The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sent a letter to Governors this week pushing back the November 1 deadline for states to be ready to receive and distribute COVID-19 vaccines to November 15. The letter makes new requests of state governments, including that jurisdictions return signed data use agreements, identify sites for the prepositioning of vaccine deliveries, and have provider information uploaded into the agency’s vaccine ordering system.

CNBC published an article profiling Paulette Jordan (Cour D’Alene) who is currently running against Idaho Senator Jim Risch to become Idaho’s first female Senator, and the first Native woman ever elected to the Senate. Jordan currently serves as senior executive board representative, finance chair, and energy initiative chair for the National Indian Gaming Association.

In the Navajo Nation, 30-year-old activist and tribal citizen Allie Young is leading trail rides to help voters cast their 2020 ballots. Young led the first “Ride to the Polls” effort last week, and says “our Indigenous children across the country are feeling the urge to connect with our culture more than ever. We thought this was a great way for them to feel inspired and motivated to vote in honor of our ancestors who rode longer miles to make their voices heard by voting at the polls.

NBC announced the development of a new Native family TV drama titled “Sovereign,” from executive producers Ava DuVernay and Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne, Mescalero Apache), along with writers and directors Sydney Freeland (Diné) and Shaz Bennett. The show will chronicle the lives, loves and loyalties of a sprawling Indigenous family struggling to control the future of their tribe against outside forces and themselves.

Keep reading for a full news update.


Navajo Nation Reports 71 New COVID-19 Cases On Wednesday

Native News Online, October 29

The Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 71 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and no recent deaths. The total number of deaths remains 575 as previously reported on Tuesday. Reports indicate that 7,525 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 123,366 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 11,462, including three delayed reported cases.

CDC Pushes Back Deadline For States On Vaccine Delivery Until After Election Day

Bellingham Herald, Michael Wilner, October 28

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a letter to governors this week pushing back a Nov. 1 deadline for states to be ready to receive and distribute coronavirus vaccines until after the presidential election.


Rapid City Lawmakers To Mull Land Dispute

Indian Country Today, Stewart Huntington, October 28

The City Council in this Black Hills town on Wednesday took a step toward a plan to resolve title disputes on three Rapid City properties that are a small — but symbolic — part of a larger land-use claim championed by generations of Lakota community members. The council’s Legal and Finance Committee voted 4-1 to send to the full panel on Monday a resolution authorizing the city to “draft a plan in the next six months which entails land exchanges” for the three disputed properties and financial investments totaling $20 million.

2020 Elections:

Indian Country Deserves A President Who Will Fight For Them As Hard As They’re Fighting For Their Neighbors

Indian Country Today, Joe Biden, October 28

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden shares his plan to benefit Indian Country should he be elected president in the upcoming elections.

Meet Allie Young, The 30-year-old Activist Leading Trail Rides Through Navajo Nation To Get Out The Vote

CNBC, Jennifer Liu, October 28

On Friday, 30-year-old activist Allie Young will lead a group of trail riders through Navajo Nation to help voters cast their ballots in the 2020 election on the last day of early voting in Arizona. Young, a citizen of the Diné, or Navajo Nation, has been leading voter registration and other voting and census efforts throughout Indian Country through her organization Protect the Sacred.

US Rep. Deb Haaland Seeks A Second Term

Indian Country Today, Aliyah Chavez, October 28

Democratic Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico says her first term in Congress has been nothing short of eventful after being sworn in during a government shutdown, voting in a presidential impeachment and working through a global pandemic. Haaland, Laguna and Jemez Pueblo, is seeking reelection for a second term representing New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. On Nov. 3, she faces Republican opponent Michelle Garcia-Holmes, a former police detective and administrator for the state attorney general’s office.

Paulette Jordan Is Running To Become The First Native American Woman In The U.S. Senate

CNBC, Courtney Connley, October 28

As the Democratic nominee for Idaho’s Senate seat up for election this year, Paulette Jordan, Coeur D’Alene, is hoping to defeat long-term Republican incumbent, Sen. Jim Risch, who is running for a third six-year term. If Jordan wins, she will be Idaho’s first female senator and the first Native American woman in U.S. Senate history.


New Mexico Pueblo Leadership Council Gets New Chairman

AP News, October 28

A leadership council that represents Native American pueblos across New Mexico has a new chairman. The All Pueblo Council of Governors announced Tuesday that Wilfred Herrera Jr. of Laguna Pueblo will serve as chairman after J. Michael Chavarria of Santa Clara Pueblo submitted his resignation. Chavarria cited personal reasons for his decision to step down but didn’t provide any details.


NBC Greenlights ‘Sovereign,’ The First Native TV Drama

Native News Online, Monica Whitepigeon, October 28

Last week, NBC announced the development of a new TV drama titled “Sovereign,” from award-winning executive producers Ava DuVernay and Cheyenne, Mescalero Apache member Bird Runningwater. “Sovereign” marks the first Native family drama developed for network television, which chronicles the lives, loves and loyalties of a sprawling Indigenous family struggling to control the future of their tribe against outside forces and themselves.

Navajo Energy Company In Talks Over Coal-Fired Power Plant

US News, October 28

Negotiations between New Mexico’s largest electric utility and the Navajo Transitional Energy Co. could determine whether the tribe acquires a stake in one of the few remaining coal-fired power plants in the Southwest U.S. Officials with Public Service Co. of New Mexico, or PNM, said negotiations over the Four Corners Power Plant began a few months ago.

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribes Seeks Help To Locate Missing Tribal Woman

Native News Online, October 29

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is seeking assistance to locate an 18-year-old tribal woman who has been missing since Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell paused during a live streamed interview with Native News Online on Tuesday night before answering a question to relay an important message about a situation currently confronting his tribe. The woman, Jalahjia Finklea, went missing the day before her 18th birthday.

Navajo Nation Seeks More Paper Applications For Virus Funds

AP News, October 28

The Navajo Nation said it is working to release more paper applications for a tribal hardship assistance program after application shortages caused challenges for chapters and tribal members. The Navajo Nation Office of the Controller made applications available Monday to enrolled members of the tribe who are 65 and older or who have disabilities. The Navajo Nation CARES Fund Hardship Assistance Program applications are open to all other enrolled tribal members on November 2.