Tomorrow is election day in the United States, and both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden maintained their aggressive campaign schedules over the weekend. Both candidates have multiple rallies planned for today, and you can follow along with live updates on the final day of campaigning here.
U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Lisa Murkowski issued a press release last Friday commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Native American Languages Act (NALA), and announcing new bipartisan legislation, the Durbin Feeling Native American Languages Act of 2020, aimed at ensuring the federal government is living up to policies and principles set out in NALA three decades ago. The new bill would direct the president to review federal agencies’ compliance with NALA requirements and make recommendations to improve interagency coordination in support of Native American languages.
The Catawba Indian Nation sent a proposal to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper covering how they would like to operate a casino in Cleveland County, North Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has already filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge the U.S. Department of the Interior’s decision allowing the Catawba’s to use land in North Carolina, claiming that the land is historic Cherokee territory.
In honor of American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, Native News Online has published information from the Census Bureau on current Native populations, locations, and more. NUNA will be monitoring American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month events throughout November, and will include updates in our daily clips.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Updated COVID-19 Numbers
Navajo Nation Saturday COVID-19 Update: 59 New Cases – Death Tolls Climbs To 581
Native News Online, November 1
On Saturday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 59 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and three more deaths. The total number of deaths is now 581 as of Saturday. Reports indicate that 7,542 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 125,477 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 11,753.
Lawmakers Condemn ‘Censorship’ Of COVID Report
Indian Country Today, Kolby KickingWoman, October 30
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights failed to approve the full text of the report “COVID-19 in Indian Country.” The document would have provided updates to the historic commission report “Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans,” released in 2018. A vote to publish commissioners’ statements also failed to pass Friday. Publishing statements is common practice in lieu of a report.
Pueblo Of Laguna (New Mexico)
Indianz.com, October 30
The Pueblo of Laguna is battling a rise in COVID-19 cases on the reservation in New Mexico, Governor Wilfred Herrera said in his weekly update. Herrera said the tribe has seen 61 positive cases within its boundaries, with 12 of them considered “active.” One person has been hospitalized.
Sharice Davids: ‘Honor Of A Lifetime’
Indian Country Today, Aliyah Chavez, November 1
Democratic Representative Sharice Davids of Kansas, Ho-Chunk, is seeking a second term representing Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, located in the Kansas City area. Davids has used her first term in Congress to introduce legislation, connect with constituents and advocate for Indian Country.
Native Hawaiian Candidate A Favorite For US House
Indian Country Today, Dalton Walker, October 31
Nearly two years ago, Hawaii state Sen. Kaiali’i “Kai” Kahele officially started his path to a potential seat in Congress and a chance at being only the second Native Hawaiian to represent Hawaii since statehood. Kahele picked up endorsements from former President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Native Vote Could Affect Key Senate Races
Indian Country Today, Mary Annette Pember, October 31
Already on pins and needles over the presidential race, COVID-19 developments and growing social and racial unrest, voters may face a divided Senate after the election. Once again, as in the presidential election in which Native voters could influence the outcome in important swing states, they could also have a pivotal impact in several important Senate races.
First-Time Native Candidate Already Making History
Indian Country Today, Kalle Benallie, October 30
Democrat Lynnette Grey Bull, Northern Arapaho and Hunkpapa Lakota, is making history while she is running for a U.S. House seat in Wyoming. She is believed to be the first Native person to run for Congress in the state. If elected, she would be the first Native person to hold a federal office in Wyoming, according to the secretary of state’s office.
Udall, Murkowski Mark 30th Anniversary Of Native American Languages Act, Announce New Bipartisan Native American Language Bill
United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Tom Udall and Lisa Murkowski, October 30
U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Native American Languages Act (NALA) with the announcement of new bipartisan legislation, the Durbin Feeling Native American Languages Act of 2020, to ensure the federal government is living up to policies and principles set out in NALA three decades ago.
Stitt Names Counsel To Address High-court Reservation Ruling
AP News, October 30
Governor Kevin Stitt announced Friday the hiring of an attorney to help his administration address a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held much of eastern Oklahoma is an Indian reservation. Stitt has hired Oklahoma City lawyer Ryan Leonard to serve as his special counsel for Native American affairs. Leonard’s webpage says Native American and tribal affairs are among his specialties.
South Carolina Tribe Gives Casino Plan To North Carolina Governor
AP News, October 30
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s administration has received a proposal from a South Carolina-based Native American tribe on how it would like to operate a casino in Cleveland County. A Cooper spokesperson confirmed that the governor’s office had received the draft from the Catawba Indian Nation, which has plans for a casino and resort on land in Kings Mountain.
Why Native Americans Don’t Share the Government’s Optimism About The Census
U.S. News, Isaiah Murtaugh, October 30
The Census Bureau has touted the non-response follow-up (NRFU) rate as evidence of a good census count. As of Oct. 16, on American Indian and Alaska Native lands, that rate was 99.8%. But advocates are worried the metric belies rushed field operations and severe undercounts in tribal areas.
‘Jim Crow, Indian Style’: How Native Americans Were Denied The Right To Vote For Decades
The Washington Post, Dana Hedgpeth, November 1
Native Americans endured decades-long, complicated fight to vote that involved dozens of lawsuits, Jim Crow-style tactics, and racist efforts to deny the ballot to American Indians. Today, Native Americans face barriers to voting due to a host of issues, including not having the required voter identification, homelessness, lack of traditional mailing addresses, and unequal access to in-person voting.
November Is American Indian And Alaska Native Heritage Month
Native News Online, November 1
November is designated American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month by the U.S. government. Others refer to it as Native American Heritage Month. Regardless, it is a month designated to celebrate the Indigenous peoples of this country and a time to educate others about the rich heritage of Native peoples.
Native American Ruin Northeast Of Cortez Gets Permanent Protections
The Journal, Jonathan Romeo Herald, October 30
A Native American ruin northeast of Cortez is set to be placed in a conservation easement, ensuring its protection for years to come. The ruin, named the Haynie site, was a major settlement for a large number of people and held many unique qualities when compared with similar locations across the Four Corners.