October 1 

Back in March, as the coronavirus’ impact on the U.S. was coming into focus and Congress was ready with a $2.2 trillion relief package, lawmakers carved out an $8 billion chain of earmarks to specifically aid Native Americans’ health care, education, housing and governance.

COVID-19 Devastates Northern Cheyenne 

Native Sun News Today, Clara Caufield, October 1

A first-person account of the devastation that COVID-19 has brought to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.

Navajo Nation Reports 22 New Covid-19 Cases On Wednesday

Native News Online, October 1

On Wednesday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 22 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and one more death. The total number of deaths is now 556 as of Wednesday. Reports indicate that 7,256 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 106,867 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 10,355.

Stanton Pushes FEMA Assistance For Navajo Nation, Tribal Communities Hit Hard By COVID-19

Indianz.com, October 1

Rep. Greg Stanton continues to push for COVID-related relief for the Navajo Nation, speaking in favor of the FEMA Assistance Relief Act [H.R.8266] – legislation he’s co-sponsored to increase the federal cost share of FEMA public assistance funding for COVID-related declarations – at the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee yesterday.


HEROES Act 2.0 Will Provide $9.5 Billion For Indian Country

Native News Online, October 1 

House Democrats have released a new version of the HEROES Act, which will be voted this week. The Native American Financial Officers Association (NAFOA) offered this analysis on how HEROES 2.0 will impact Indian Country, including $9.5 billion in fiscal relief for tribal governments, $1.734 billion for the Indian Health Service, and Telecom Improvements.


Seneca-Cayuga Nation Elects Its First Female Chief

Indian Country Today, Kalle Bernallie, October 1

Sarah S. Channing was sworn in as chief to the Seneca-Cayuga Nation this week, becoming the first woman ever to hold the position. Channing will oversee about 5,500 tribal members across the United States. The Seneca-Cayuga Nation is one of three federally recognized tribes of the Seneca people in the country and is based in Oklahoma.

Native Mascots:

Pinterest Users Can Now Report Indigenous Halloween Costumes

Indian Country Today, Kalle Benallie, October 1

While trying to find a Halloween costume on Pinterest, users can report culturally insensitive costumes starting Thursday. Since 2016, Pinterest prohibited advertisements for culturally appropriated Halloween costumes. But its new product and policy update is allowing “pinners” to flag posts that are culturally insensitive, especially for Indigenous people, leading up to Oct. 31.

Exeter Chiefs Launch Third Kit Bearing Logo Of Two Native Americans – Despite Opposition From Fans

The Telegraph, Kate Rowan, October 1

Exeter Chiefs are going ahead with the launch of a third kit bearing the logo of two Native Americans despite opposition from some of the club’s followers. The new design features two Native American chiefs wearing headdresses on the front side of the jersey.


California Governor Signs Ramos Bill To Create First Statewide Office Of Suicide Prevention

Redlands Community News, James Folmer, October 1

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill by Assemblyman James C. Ramos, D-Highland, to establish a statewide office of suicide prevention amid spiking calls to crisis hotlines and mental health professionals expressing increased concerns about the mental health impacts from COVID-19. Ramos said the new bill impacts all Californians, but especially the state’s Native Americans.

School Leaders Outline Crisis To New Mexico Lawmakers

AP News, Cedar Attanasio, October 1 

School leaders have outlined dire setbacks for New Mexico to meet its obligation under a court order to provide an adequate education for all students. Panelists told members of the Legislative Finance Committee that the coronavirus pandemic has set schools back in all areas, including meeting requirements to improve instruction for at-risk students. The education lawsuit covers New Mexico students who are English language learners, Native American and those who have specific mobility or learning impediments.


Tracks, Casinos Push For Gambling Expansion In New Mexico

AP News, October 1 

New Mexico’s commercial racetrack and casino venues have crafted a proposal for an expansion that would including internet gaming, 24-hour casino operations, and unlimited video slot machines and table games. However, any changes to gambling regulations runs the risk of nullifying the state’s agreements with Native American tribes that operate casinos. Those compacts, which are not set to expire until 2037, call for the tribes to pay the state a portion of their revenue every quarter.


Why Native Alaskans Missed Out On Washington’s Pandemic Relief Efforts

TIME, Philip Elliot, October 1 

Native Alaskans were left out of the $8 billion in funding for tribes from the CARES Act. The ruling reflects the complex rivalries for access to government funds to address systemic oppression that dates to early settlers’ land grabs.


Native Women’s Equal Pay Day Raises Awareness

Indian Country Today, Aliyah Chavez, October 1

Thursday was observed by many policymakers, entrepreneurs, and activists as “Native Women’s Equal Pay Day,” a campaign to raise awareness about the discrepancies in how much Native women are paid in comparison to others. Data shows the discrepancy in pay for Native women is severe, ultimately resulting in the loss of more than a million dollars for Native women in comparison to White men.

Cherokee, Oglala Women Chosen For Elite Fellowship

Indian Country Today, Ginny Underwood, October 1

Traci Sorell, author and citizen of the Cherokee Nation, and Oglala Lakota performance artist Suzanne Kite join the prestigious ranks of practitioners in the 2021 Tulsa Artist Fellowship. More than 1,200 artists from diverse disciplines, backgrounds and career stages applied for the opportunity to live and work in Tulsa for 12 months, and 18 were selected.

Charlottesville Discusses Removal Of Statue Of Sacagawea

AP News, October 1

The Virginia city of Charlottesville plans to seek proposals to remove a statue commemorating the Lewis and Clark expedition. The statue depicts explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as well as Shoshone Tribe interpreter Sacagawea. Concerns have been raised that the statue depicts Sacagawea in a crouching, subordinate position. Others claim she is tracking.

Nearly 3 In 10 Native American Women Work A Front-line Job, But They’re Far From Receiving Equal Pay

CNBC, Courtney Connley, October 1

Native American women are on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, with nearly 3 in 10 working a job that is considered essential during today’s pandemic. But, despite the critical work that Native American women do, they are still not compensated fairly for their labor and on average are paid approximately $0.60 for every dollar earned by White, non-Hispanic men.

‘We’re Losing A Whole Generation’: How Experts Are Treating Opioid Addiction In Native Communities

Native News Online, Amy Sokolow, September 30

As of 2017, American Indians and Alaska Natives had the second-highest opioid overdose rate of all racial and ethnic groups, at almost 16 per 100,000, as well as the second-highest overdose death rate from heroin and third-highest from synthetic opioids. However, reconnecting with Native identity, along with a medication-assisted treatment plan, is likely what works best for many Native Americans struggling with addiction.