When Todd Gloria (Tlingit) was elected as mayor of San Diego on November 3, he became the first openly gay person and the first person of color to be elected to the position, as well as the first Native and Filipino-American mayor elected in a U.S. City of over a million people. Gloria was born in San Diego, and his Tlingit ancestors are from Klukwan and Haines, Alaska.
In Arizona, there were 14 Native candidates running for offices ranging from school boards to Congress this year, and the Arizona Central reports that 11 of those candidates won. Four ran for seats in the Arizona House of Representatives, four ran for seats in the Arizona State Senate, and three ran for seats on a county board of supervisors. Three other candidates ran for a school board seat, justice of the peace and county recorder’s office.
Kansas Representative Sharice Davids was elected as vice-chair of the New Democrat Coalition, which is made up of over 90 House Democrats who are committed to pro-economic growth, pro-innovation, and fiscally responsible policies. Davids won reelection to represent Kansas’ 3rd congressional district on Nov. 3 with 53.4 percent of the vote.
About 20 masked residents of Micanopy, Florida and three members of the American Indian Movement gathered at Native American Heritage Preserve on Southeast Tuscawilla Road in Micanopy this week to express their frustration with a proposal to build a new Dollar General located on the site where the Battle of Micanopy was fought in 1836 during the Second Seminole War.
In Alaska, the state Department of Health and Social Services reported eight new COVID-19 deaths, and a single day record of 760 new cases. In total, 129 Alaskans with COVID-19 have died since the virus was first detected here in March. While Alaska’s overall death rate per capita remains one of the lowest in the country, state officials have said it is difficult to compare Alaska to other states because of its unique geography and vulnerable health care system.
Meanwhile, U.S. Representative for Alaska’s At-Large Congressional District Don Young has returned to work in his office in Washington, D.C. after recovering from COVID-19, according to his office.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Vaccine Rollout Could Ease Crisis, But Who Gets It First?
Associated Press, Carla K. Johnson and Nicky Forster, December 3
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine to the right people could change the course of the pandemic in the United States. But who are the right people?
Tracking COVID-19 In Alaska: 8 Deaths And Record 760 New Cases Reported Thursday
Anchorage Daily News, December 3
Alaska on Thursday reported eight deaths and a daily record of 760 new cases of COVID-19, according to the state Department of Health and Social Services.
Alaska Rep. Don Young Returns To Congressional Office After Recovering From COVID-19
Anchorage Daily News, Alex DeMarban, December 3
U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, has returned to work at his office in Washington, D.C. after recovering from COVID-19, his office said.
Native American Reservations Are Fighting The Pandemic – Often Alone
The National Interest, Lisa Hardy, Gwendolyn Saul, Kerry F. Thompson, December 3
As the months roll by, the pandemic continues to hit Indigenous nations hard. But this phenomenon is not new. Epidemics have been part of colonialism since settlers arrived. Health inequities tell us that illnesses have different outcomes on different populations; however, leading medical professionals warn the general public of the dangers of oversimplifying health data. They don’t tell the whole story. And, in the case of Indigenous nations, the story of inequity is imbued with dispossession of lands and is met with organizing from the inside: two crucial points for untangling and responding to COVID-19.
Tlingit Man Elected As San Diego Mayor
Indian Country Today, Joaqlin Estus, December 4
On Nov. 3, Todd Gloria, Tlingit, aged 42, was elected mayor of San Diego, the nation’s 8th largest and California’s second-largest city.
Rep. Sharice Davids Elected Vice-Chair Of The New Democrat Coalition
Native News Online, December 3
Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS), one of the first American Indian females elected to the House of Representatives, has been elected vice-chair of the New Democrat Coalition. Davids won reelection to represent Kansas’ 3rd congressional district on Nov. 3 with 53.4 percent of the vote.
‘Representation Matters’: 14 Native American Candidates Ran For Office In Arizona; 11 Won
Arizona Central, Shondiin Silversmith, December 3
From school boards to congressional districts, Native Americans across Arizona made it onto the ballot this fall and many of them won their elections.
Letter: Traditions Should Make Everyone Proud
The Salt Lake Tribune, Jenny Magana, December 4
As Utahns, we each have many traditions, like going to see the Temple lights or having our annual St. George trips. But some traditions are not always happy, such as the use of Native mascots.
Shawnee Mission Schools Step Closer To Removing Native American Mascots
KMBC, Brian Johnson, December 3
The Shawnee Mission School District is a step closer to removing school mascots that reflect Native Americans.
‘We, As A Town, Object’: Native Americans, Micanopy Residents Gather In Protest Of Proposed Dollar General Location
The Independent Florida Alligator, Alan Halaly, December 4
Micanopy residents gathered around a 30-year-old Navajo drum, a symbol of the heartbeat of Earth.
Stuart Flores, who’s of Algonquin Maya tribal descent, distributed tobacco leaves and told residents to place them on the instrument. Three members of the American Indian Movement beat the drum as they sang a traditional honor song in a native language.
Current And Historical Oppression In The Mental Health System In Indian Country
KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio, MK Mendoza, December 3
Wake Up Call’s MK Mendoza speaks with Dr. David Edward Walker, a liberation psychologist who looks back at the historical ties between mental hygeine, the eugenics movement and modern day psychology as it specifically relates to the history of the mental health system in Indian Country.
‘Big Sky’ Producers Recognize Native American Criticism
Daily Leader Extra, December 3
Native American tribes and advocates are condemning “Big Sky,” a Montana-set ABC drama, for ignoring the history of violence inflicted on Indigenous women and instead making whites the crime victims.
Another Voice: School Curriculums Must Give Native People Their Due
The Buffalo News, Matthew Pagels, December 3
As the national debate over racial justice continues, it is time for the Thanksgiving Day origin story to finally be exposed for what it is – a myth riddled with historical inaccuracies.