While the 2020 Census enumeration efforts have come to an end, NBC News reports on the coming challenges the Census Bureau faces in processing all of the data for accurate results. The Census Bureau says they reached more than 99.9 percent of the nation’s households, with roughly 67 percent of responses came from self-response online, by phone or by mail.
With a record 18 Native women running for Congress this year – nine Democrats and nine Republicans – Vogue sat down with New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haalandto discuss her experience as one of the first two Native women in Congress, and what advice she has for new candidates running this year.
On Friday, the Oglala Sioux Tribe locked down the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota until 6 A.M. on October 30. The lockdown comes in response to surging COVID-19 cases in the state. The tribe said non-essential businesses should close to the public, and travel to non-essential work to or from the reservation should stop.
On October 22, the Alaska Regional Association along with the Alaska Native Village Corporation Association filed a Writ Certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States in the Mnuchin v. Chehalis case. The following day, the Department of Justice also filed a Write Certiorari which experts say will further elevate the case for potential SCOTUS review.
President Trump expressed support for a Senate bill that would bring millions of dollars to North Carolina’s Lumbee Tribe, which received limited recognition from the federal government in the 1950s. “For more than a century, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina has sought federal recognition, but has been met with indifference and red tape,” the President said in a statement supporting the bill. “Lumbee Nation is forgotten no more!”
Meanwhile, following the President’s newly released “Putting America’s First Peoples First: Forgotten No More!” document, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs released a memo “fact checking the Trump Administration’s attempt to re-write its Native American record,” with New Mexico Senator Tom Udall stating that “the truth is the White House is actively undermining Tribal sovereignty across the country and mishandling a once-in-a-century pandemic that is disproportionately hurting Native communities.”
The Federal Communications Commission has granted 2.5 GHz broadcast licenses to 154 Native communities so far in New Mexico, Arizona, and elsewhere. Around 400 applications were received in the tribal priority window after it was extended because of the pandemic. More licenses could be awarded as the commission’s staff continues to review and process all the applications that were filed before the deadline.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Navajo Nation President Urges Tribal Citizens To Stay Home As 64 More Covid-19 Cases Were Confirmed On Saturday
Native News Online, October 25
On Saturday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 64 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and no recent deaths. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 11,217, which includes two delayed reported cases.
On The Navajo Nation, COVID-19 Death Toll Is Higher Than Any US State. Here’s How You Can Support Community Relief.
USA Today, Wyatte Grantham-Philips,
The Navajo Nation has been among the most devastated by COVID-19. With 11,101 infections and 574 confirmed deaths, the Navajo Nation has a higher per capita COVID-19 death rate than any U.S. state. How can you help? Here’s some Native-led nonprofits working to provide COVID-19 relief for the Navajo Nation and Indigenous communities across the country
Pine Ridge Reservation Going Into Lockdown Due To COVID-19
AP News, October 23
The Oglala Sioux Tribe locked down the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation on Friday, in response to a surging number of COVID-19 cases in the state. The lockdown began at 10 p.m. Friday and is lasting until 6 a.m. Oct. 30. During this time, all non-critical travel is barred.
Supreme Court Power Grab Threatens Native Health Care During The Pandemic (Opinion)
CNN, Tom Udall and Elizabeth Warren, October 25
As millions of Americans cast their ballots in the most important presidential election in recent history, and as Native communities grapple with the disproportionate toll of a once-in-a-century pandemic, Senate Republicans are focused on one thing: installing a right-wing judge on our nation’s highest court. If Senate Republicans have their way, Judge Amy Coney Barrett will be seated on the Supreme Court in time to rule on the Republican attempt to tear down the ACA — and with it, the health care of millions of Native Americans.
Cherokee Candidates Square Off In US House Race
Indian Country Today, Eddie Churculate, October 25
As one of only four Native Americans out of 535 members of Congress, Oklahoma Republican Markwayne Mullin, Cherokee, has been active in American Indian-related legislation and seeks to continue that work for another two-year term. Against him in the 2nd Congressional District on November 3 are 45-year-old Democrat Danyell Lanier, Cherokee, and Libertarian Richie Castaldo, 38.
Native Americans Battle COVID-19 And Other Voting Obstacles As Election Day Nears
USA Today, Marco della Cava, October 25
COVID-19 has disproportionately sickened or killed Native Americans across the U.S., creating another Election Day challenge for a poor and geographically isolated population already fighting to overcome steep voting barriers ranging from discriminatory election laws to distant polling stations. Though this election has seen many Americans turn to voting by mail to avoid COVID-19 exposure, some Indigenous Americans risk having their votes ignored given the limited and inefficient nature of postal service on many rural reservations.
Reservations Are Being Targeted With Pro-Trump Vandalism
Native News Online, Darren Thompson, October 25
Yesterday, a Dakotas for Biden sign was vandalized with the words “Trump 2020 F**k Biden, F**k BLM” circled out on the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (SWO) Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The vandalism demonstrates a growing national trend with incidents of signs, both pro-Trump and pro-Biden, either reported as missing or defaced. However, this is the second incident investigated by Native News Online where an Indian reservation is targeted by seemingly pro-Trump propaganda.
A Record Number Of Indigenous Women Are Running For Office This Year. Here’s What An Incumbent Has To Say To A Challenger.
Vogue, Christine Allaire, October 24
A report from the Center for American Women and Politics states that, in 2020, 18 Native American women—nine Democrats and nine Republicans—will have run as congressional candidates. This is the largest number of Native American women who have run—overall and in both parties—in a single election cycle.
Minority Pushes Trump Agenda Largely Unpopular Among Tribes
AP News, Felicia Fonseca, October 24
Both President Trump and Joe Biden outlined their plans for Indian Country this month that focus on improving tribal economies and health care, respecting tribal sovereignty and culture, investing in education and bolstering public safety. Gauging exactly how tribal members will vote is difficult because the majority do not live on reservations and county lines don’t always align with tribal voters.
Trump Adds Support To Lumbee Tribe Federal Recognition Bill
AP News, October 22
Full federal recognition of North Carolina’s Lumbee Tribe got a boost with President Donald Trump expressing support for a U.S. Senate bill that could bring millions of dollars in additional funding to the Native American community. Harvey Godwin Jr., the tribe’s elected chairman, said support for full recognition from Trump and North Carolina Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis is very positive but doesn’t mean it’s a done deal.
The 2020 Census Count Is Done, But The Fight Over The Results Is Just Beginning
NBC News, Dartunorro Clark, October 24
The 2020 census count may have officially ended, but the battle over the data it produced is just beginning. Advocacy groups and state and local officials are expressing deep concern about the quality and completeness of the recently collected data. Some said they are still mulling legal challenges over the data and that they plan to pressure Congress to extend the deadline.
California Tribes Oppose Proposed Water Tunnel
Indian Country Today, Nanette Diaz, October 25
Before California shut down due to COVID-19, members of the Yurok, Hoopa Valley, Karuk, Pit River, Winnemem Wintu, Pomo and Miwok nations held an outdoor rally before speaking at a meeting on the Delta Tunnel Conveyance project, saying it would destroy water quality and devastate the state’s salmon population and other important fish species in the San Joaquin Delta estuary.
Here Come The Spirit Rangers!
Indian Country Today, Vincent Schilling, October 24
Chumash tribal citizen Karissa Valencia and executive producer Chris Nee have joined efforts to create, “Spirit Rangers,” an animated preschool series for youth. Besides the storyline being about Indigenous stories, it is also led by Indigenous minds.
US Grants Broadband Licenses To Native American Tribes
AP News, Cedar Attanasio, October 24
The Federal Communications Commission has granted broadcast licenses ideal for high-speed wireless internet to rural tribal governments in New Mexico, Arizona and elsewhere. The 2.5 GHz licenses have been granted to 154 Native American communities so far, the commission announced in a statement Friday.
Fact Checking The Trump Administration’s Attempt To Rewrite Its Native American Record, False Promises To Tribes
United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, October 23
The Trump White House’s newly-released “Putting America’s First Peoples First: Forgotten No More!” document attempts to rewrite its record on Native American issues in numerous misleading ways. The Trump administration claims credit for work primarily achieved by Senate and House Democrats to advance Indian Country priorities and ignores the damage the administration has wrought across Indian Country.
400 Years On, Mayflower’s Legacy Includes Pride, Prejudice
AP News, David Goldman, October 23
In interviews with The Associated Press, Americans and Britons who can trace their ancestry either to the Pilgrims or the Indigenous people who helped them survive talked openly about the need in 2020 to fairly tell the history.