The General Services Administration (GSA) has informed President-elect Joe Biden that the Trump administration is ready to being the formal transition process. The GSA Administrator is tasked with determining the “apparent” winner of the Presidential election and signing a formal letter beginning the transition – a process that does not require the approval or involvement of the outgoing administration.  

Time published a piece covering the Wampanoag people and their misrepresentation in traditional Thanksgiving stories and noting that four hundred years ago the Wampanoag tribes were dealing with an epidemic and constantly fighting to protect their ancestral lands in a way that mirrors the present day. Meanwhile, students in many schools across the United States are now learning a more complex history of Thanksgiving that includes conflict, injustice, and a new focus on the people who lived on the land for hundreds of years before European settlers arrived and named it New England.

Indian Country Today covers a number of events and dedications celebrating Native American Heritage Month, ranging from the National Museum of American Indians unveiling the National Native American Veterans Memorial to Nickelodeon’s classic cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants translating five scenes from various episodes into five different Native languages (Dakota, Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, Kiowa, Cherokee and Navajo).

Leaders of tribes in Connecticut voiced their support for proposed state legislation that would require the teaching of Native history in public schools. The legislation would require all public schools to include Native studies in their social studies curricula, with a focus on the tribes that lived in what is now Connecticut.

Oklahoma federal prosecutors and tribal leaders on Monday announced a pilot project to implement a response plan for missing and murdered Native people. The Tribal Community Response Plan pilot project is meant to establish a collaborative response from tribal governments, law enforcement agencies and other partners by implementing “culturally appropriate guidelines when investigating emergent cases of missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.”

Keep reading for a full news update.


COVID-19 Vaccine No ‘Walk In The Park,’ CDC Committee Told 

CNN, Maggie Fox, November 23

Americans need to be prepared for the possibility that they may feel a little unwell after they get a coronavirus vaccine, if one is authorized, members of a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee said Monday.

2020 Election:  

First On CNN: Key Government Agency Acknowledges Biden’s Win And Begins Formal Transition 

CNN, Kirsten Holmes and Jeremy Herb, November 24

The General Services Administration has informed President-elect Joe Biden that the Trump administration is ready to begin the formal transition process, according to a letter from Administrator Emily Murphy sent Monday afternoon and obtained by CNN.

Rep. Haaland: Cabinet Pick ‘Would Mean A Lot To Indian Country’ 

NPR, Barbara Sprunt, November 23

As President-elect Joe Biden continues to assemble his advisers and Cabinet, one name being floated could add another historic first to his administration.

Native American Congresswoman’s Voice Would Be Invaluable On Cabinet 

Las Vegas Sun, November 23

As President-elect Joe Biden assembles his Cabinet, he’s hearing a roar of encouragement from Native American tribes, environmental advocacy organizations and dozens of House Democrats to select Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico as the next secretary of the Interior.

Thanksgiving Holiday: 

Thanksgiving Lessons Jettison Pilgrim Hats, Welcome Truth 

ABC News, Collin Blinkley, November 23

A friendly feast shared by the plucky Pilgrims and their native neighbors? That’s yesterday’s Thanksgiving story.

400 Years After The ‘First Thanksgiving,’ The Tribe Who Fed The Pilgrims Continues To Fight For Their Land Amid Another Epidemic

Time, Olivia B. Waxman, November 23

When Paula Peters was in second grade in Philadelphia in the mid-1960s, listening to a teacher talk about Plymouth colony and the Mayflower, a student asked what happened to the Native Americans who helped the Pilgrims settle, the Wampanoag. The teacher said they were all dead.

To Avoid A Sad Christmas, Stay Home On Thanksgiving 

Native News Online, November 23

In a typical year, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the most traveled holidays of the year. Of course, with the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 has not been a typical year.

Native Americans Object To Thanksgiving Mythology 

GazetteXtra, Frank Schultz, November 23

A group of Rock County residents wrestled with the story of the first Thanksgiving on Monday night. The traditional story is that the Pilgrims were starving, and a local tribe saved them by bringing food for a feast.

GOP Sen. Tom Cotton Glorifies Pilgrims And Says ‘Radical Left’ To Blame For Fewer Celebrations 

Native News Online, November 23

Thanksgiving is not a widely accepted holiday in Indian Country. For many Native people, it’s a painful reminder of the brutal treatment of this land’s first peoples and the intergenerational trauma that came from colonization, stolen land and broken treaties.


Celebrating Native American Heritage Month 

Indian Country Today, Kolby KickingWoman, November 23

Throughout Native American Heritage Month, events and dedications celebrating the country’s Indigenous peoples have unfolded across the nation. As it rounds into its final week and looking forward to Native American Heritage Day on Nov. 27, Indian Country Today takes a look at some of the occurrences of the past few weeks.

Tribal Leaders Back Bill On Teaching Native American History In Public Schools 

The Westerly Sun, November 23

Leaders of American Indian tribes in Connecticut voiced their support Monday for proposed state legislation that would require the teaching of Native American history in public schools.

Missing And Murdered Native Americans The Focus Of New Federal-Tribal Project 

Tulsa World, November 23

Oklahoma federal prosecutors and tribal leaders on Monday announced a pilot project to implement a response plan for missing and murdered Native Americans.

Stoned Age: Native American Art Confirms Hallucinogenic Drug Use 

USA Today, Doyle Rice, November 23

For the first time, scientists have confirmed that Native Americans used a hallucinogenic drug while painting rock art, according to a new study.