The Supreme Court has agreed to a quick review of the Trump Administration’s attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from Census numbers that will inform how Congressional seats are reallocated. Last month a lower court ruling blocked the push, calling a presidential memo that called for that unprecedented change unlawful.
After becoming one of the first tribes in the country to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials the Lummi Nation has withdrawn from AstraZeneca’s trial, according to the Lummi Indian Business Council. Lummi Nation doctors noted ongoing communication problems with AstraZeneca representatives as a primary factor in the tribe’s decision to withdraw from the trial.
The Pascua Yaqui Tribe asked a federal court in Tucson to force Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez to operate early voting and ballot collection sites on its reservation from Oct. 26 through Nov. 2, and a judge will hear arguments today. The tribe had early voting from 2010 through 2016, but was told prior to the 2018 primary election the reservation’s only early voting site would close and instead a new site off tribal land was opening.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has placed North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission Executive Director Scott Davis on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct. Davis is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and was first appointed to the position in 2009 by then-Gov. John Hoeven. The governor’s office said no additional details would be released during the investigation.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Lummi Nation Withdraws From Astrazeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Trial
Native News Online, October 16
The Lummi Nation, which made headlines in September for being among the first tribes nationwide to participate in coronavirus vaccination trials, has pulled out of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial. The announcement was made by the Lummi Indian Business Council.
Native Americans Face Voting Barriers (video)
Bloomberg, October 17
“A lot of the elders in Navajo speak the traditional language as their first language.” Native American voters talk about the excessive barriers they face, including distance and language, in order to cast a ballot on reservations across the U.S. ahead of the November election
Pascua Yaqui Tribe Seeks Early Voting Site On Reservation
AP News, Jacques Billeaud, October 16
A judge will hear arguments Monday over whether to order an election official in southern Arizona to open an early voting and ballot collection operation for the Nov. 3 election on the Pascua Yaqui tribe’s reservation on the edge of Tucson that hasn’t had an early voting site since 2016.
How Native Americans’ Right To Vote Has Been Systematically Violated For Generations
The Guardian, Nina Lakhani, October 16
The rights of indigenous communities – including the right to vote – have been systematically violated for generations with devastating consequences for access to clean air and water, health, education, economic opportunities, housing and sovereignty. Voter turnout for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives is the lowest in the country, and about one in three eligible voters (1.2 million people) are not registered to vote, according to the National Congress of American Indians.
Possibly Many Firsts For Tricia Zunker In Wisconsin
Indian Country Today, Meghan Sullivan, October 18
Tricia Zunker, Ho-Chunk, is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District, a seat that covers 26 counties, nine tribal reservations, and roughly one-third of the state. If she wins, she will be the first woman to represent the 7th district and the first Native American to represent Wisconsin in Congress
Native Americans For Donald Trump
Indian Country Today, Mary Annette Pember, October 17
Roughly 200 Native and non-Native Trump supporters attended a recent rally for Donald Trump Jr.. Prominent Native leaders such as Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer and U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Cherokee, fired up the crowd with chants of “Four more years!”
Over 200 Native Leaders Endorse Joe Biden For President
Native News Online, October 16
Over 200 American Indian leaders and influencers have endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee. The endorsements were announced on Thursday, October 15, with 19 days until the November 3 election
Indian Affairs Commissioner Faces Allegations Of Misconduct
AP News, October 17
Gov. Doug Burgum has placed North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission Executive Director Scott Davis on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct. State Labor Commissioner Erica Thunder has been appointed interim Indian Affairs commissioner while the investigation is pending
‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ Booed At Michigan Rally For Donald Trump
Newsweek, Matt Keeley, October 17
Speaking Saturday at his Muskegon, Michigan rally, President Donald Trump spurred the crowd to boo the idea of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. This is not the first time Trump has condemned the idea of Indigenous Peoples Day. In this year’s Columbus Day Proclamation, while telling the story of Columbus, Trump warned of “radical activists” who work to “undermine Christopher Columbus’s legacy.”
Alaska Virtual Awards Recognize Excellence, Courage And Leadership
Indian Country Today, Joaqlin Estus, October 17
The Alaska Federation of Natives annually offers ten awards to recognize dedicated service to Native people and the public. The awards go to people who demonstrate courage, leadership, excellence, competence, and sensitivity. They’re recognized for making improvements in their field and for strengthening Indigenous cultures.
‘We Must Be Bold And Lead Without Fear’
Indian Country Today, Meghan Sullivan, October 17
The annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention kicked off the day with a coffee chat between the organization’s president, Julie Kitka, and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney, followed by talks on energy, national security and the importance of the current census. In line with the convention’s theme of “Good Government. Alaskans Decide,” the Friday morning session was filled with talks from both federal and local government officials.
Native American Teachers, Entrepreneurs Seek New Ways To Close Digital Divide
NBC News, Chiara Sottile, October 16
“Our challenge isn’t just to figure out how to teach through distance learning. Our challenge is how to help our parents by providing them with internet access, by providing them sometimes, actually, with the power to run those, because 30 percent of our parents actually don’t have reliable electricity either.”
American Indian Graduate Center Names Scholarship For Late Seminole Leader Max Osceola Jr.
Native News Online, October 16
One week after his passing, the American Indian Graduate Center honored the life of Max Osceola Jr., the former chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s council who passed away last week, by creating the Max Osceola, Jr. Memorial Fund. He was 70.