Good morning, NUNAverse,
These are the top five biggest stories from across Indian Country brought together in once place. In this weekly media clips roundup, take a look back at what our readers were engaging with the most from the past week of news:
Following weeks of pressure from Native organizations like the National Congress of American Indians, the Native American Journalists Association, and IllumiNative, CNN has terminated its contract with senior political commentator Rick Santorum after he made racist and inaccurate remarks about Native peoples. Last Thursday, Indigenous-led groups teamed up with several Hollywood celebrities for a “day of action” to pressure CNN to fire Santorum. They held a day-long tweet storm with the hashtag #RemoveRick, and a Twitter chat with Native journalists to talk about the impact of Native erasure in the media.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will hear testimony later today on the impact COVID-19 has had on tribal languagesin a hearing entitled “Examining the Covid-19 Response in Native Communities: Native Languages One Year Later.” The Committee will hear from the Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration for Native Americans and Native language leaders from Hawaiʻi, Alaska, and Indian Country on COVID-19 impacts to Native communities’ language revitalization efforts, Native language resources in the American Rescue Plan Act, and the two bills on the legislative agenda
The Indian Health Service (IHS) announced it has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents who are 12 and above and said the vaccination is available at IHS facilities. The IHS views this next wave of vaccinations as important so that Native youth can return to social activities. The organization says it has ample supply of the Pfizer vaccine and are working with IHS Area Offices and tribal, federal, and urban sites to distribute the vaccine.
The Cherokee Nation is set to receive $1.8 billion of the historic $31.2 billion allocated for Indian Country under the American Rescue Plan Act. Part of the $1.8 billion will be allocated directly to the tribal citizens of the Cherokee Nation spread over two payments. Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner’s proposed spending plan for the funds will provide every Cherokee citizen with a total of $2,000 in direct relief assistance, allocating $1,000 each year for two years. Other Cherokee Nation programs, such as tribe’s health, mental health, employment, housing, education, and small business assistance will benefit from the funds.
The Washington Post published an article covering how tribes have found success in vaccinating their populations, including the Navajo Nation where about 70 percent of citizens are fully vaccinated, the Blackfeet Nation where 95 percent of citizens have received at least one vaccine dose, and the Sac and Fox Tribe where about 70 percent of its eligible citizens are fully vaccinated. Tribal leaders attribute this success to several factors, including tribal sovereignty, which gave tribes the flexibility to create their own methods of distributing the vaccine, and cultural values that prioritize elders and community.