The New York Times reports on the impact that the Native Vote had in flipping Arizona in the 2020 General Election, and covers the impact that the 100,000 voting-age Native people in Georgia could have in the Senate runoff election early next month. The deadline to register to vote for Georgia’s Senate runoff is today – Georgia voters can check their registration here, and register to vote here.
Several Indian Health Service (IHS) intensive care units on the Navajo Nation are at full capacity due to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases. The Navajo Nation Health Command Operations Center (HCOC), under the direction of the Navajo Department of Health, is currently working to establish an Alternative Care Site on the Navajo Nation for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Navajo Nation leaders have declared a major health care crisis, and Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signed a letter asking President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue a Major Disaster Declaration for the Navajo Nation, allowing for additional resources to be allocated to help combat COVID-19.
Alaqua Cox (Menominee) has been cast as Maya Lopez, the alter-ego of Echo, a deaf and Native superhero, in the upcoming Marvel/Disney+ series “Hawkeye.” Cox will be representing the Deaf Native American community in her role as Cox herself is also deaf. The actress will appear alongside Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld, Vera Farmiga, Florence Pugh, Fra Fee, and Tony Dalton in the Hawkeye series to be released in 2021.
Bristol County, Massachusetts, District Attorney Thomas Quinn announced on Friday that an autopsy done in Florida identified Jalajhia Finklea (Mashpee Wampanoag) who was reported missing in October from her home in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Her body was found Nov. 25 in a field off Interstate 95 in Fellsmere, Florida, and the autopsy found that the cause of death was two gunshot wounds.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Friday denied a request from the Red Lake and White Earth Bands of Chippewa to prevent Enbridge Energy from moving forward with its contentious Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement, which broke ground this week after receiving its final state permit. Attorneys for the two northern Minnesota tribes argued that allowing construction to continue would cause irreparable harm. The commission voted 4-1 to reject the request.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Some IHS Intensive Care Units At 100% Capacity On Navajo Nation
Native News Online, December 6
Several Indian Health Service (IHS) intensive care units at full capacity on the Navajo Nation. Other provisions are being made according to Navajo Nation leaders and health officials. The Navajo Nation Health Command Operations Center (HCOC), under the direction of the Navajo Department of Health, is currently working in partnership with companies PAE and AMI to establish an Alternative Care Site on the Navajo Nation to allow individuals who test positive for COVID-19 to be housed at the site or other isolation hotel facilities to help prevent spreading the virus to their household members and others.
Navajo Nation Declares Major Health Care Crisis, Asks Trump For FEMA Assistance
Native News Online, December 4
With the new surge of COVID-19 cases on the Navajo Nation, leaders of the largest Indian reservation on Thursday declared a major health care crisis. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signed a letter requesting President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue a Major Disaster Declaration for the Navajo Nation for Individual Assistance Crisis Counseling, Disaster Case Management and Public Assistance Category B (Emergency Protective Measures) including Direct Federal Assistance for all Navajo Nation Chapters, local units of government, and all other additional federal services and assistance allowed under a Major Disaster Declaration.
Navajo Nation Reports 236 New COVID-19 Cases; Death Toll Rises To 663
Native News Online, December 3
The Navajo Department of Health reported 236 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and five more deaths. The total number of deaths is now 663 as of Thursday. Reports indicate that 9,569 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 168,261 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 17,310, including 39 delayed reported cases.
Native Americans Critique Data, Surveys Following Election
AP News, Felicia Fonseca, December 5
Native Americans make up less than 2% of the U.S. population and often are listed in datasets as “other” or denoted with an asterisk. Even when surveyed, the results can be considered statistically insignificant because the sample size isn’t large enough or the margin of error is too great to accurately reflect the population. The National Congress of American Indians has said there’s a critical need for data that is accurate, meaningful and timely within tribal communities. The data limitations impact everything from community planning and resource allocation to policy development.
Native Americans Helped Flip Arizona. Can They Mobilize In Georgia?
New York Times, Maggie Astor, December 4
Nearly 150,000 Native Americans live in Georgia, by the Native voting rights group Four Directions’s estimate. They receive few government services and tend not to participate in nontribal elections, both because they face structural barriers — like hard-to-reach polling places and lack of voter ID — and because of the mistrust built by brutality and broken promises. Of the estimated 100,000 who are of voting age, only about 15,000 are registered to vote.
Race In America: The Power Of Representation With Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) & Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.)
The Washington Post, December 6
In 2018, Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) and Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) made history as the first Native American women elected to Congress. This year, they were among six Native Americans elected to the House of Representatives — a record-breaking number. On Friday Dec. 11 at 11:00 am ET, Davids and Haaland will join Washington Post opinions columnist Karen Tumulty to discuss the impact of a more diverse Congress, Native American history and their legislative priorities.
The Death Of Young Pregnant Mashpee Wampanoag Woman Is Tip Of The Iceberg Of MMIWG Epidemic
Native News Online, Levi Rickert, December 6
The news that Jalajhia Finklea’s body was found in a field along a Florida highway came during Thanksgiving week. Finklea’s abduction and subsequent tragic death is one of thousands of Indigenous women and children who go missing in the United States annually. During the past several years, there has been a stunning and tragic rise in the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women in the United States and Canada.
Autopsy: Mashpee Teen Was Shot
Indian Country Today, Dalton Walker, December 4
The missing Mashpee Wampanoag citizen found dead near a Florida interstate in November was shot and killed. Jalajhia Finklea, 18, was reported missing in October from her New Bedford, Massachusetts, home. Her body was found Nov. 25 in a field off Interstate 95 in Fellsmere, Florida.
Minnesota Regulators Deny Request To Delay Line 3 Pipeline
AP News, Mohamed Ibrahim, December 4
A Minnesota regulatory panel on Friday denied a request from two tribes to prevent Enbridge Energy from moving forward with its contentious Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement, which broke ground this week after receiving its final state permit. The Red Lake and White Earth Bands of Chippewa asked the independent Public Utilities Commission to stay its earlier approval of the project, citing pending litigation before the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Native Actress Cast As Echo In Disney+ Series
Indian Country Today, Vincent Schilling, December 4
Alaqua Cox has been cast as Maya Lopez, the alter-identity of Echo, a deaf Native superhero. Cox, who is also deaf, will be appearing alongside Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye in “Avengers”) in the Marvel/Disney+ series “Hawkeye.” “Hawkeye” is slotted for 2021.