Vox published an article detailing the efforts made by Navajo Nation grassroots organizers as they worked to reach Native voters while limiting physical contact due to COVID-19. The work of these organizers – distributing flyers with voting information, providing “plus codes” to serve as addresses based on longitude and latitude, creating hotlines to direct Indigenous voters to the right place – very likely impacted the results of the 2020 Presidential Election in the state of Arizona.
The Riverside National Cemetery, where the stories of veterans are recorded by K-12 students and preserved through the Veterans Legacy program, will soon be home to the first American Indian Veterans Memorial at a VA national cemetery. Riverside National Cemetery is on the ancestral land of the Serrano, Cahuilla, Gabrielino, Luise’o, Chemehuevi and Paiute in Southern California. In tribute to those interred at Riverside National Cemetery, “Along the Chaparral: Memorializing the Enshrined” is an ongoing project that strives to preserve the unique stories and backgrounds of veterans, including uncovering the heritage and stories of Native people who served in the armed forces.
On Netflix, a new series called “The Liberator,” a four-part live action animated series telling the story of the 157th Infantry Regiment, pays special tribute to a diverse group of WWII soldiers that included Mexican Americans, Native Americans and white Americans.
After Tlingit elder, tribal leader and college professor David Katzeek died last month, the tribe had to find a way to observe their sacred memorial traditions while keeping everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic with cases surging in Alaska. The tribe used Zoom to bring people together to honor Katzeek’s life, while broadcasting live 0n YouTube as well.
Keep reading for a full news update.
How The Navajo Nation Helped Push Democrats Ahead In Arizona
VOX, Rachel Ramirez, November 11
Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, grassroots organizers in the Navajo Nation were able to attend chapter meetings and perform door-to-door campaigns to encourage people to register to vote. But as the pandemic continued to overwhelm tribal communities, field organizers had to figure out other ways to reach out to Native American voters while limiting physical contact to prevent the spread of the virus.
We Will Have A Seat At The Table With The Biden-Harris Administration
Indian Country Today, Jonathan Nez, November 11
With the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, our Diné people and many across our country look forward to the restoration of hope, unity, and healing. On January 20, 2021, our people will be able to move forward from the divisiveness, misinformation, and discrimination that set us back for the past four years.
Will Joe Biden Pick Deb Haaland To Serve In His Cabinet?
Native News Online, November 11
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), one of the most respected leaders in Indian Country, said “Oh yes, of course” when asked if she’d accept the job of Secretary of the Interior Department if President-elect Joe Biden were to offer it to her. HuffPost reported that more than 120 elected tribal leaders and intertribal organization officials plan to send a letter to Biden this week urging him to name an Indigenous person to serve in a Cabinet position.
Interior Shortlist Puts Focus On New Mexico Lawmakers, Tribal Issues
The Hill, Rebecca Beitsch, November 11
The shortlist of potential nominees to lead the Interior Department is heavily focused on the New Mexico congressional delegation, setting up a potential battle between a senator whose father once led the agency and a House lawmaker who would be the first ever Native American in the Cabinet post.
National Native American Veterans Memorial Unveiled On Veterans Day In D.C.
Native News Online, November 11
After 25 years since conceptualization, the National Native American Veterans Memorial was unveiled on Wednesday, which marks Veterans Day, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. at the National Museum of the American Indian. American Indians and Alaska Natives serve in the U.S. armed forces at a higher rate than any other demographic.
Native Veterans Memorial Unveiled
Indian Country Today, Kolby Kickingwoman, November 11
The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., is commemorating Veterans Day 2020 by unveiling the National Native American Veterans Memorial. The museum originally planned to host a veterans’ procession and dedication ceremony but is looking to reschedule those events for later due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The First American Indian Veterans Memorial At A VA National Cemetery Set To Be Completed Next Year
Native News Online, Nanette Kelley, November 11
Riverside National Cemetery, where the stories of veterans are recorded by K-12 students and preserved through the Veterans Legacy program, will soon be home to the first American Indian Veterans Memorial at a VA national cemetery. Ancestral territory to the Serrano, Cahuilla, Gabrielino, Luise’o, Chemehuevi and Paiute, Riverside National Cemetery in Southern California was established in 1976. It’s the largest and busiest cemetery managed by the VA’s National Cemetery Administration, and was dedicated and opened for burials on Nov. 11, 1978.
Navajo Nation Council Recognizes Veterans Day Across The Nation
Native News Online, November 11
Speaker Seth Damon and members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council recognized veterans who served honorably in the United States Armed Forces. Following the Council’s special session, Speaker Damon also recognized the veterans working within the Legislative Branch and the Navajo Nation government for their service in the US Armed Forces.
Role Of WWII Mexican American, Native American Soldiers Featured In Netflix’s ‘The Liberator’
NBC News, Arturo Conde, November 11
As Americans honor veterans nationwide, a new series pays special tribute to a diverse group of WWII soldiers that included Mexican Americans, Native Americans and white Americans from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and other parts of the West. “What the stories of these Mexican American and Native American soldiers make clear is that World War II was not the victory of white America,” says historian David Silbey, but of “diverse groups.”
Tlingit Elder Honored With Online Memorial
AP News, Mark Thiessen, November 11
When a Tlingit elder dies, leaders from the Alaska Native tribe’s two houses, the Raven and Eagle clans, typically come together along with family and well-wishers for a memorial ceremony featuring displays of traditional tribal regalia. After elder, tribal leader and college professor David Katzeek died last month, the tribe scrambled to find a way to observe their sacred traditions while keeping everyone safe during the pandemic, with coronavirus cases surging in the state.