The Northern Arapaho Business Council announced over the weekend that the Wind River Hotel & Casino, along with other tribal gaming facilities, will be closing temporarily due to a surge of COVID-19 cases in Wyoming’s Fremont County. The facilities closed on Monday and will remain closed through November 30. Casino employees will continue to be employed during the closures, though some may temporarily transition into other role roles. No layoffs, furloughs or reductions in pay were announced.
The first national memorial dedicated to Native veterans will be unveiled in Washington, D.C. later today at the National Museum of the American Indian. The monument has been more than two decades in the making, and will be unveiled virtually on the museum’s website, and their YouTube channel.
The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development announced the 2020 class of “Native American 40 Under 40” award recipients, honoring 40 emerging American Indian and Alaska Native leaders under the age of 40 from across Indian Country who have exemplified leadership, initiative, and, especially during COVID-19, resiliency and dedication towards their communities and businesses.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Traditions Carry Natives Through COVID-19 — And Create Risks
Indian Country Today, Joaqlin Estus, November 10
As tribes confront some of the highest rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the country, they are finding strength and solutions in culture and tradition. ‘We care about our elders. We care about our culture. We care about our tradition. We care about our sports. And … we want to protect them.’
Navajo Nation Reports 70 New COVID-19 Cases; Death Toll Stands At 594
Native News Online, November 10
The Navajo Department of Health reported 70 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and one more death. The total number of deaths is now 594 as of Monday. Reports indicate that 7,795 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 132,720 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 12,641.
Supreme Court Weighs Obamacare
Indian Country Today, November 10
When the Supreme Court weighs the fate of “Obamacare” Tuesday, arguments will revolve around arcane points of law like severability — whether the justices can surgically snip out part of the law and leave the rest. At stake: the Indian Health Care Improvement Act a well as consequences for just about every American, the health care industry, and state budgets.
Indigenous Candidates’ Wins In Congress Give Hope For Change
AP News, Felicia Fonseca, November 10
Internet access, health care and basic necessities like running water and electricity within Indigenous communities have long been at the center of congressional debates. But until recently, Congress didn’t have many Indigenous members who were pushing for solutions and funding for those issues. Hope is growing after the Native delegation in the U.S. House expanded by two on Election Day: Yvette Herrell, who is Cherokee and prevailed in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, and Kai Kahele, a Native Hawaiian who won that state’s 2nd District.
Northern Arapaho Tribe Closes Gaming Facilities As COVID-19 Cases Surge
Native News Online, November 10
Citing a surge of Covid-19 cases in Wyoming’s Fremont County, the Northern Arapaho Business Council announced Sunday that the Wind River Hotel & Casino and other tribal gaming facilities will temporarily close their doors. The Northern Arapaho Tribe’s gaming facilities closed Monday and will remain shuttered through Nov. 30, according to a press release from the tribe.
Native American Veterans Receive A Place Of Their Own To Reflect And To Heal
Smithsonian Magazine, Alicia Ault, November 10
On November 11, Veterans Day, the first national memorial dedicated solely to Native American veterans will be unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. The monument has been a little more than two decades in the making.
The National Center Announces 2020 Native American 40 Under 40 Award Winners
Native News Online, November 10
The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (The National Center) on Tuesday released its 2020 class of Native American 40 Under 40 award recipients. The Native American 40 Under 40 recognizes 40 emerging American Indian and Alaska Native leaders under the age of 40 from across Indian Country.
Navajo Hemp Investigation Expands To Federal Marijuana, Labor Probe
Cronkite News, Calah Schlabach, November 10
A Navajo Nation probe of a controversial, Navajo-owned hemp operation has turned into a federal investigation into reports of marijuana production, interstate drug trafficking and violations of labor and child labor laws. The FBI said it had executed search warrants “in the area of Shiprock” in an operation that included nine federal agencies as well as state, tribal and local agencies from at least three states. It released few other details.
Boujee Natives: Snotty Nose Rez Kids Infuse Hip-Hop With Indigenous Identity And A Wicked Sense Of Humor
Native News Online, Tamara Ikenberg, November 10
The Snotty Nose Rez Kids are the hip-hop heroes of Haisla Nation. Cousins Quinton “Yung Trybez” Nyce and Darren “Young D” Metz grew up together in Kitimat, British Columbia, emulating Eminem, Biggie and Tupac, before becoming a breakthrough act know for alchemizing Indigenous issues like water protection, with offbeat humor, and random pop culture references like Cartoon Network classic “Ed, Edd and Eddy,” into empowering sonic gold.
Pandemic Shines Light On Complex Coexistence Of Modern Times, Traditional Ways On Navajo Nation
Cronkite News, Anthony J. Wallace, November 10
The most recent album from Hataalii, a Navajo Nation indie-rock artist, closes with a pair of instrumental tracks called “Rain.” The songs, the artist said, are inspired by the relief that rains bring in hot summer months and the idea that all struggles subside with time. The message connects to something his grandmother shared recently: a supernatural story from Navajo tradition in which mysterious tall figures from another world promise to come to humanity’s aid in a time of need.
Video Of Native American Man Dancing In Street After Biden’s Win Goes Viral
FOX 40, Brady Wakayama, November 10
A video of a Native American man dancing in the streets of Albuquerque after the election results were announced is making waves on social media with millions of views in just a couple of days. The video was posted on Twitter Saturday evening, and already has more than five million views and more than 240,000 likes.