The Environmental Investigation Agency released two new video recordings of Pebble Mine executive Ron Thiessen discussing his political strategy for winning a federal permit for the mine. The release is a follow-up to the damaging tapes the group released in September that became a flashpoint in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race and led to the resignation of Thiessen’s former colleague from the project, Tom Collier.
While the U.S. Census Bureau has pointed to the 99.8% non-response follow-up (NRFU) rate as evidence of a good Census count on American Indian and Alaska Native lands, U.S. News & World Report covers why many Native leaders and advocates are worried the metric belies rushed field operations and severe undercounts in tribal areas.
Boeing recently announced a commitment of $1.3 million to support Indigenous communities across the United States, including $300,000 in grants for Southwest Tribal Nations, $140,000 in grants in the Pacific Northwest, and a $60,000 grant in Oklahoma. An additional $840,000 will fund future projects for Native and Indigenous communities to be detailed at a later date.
Navajo Nation Attorney General Doreen N. McPaul announced that the Navajo Nation filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in the Shiprock District Court against all known farmers who are growing hemp and/or marijuana in violation of Navajo law. Possession or distribution of marijuana is a criminal offense under the Navajo Nation Code.
Keep reading for a full news update.
130 New COVID-19 Cases Reported By Navajo Nation Thursday; 501 New Cases Since Last Week
Native News Online, October 29
With the third wave hitting the United States, the Navajo Nation that earlier this year had flattened the curve now appears be being hit by a new surge of Covid-19 positive cases. On Thursday evening, the Navajo Nation reported 130 new Covid-19 cases. Just last Thursday, the case numbers stood at 11, 101, which there have been 501 new cases reported over the course of the past week.
Native Vote Plays Powerful Role, Especially In Swing States
Indian Country Today, Mary Annette Pember, October 29
Native American and Alaska Native voters have the power to determine the next president. Native voters stand to play a crucial role in the 2020 election, especially in swing states where they make up significant portions of eligible voters. States in which two major parties have similar levels of support and high numbers of electoral votes are also home to large Native populations.
Why Native Americans Don’ t Share The Government’s Optimism About The Census
U.S. News & World Report, Isaiah Murtaugh, October 30
On Oct. 15 at 11:59 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time, the 2020 Census count came to a close, the result of a Supreme Court ruling that the Trump administration could end counting two weeks before a COVID-adjusted deadline of Oct. 31.
Navajo Nation Files Lawsuit Against 33 Farmers For Illegally Growing Hemp Or Marijuana On Reservation
Native News Online, October 29
The Navajo Nation is aggressively going after farmers who are allegedly growing hemp or marijuana on the Navajo Nation, the country’s largest reservation. Navajo Nation Attorney General Doreen N. McPaul announced that the Navajo Nation filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in the Shiprock District Court against all known farmers who are growing hemp and/or marijuana in violation of Navajo law.
Boeing Commits $1.3 Million To Support Indigenous Communities Across the United States
PR Newswire, Boeing, October 30
In observance of National Native American Heritage Month in November, Boeing [NYSE: BA] today committed $1.3 million to support Indigenous communities across the United States.
Environmental Group Releases More Secretly Recorded ‘Pebble Tapes” Targeting The Executive Who Remains In Charge
Anchorage Daily News, Alex DeMarban, October 29
An environmental group on Thursday released two additional video recordings of Pebble mine executive Ron Thiessen discussing his political strategy for winning a federal permit for the mine.
FCC Grants No-cost Broadband Spectrum Licenses To 11 Arizona Tribes
Cronkite News, Calah Schlabach, October 29
The Federal Communications Commission has granted broadband spectrum licenses to 11 Arizona tribes. The awards were the result of a “first of its kind” Rural Tribal Priority Window that gave tribes the chance to apply for and receive spectrum licenses at no cost. Those licenses – which can be used for high-speed wireless broadband – are usually auctioned off to the highest bidder.
First-ever, Free Indigenous Horror Film Festival Launches Online For Halloween
The Wichita Eagle, Rod Pocowatchit, October 29
The first ever Nightmare Vision Indigenous Horror Film Festival will be hosted by Vision Maker Media and created by Charlie Perry, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. The program will include two feature-length horror films and many short films by Native American filmmakers.