On Saturday morning, CNN projected that former Vice President Joe Biden would win the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the 2020 Presidential Election, putting him over the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the race. Other major news organizations quickly followed suit and called the election for Biden, with world leaders congratulating the new President-elect on his victory.

Meanwhile, President Trump has refused to concede the election, and has instead filed a number of lawsuits alleging without evidence that there was widespread voter fraud in several states. While most legal experts agree that these lawsuits are very unlikely to impact the outcome of the election,  the Trump appointed Administrator of the General Services Administration, Emily Murphy, has refused to sign paperwork required to officially begin the transition process.

Leaders and Organizations across Indian Country reacted to the news of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris’ victory over the weekend, with one prominent national organization leader telling Native News Online that “Indian Country has only been treading water during this current administration. Now is the time to strike to get more done for Indian Country under the upcoming administration.”

Indian Country Today reports on the results of tribal elections across the country, noting that six tribes have new leadership – including on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana, where Native women swept the President, Vice President and five tribal council seats.

The Calista Corporation, an Alaska Native Corporation, has established a process for 56 tribes to vote on the creation of a regional tribal government in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The deadline for interested tribes to respond has been delayed to the end of the year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The creation of a regional government has been discussed by area residents for almost half a century.

The chairman of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes in northeastern Montana was suspended this week and faces a removal hearing in December. Eight of 12 Executive Board members signed the statement suspending the chairman for “inappropriate official action” on behalf of a construction company that the tribe has litigation against for alleged breach of contract, and a series of violations of the board’s code of ethics.

Keep reading for a full news update.

2020 Elections:

Biden Defeats Trump In An Election He Made About Character Of The Nation And The President 

CNN, Stephen Collinson and Maeve Reston, November 7

America has chosen Democrat Joe Biden as its 46th president, CNN projects, turning at a time of national crisis to a man whose character was forged by aching personal tragedy and who is pledging to restore calm and truth after Donald Trump’s exhausting and manic single term.

A Little-Known Trump Appointee Is In Charge Of Handing Transition Resources To Biden — And She Isn’t Budging

Washington Post, Lisa Rein, Jonathan O’Connell, and Josh Dawsey, November 8

A Trump administration appointee is refusing to sign a letter allowing President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team to formally begin its work this week, in another sign the incumbent president has not acknowledged Biden’s victory and could disrupt the transfer of power.

World Leaders Congratulate Biden On Election Victory 

Axios, Dave Lawler, November 8

The leaders of America’s closest allies aren’t waiting for President Trump to concede. They’re already offering their congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Indian Country Reacts To The Election Of Joe Biden And Kamala Harris

Native News Online, November 8

After the 2020 presidential election winner declaration naming President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the victors, Indian Country reacted.

The Navajo Vote Helped Win Arizona For Biden [Opinion]

Native News Online, Levi Rickert, November 8

The election results showed in the three counties in northeast Arizona that overlap with the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe, tribal citizens in precincts voted for Joe Biden with 73,954 votes to only 2,010 for Donald Trump. The Native votes translated to a rate of 97 percent for Biden as opposed to 51 percent throughout the entire state.

Here Are All the Lawsuits the Trump Campaign Has Filed Since Election Day—And Why Most Are Unlikely to Go Anywhere

Time, Alana Abramson and Abigail Abrams, November 7

Joe Biden won the presidential election on Saturday after the Associated Press called him the winner in Pennsylvania, pushing the former Vice President past the 270 electoral college votes needed to clinch the White House.

In Wisconsin, Native American Vote May Have Helped Biden Top Trump In 2020 Election

Green Bay Press Gazette, Frank Vaisvilas, November 6

One key to the slim, unofficial victory for the Biden campaign in Wisconsin may have been the Native American vote. American Indians/Alaska Natives make up 1.2% of the state’s population, or about 70,000 people, according to the U.S. Census 2019 estimate.

How Native American Voters Have Affected Election Results

NPR, Mary Louise Kelly, November 6

NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly talks with Tara Benally, field director for Rural Utah Project, about how the Indigenous vote in Arizona has played a role in flipping the key swing state.

Election Day Times Two In Indian Country

Indian Country Today, Dalton Walker, November 6

At least six tribes across the country have new leadership, including one in Montana that elected a cast of female leaders. They held tribal elections on November 3, the same day voters cast ballots in federal, state and local races.

Kevin Killer Elected President Of The Oglala Sioux Tribe

Native News Online, November 6

Kevin Killer, a former South Dakota state senator, has been elected president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST), based on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Killer beat incumbent OST President Julian Bear Runner by a 2-to-1 margin. The unofficial tally has Killer winning 2,228 votes to 1,117 votes for Bear Runner.


Biden-Harris Campaign Launches Transition Website

WKBN, November 4

The Biden-Harris campaign has launched a transition website before the presidential election has been officially called. Titled Build Back Better, the post on the homepage of the website says they are preparing for the transition.


Man At Center Of Tribal Sovereignty Ruling Again Convicted

AP News, November 7

A member of the Seminole Nation has been convicted in federal court of sexually assaulting a child after the U.S. Supreme Court in July ruled that Oklahoma prosecutors did not have authority to pursue charges against American Indians in parts of the state.


Navajo Nation Reports 124 New COVID-19 Cases; 2 More Deaths On Sunday

Native News Online, November 8

The Navajo Department of Health reported 124 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and two more deaths. The total number of deaths is now 593 as of Sunday. Reports indicate that 7,641 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 131,873 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 12,571.

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (New York)

Indianz.com, November 6

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Emergency Operations Center reports a spike of six (6) new active COVID-19 cases under the Tribe’s jurisdiction — making 11 total active COVID-19 cases attributed to multiple sources.

Pueblo Of Laguna (New Mexico)

Indianz.com, November 6

The Pueblo of Laguna continues to see an increase COVID-19 cases on the reservation in New Mexico, Governor Wilfred Herrera said in his weekly update. “It’s disheartening to say that we are now dealing with community spread. Yesterday, it was reported that we had 51 active cases, with 51 households in quarantine and isolation. Within 24hrs, these numbers have continued to increase.”


Assembling An Inclusive Biden Cabinet

Indian Country Today, November 8

President-elect Joe Biden is likely to move quickly in announcing cabinet picks and top aides central to dealing with the pandemic, including leaders of the departments of the Treasury and Health and Human Services and a National Economic Council director. Biden has promised to assemble one of the most diverse Cabinets in history. And in speech after speech the president-elect and vice president-elect are careful to mention Native Americans in their listing of inclusion.

What’s On PBS? More Native Programs

Indian Country Today, Vincent Schilling, November 8

PBS stations and the World Channel have both recently announced that KCET in Southern California (PBS SoCal) have listed a specific series of programs honoring Native American Heritage Month in November. Native programs starting this month on KCET will include “Without a Whisper: Konnon:Kwe,” “The Warrior Tradition,” “The People’s Protectors,” and the original series “Tending Nature.”

Remembering The Native American Who Was The First Person Of Color To Serve As Us Vice President

CNN, Alaa Elassar, November 8

Kamala Harris on Saturday made history as America’s first woman, first Black and first South Asian vice president-elect. But she will not be the first person of color to serve as vice president of the United States. In 1928, Charles Curtis — a Native American lawmaker and member of the Kaw Nation — was elected as President Herbert Hoover’s vice president.

$144m Proposed For Those In Arizona Hurt By Coal Closures

AP News, November 7

Arizona Public Service is proposing a plan to offer $144 million to aid three coal country and Native American communities where the company will eventually close its remaining coal-run power plants. The plan would increase investments in the Navajo Nation, Hopi tribe and Joseph City area while retaining workers, providing electricity to regions in Navajo that are off the power grid and developing renewable energy projects.

Meet The Native Contestants For Miss USA, Miss Teen USA

Indian Country Today, Vincent Schilling, November 7

This year, the 69th Miss USA pageant and the 38th Miss Teen USA pageant will be taking place at the home of Elvis Presley: Graceland, Tennessee. Indian Country has a reason to celebrate as two of the contestants are Native American. Miss Oklahoma Mariah Jane Davis is Choctaw, and Miss Teen Maine Grace Morey is Passamaquoddy. Davis, if crowned, would be the first Native Miss USA in the pageant’s history.

Native American Remains Will Receive Ceremonial Burial

AP News, November 7

Two sets of remains of Native Americans found at a construction site in a Southern California neighborhood will receive a ceremonial burial, officials said. Bones discovered in late October by city workers in Santa Ana were determined to be at least 100 years old and are possibly those of a member of the Gabrielino-Tongva tribe who once lived in the area.

Efforts Made To Establish Alaska Regional Tribal Government

AP News, November 6

Alaska Native regional corporation has set a path toward a plan to organize tribes into a regional government in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, an official said. The Calista Corporation established a process for each of 56 tribes to signal their intent to vote on the creation of a government for the western Alaska region.

Fort Peck Chairman Suspended, Faces Removal

Indian Country Today, Dalton Walker, November 6

The chairman of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes in northeastern Montana was suspended this week and faces a removal hearing in December. The Assiniboine and Sioux Tribal Executive Board issued a statement of charges for removal of Chairman Floyd Azure. The allegations include “inappropriate official action” on behalf of a construction company that the tribe has litigation against for alleged breach of contract and a series of violations of the board’s code of ethics.

Repatriating The Archives: Lumbee Scholars Find Their People And Bring Them Home

Native News Online, Ashley Minner and Jessica Locklear, November 6

Following World War II, thousands of Lumbee Indians migrated from their tribal homeland in rural North Carolina to industrialized cities, including Baltimore and Philadelphia. Now, Lumbee Scholars Ashley Minner and Jessica Locklear have mined local archives in search of their forebears. They have found news articles, photographs, maps, and even video footage documenting relatives and friends who often have no idea they are represented in collections.

45th Annual American Indian Film Festival Will Be Virtual

Native News Online, Nanette Deetz, November 6

The 45th Annual American Indian Film Institute or “Virtual 45” film festival will be presented Nov. 6, 2020 through Nov. 14, 2020. The American Indian Film Festival is presenting 102 films and 55 world premieres in just nine days. This is also the first time that the American Indian Film Institute has had films included in the on-boarding platform of a major airline, Alaska Airlines.