After the second presidential debate was cancelled, both the Trump and Biden campaigns held separate Town Hall events last night that aired concurrently – for full highlights of both events, click here.

The Guardian published an interview with Jean Reith Schroedel, author of the new book Voting in Indian Country: The View From The Trenches, in which Schroedel details how the voting rights of Indigenous communities have been systematically violated for generations.

The U.S. National Archives and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe recently completed the digitization of 374 ratified treaties from the Archive’s holdings. Those hoping to delve into the trove can use Indigenous Digital Archive (IDA) Treaties Explorer, a free tool optimized for easily searching and studying the documents. In addition to providing a framework for research, the portal offers maps of different treaty land designations, as well as extensive historical and contextual information.

Former Navajo Nation President and Vice President Thomas Atcitty passed away last weekend of natural causes at the age of 86. Atcitty was also a former state lawmaker, who served seven terms in the New Mexico House of Representatives, and the former President of Navajo Community College, which later became Diné College.

A group of amateur explorers raised money to look at Enbridge Inc.’s oil pipeline along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan, and found possible evidence of Native artifacts from thousands of years ago. The sonar showed what appears to be stones in a half-circle, the Detroit Free Press reported. 

Keep reading for a full news update.


Highlights And Key Moments From Trump And Biden Town Halls 

New York Times, October 16

How Native Americans’ Right To Vote Has Been Systematically Violated For Generations 

The Guardian, Nina Lakhani, October 16

Voter suppression has taken centre stage in the race to elect potentially the 46th president of the United States. But we’ve heard little about the 5.2 million Native Americans whose ancestors have called this land home before there was a US president.

Navajo Nation Reports 40 New COVID-19 Cases; 56-hour Lockdown Set For This Weekend

Native News Online, October 14

On Wednesday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 40 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and no recent deaths.

2020 Election:

For The Navajo Nation, ‘Everything Takes Time,’ Including Voting

The New York Times, Maggie Astor, October 15

Post offices are few and far between on the reservation, and mail can take a week and a half to reach the county seat. In this year’s election, that has more profound implications than ever before. 


Donald Trump Jr. Launches ‘Natives For Trump’

Indian Country Today, Carina Dominguez, October 15

Donald Trump Jr. spoke Thursday at a rally here that marked the launch of a “Native Americans for Trump” coalition. More than 200 people gathered at the town’s rodeo grounds for the event, which featured a drum group and powwow dancers. Flags lined the stage, and a “Native Americans for Trump” banner decorated the risers.


Assistant Secretary Sweeney Approves Fee-To-Trust For Gaming Applications For Two Chickasaw Nation Casino Resorts In Oklahoma, October 15

Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney announced she has approved two fee-to-trust applications submitted by The Chickasaw Nation for casino resorts in and near the Oklahoma cities of Ardmore and Kingston, respectively. Initial spending on both projected to bring millions of dollars, hundreds of jobs to the regional economy


Hundreds of Native American Treaties Digitized for the First Time

Smithsonian Mag, Nora McGreevy, October 15

For many Native American tribes, historical treaties are a fraught reminder of promises made—and broken—by the United States government over centuries of colonial expansion and exploitation. The documents are also of paramount importance today, as tribes and activists point to them as binding agreements in legal battles for land and resources.

Ancient Stone Patterns Add New Wrinkle To Pipeline Debate

AP News, October 15

Images from an underwater vehicle seem to reveal stone patterns on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan, possible evidence of Native American artifacts from thousands of years ago. Enbridge Inc. operates a dual pipeline known as Line 5 in the Straits, which connect lakes Huron and Michigan. It’s now proposing to put the pipeline in a tunnel under the lakebed, though critics want any pipeline shut down.

Red Lake Welcome Sign Defaced With Nazi Swastika And Trump 2020 Vandalism

Native News Online, Darren Thompson, October 15

The Red Lake Nation was notified that a welcome sign to the reservation was vandalized with a Nazi swastika and the words “Trump 2020” in black spray paint. However, because the sign is off the reservation, the Red Lake Nation, including the Red Lake Police Department, couldn’t do much to find out who was responsible for the damage.  

Navajo Nation Mourns Loss Of Former President Thomas Atcitty

Native News Online, October 15

The Navajo Nation is mourning the loss of Thomas Atcitty, who served as president and vice president of the Navajo Nation. Atcitty was also a former state lawmaker, who served seven terms in the New Mexico House of Representatives. He passed away on Sunday, Oct. 11 of natural causes.

Navajo Nation Lowering Flags To Honor Late Tribal President

AP News, October 15

All flags on the Navajo Nation will be flown at half-staff through Monday in honor of former tribal President Thomas Atcitty. The 86-year-old Atcitty died Sunday in New Mexico.

New Mexico Utility, Tribe To Break Ground On Solar Farm

AP News, Susan Montoya Bryan, October 15

New Mexico’s largest electric utility is breaking ground on a 50-megawatt solar field that will provide power to Western New Mexico University, the city of Albuquerque and other large users. As the third largest solar project on tribal land in the U.S., the array will be capable of producing enough electricity to power the equivalent of about 16,000 average homes for a year.