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Updated: 17 hours 40 min ago

Monday, October 12, 2020

October 12, 2020 - 12:10pm

In a video announcement, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam added his state to those recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day (Photo: video screen shot)

Virginia and Arizona are among the growing number of states and municipalities celebrating Indigenous People’s Day for the first time this year Protesters in Portland, OR, target presidential statues in ‘Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage” The former longtime chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida has died from COVID-19 https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/nnn101220.mp3

The post Monday, October 12, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Art Hughes.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Friday, October 9, 2020

October 9, 2020 - 11:45am

Joy Harjo, U.S. poet laureate, will speak at Montana State University as part of Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations. (Photo-Antonia Gonzales)

Native leaders say childcare funds threatened in bill Biden-Harris meet with tribal leaders in Arizona Indigenous Peoples Day virtual celebrations planned https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/nnn100920.mp3

The post Friday, October 9, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Thursday, October 8, 2020

October 8, 2020 - 12:06pm

Biden-Harris campaign bus on the Navajo Nation. (Photo-Clara Pratte, Twitter)

Sinixt hunting case before Canada’s highest court Havasupai Elementary students win settlement Tribal leaders to meet with Biden-Harris in Arizona https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/nnn100820.mp3

The post Thursday, October 8, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

October 7, 2020 - 11:42am

Alaska Native groups are hosting a virtual run for missing and murdered Indigenous people.

Montana tribes use federal relief dollars to help narrow digital divide Virtual run underway for missing and murdered Indigenous people https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/nnn100720.mp3

The post Wednesday, October 7, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

October 6, 2020 - 11:59am

Subcommittee members in U.S. House Natural Resources Committee host forum on climate change. (Screenshot)

Alaska Native people talk climate change during forum with U.S. lawmakers Oklahoma tribes react to EPA granting environmental oversight to state https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/nnn100620.mp3

The post Tuesday, October 6, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Monday, October 5, 2020

October 5, 2020 - 11:46am

Sisters in Spirit Day honors missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. (Image-Native Women’s Association of Canada)

Lawsuit filed by family of Indigenous woman taunted by hospital staff as she died Sisters in Spirit Day remembers missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/nnn100520.mp3

The post Monday, October 5, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Friday, October 2, 2020

October 2, 2020 - 11:38am

Men take part in Break the (BI)CYCLE  movement dedicated to breaking the silence around mental health for men of color. (Photo-Damen Bell, GoFundMe)

Indigenous men cycle through states to promote mental health Attorney discusses Native vote challenges on reservations https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/nnn100220.mp3

The post Friday, October 2, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Thursday, October 1, 2020

October 1, 2020 - 12:07pm

Congresswoman Deb Haaland, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Norma Torres. (Photo-Congresswoman Haalnd)

Leaders of Native organizations say COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on tribes U.S. Attorney General Barr hosts roundtable at Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signs Not Invisible Act and Savanna’s Act https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/nnn100120.mp3

The post Thursday, October 1, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020 - 11:08am

Berg Bay lies on the western shores of Glacier Bay in Alaska. (Photo-National Park Service)

Dying Indigenous woman taunted in Quebec hospital Historic tribal site in Southeast Alaska protected https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/nnn093020.mp3

The post Wednesday, September 30, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

September 29, 2020 - 11:23am

Arizona Center for Empowerment meeting with the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Council. (Screenshot)

Tribes push back on plans to roll back protections in Tongass National Forest Pascua Yaqui Tribe calls on county to reinstate early voting site on reservation https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/nnn092920.mp3

The post Tuesday, September 29, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Family support, adjusting expectations help Native grads facing historically high unemployment

September 28, 2020 - 6:11pm

by Christine Trudeau

At 26, Megan Heller has not one, but two master’s degrees from Eastern Washington University. But after classes moved online early and a virtual graduation in the spring because of the pandemic, Heller had no luck finding a job. 

 “I probably applied for about fifty jobs,” Heller said. “I got a lot of ‘positions were canceled due to funding limits.’ Entry level jobs that I applied for said I didn’t have enough experience or I didn’t meet the qualifications or they just didn’t get back to me.”

Heller, a citizen of the Kalispel Tribe of Indians near Spokane, Washington, moved back in with her parents following graduation. She was able to save a little money living rent free and babysitting for family members as they went to work. Like many graduates this spring, Heller was left with very few options.

Donna Feir, a Research Fellow with the Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said that those entering into the labor force just out of school are doing so at a particularly bad time. 

“Obviously unemployment rates rose dramatically in April after the onset of pandemic,” says Feir, “this is particularly challenging for Indigenous Americans where unemployment rates increase much more dramatically than any other demographic group.”  

An August report by Feir found that despite a slight rebound to the employment rate since April, employment for Native Americans is still well behind that for the white workforce. Feir’s survey focuses on people over 25 years of age. She said through no fault of their own, young people having difficulty finding work might be affected throughout their careers. 

“Unemployment rates generally rose very dramatically and we know if you are an individual who is entering the labor force in an economic downturn this can sometimes have a permanent impact on your wages and attachment to the labor force throughout your life course,” Feir said. 

Across the country tribes and Native communities are pulling together, accessing traditional family and community support to cope with the virus threat and the ongoing economic setbacks. Food donation and delivery drives, youth-led initiatives to provide masks, hand sanitizer, and information on social distancing and other preventative measures, and tribal officials closing reservation borders have all helped keep people alive and afloat.

Heller counts herself among those relying on that family support. So does Ashley Nicole Hamilton, who is also back at home after graduating from Harvard University in the spring. Unlike Heller, Hamilton, 22, had a fellowship lined up after receiving her bachelor’s degree in sociology. A citizen of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Hamilton started in June as the Wilma Mankiller Fellow in Tribal Governance with the National Congress of American Indians.

I recognize that I’m in a very unique situation to, one, get a job during a pandemic, but also be able to keep it and know that I’ll be able to have this job,” Hamilton said.

But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. When Harvard closed down in March, college officials gave students living on campus five days to vacate their dorms. With no financial help from the school and unable to get storage nearby, Hamilton said it made more sense to rent a truck and drive to to her job in Washington, D.C.  At the time, she thought she’d be starting her job in person, but NCAI decided she should work remotely for the foreseeable future. She returned to South Sioux City, Neb. and says, in the months since, working from home has been good, allowing her to reconnect with family.

 “I feel like I’ve healed in a way from the four years of being away,” said Hamilton. “Healing mentally, physically, and emotionally and learning more about myself. Like what situations I thrive in. What situations I don’t thrive in. Understanding that having my family, having a good community around is necessary. I’m not saying that at Harvard I didn’t have a great community of friends, I just think that the lifestyle of living in the dorms, not being able to cook my own food, not being connected to my food and to more of a home routine really affected me a lot. Being home has healed that in a way, and especially being close to my family.

Hamilton also got a dog over the summer named Winnie, who has been a companion between work and occasionally grocery shopping.

 “I think because Nebraska never really issued any sort of lockdown stay-at-home orders statewide, the pandemic has felt very consistent for me and in the sense that I’m still following the same guidelines that I was following in March,” Hamilton said.

Thankfully, Hamilton said, COVID-19 case numbers have remained relatively low for her tribe. When her fellowship finishes up in May, she has her heart set on studying Indian law, but remains cautious. 

“I know with the pandemic anything can change in an instant, and so I want to start planning for options so I don’t end up in a position where I don’t have a plan or I don’t have a job or anything like that,” she said. “I just want to know what my options are, but I’m not really getting my hopes up on any of them because, you know, there’s a pandemic. So, I’m just ready for anything to change in an instant.”

Reconnecting with family and community is also a source of healing for Megan Heller.

“I’ve been trying to tell myself that it was an extended vacation, like a reset from school, because school was so stressful,” says Heller. “I would spend a lot of time outside, whether it’s just walking around or going for hikes in the nearby area.”

Washington was the first state hit hard by COVID-19. Gov. Jay Inslee enacted stay-at-home orders early. Heller credits the Kalispel Tribe for taking quick, providing antibody testing, giving out masks and other measures. When supplies were scarce, they organized donation drives to local food banks to help those in Spokane County, both tribal members and non-members alike.  

I think it’s been going relatively well, considering the situation,” Heller said. “My immediate family, we’ve all been safe as well as my extended family who are up here in Washington. Everybody’s been good about social distancing and wearing masks.”

Four months into her job hunt, fortunes finally turned. She started a new job as the Human Resources Compensation Specialist this week for her tribe. Though not her dream job yet, Heller says the position provides some financial security and a foot in the door. Down the line, she hopes the Kalispel Tribe opens a position for economic development and environmental protection when they are able to resume normal operations.  Heller’s degrees are in public administration and urban and regional planning. Her thesis was on tribes planning for climate change. She is eager to put her passions to work and looks forward to the day she can help her tribe diversify economically and plan for a sustainable future. But for the moment she’s just glad to get back to work.

“I’m eager to get back to having a routine, letting go of the stress and worries I was having about not knowing what the future will hold, ” Heller said. “Not that I know now, but about the way that bills weren’t going to be paid, or what I was going to do if I couldn’t find a job for a long time. Now I can focus on my professional development… and my professional goals, where I want to go one day within the tribe and the kind of career path I want.”

This story is a collaboration between National Native News and the Solutions Journalism Network

The post Family support, adjusting expectations help Native grads facing historically high unemployment appeared first on National Native News, by Art Hughes.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Native solutions to tackle COVID-19

September 28, 2020 - 5:12pm

Navajo Nation marks significant COVID-19 milestone
Sept. 10, 2020

The Navajo Nation reported its second day of no additional COVID-19 deaths in three days. After months of strict lockdowns, curfews and public admonishments from tribal leaders, tribal health officials report dwindling numbers of new cases. Twice within a matter of days, the Navajo Nation marked a significant milestone that the Nation’s largest reservation hasn’t seen since March. It’s all the more important as the tribe continues to climb toward a total that nears 10-thousand COVID-19 deaths. The Nation once outpaced every state in the country for the number of deaths from the disease.


UNITY conference goes virtual
July 8, 2020

The United National Indian Tribal Youth, organization, or UNITY, is going virtual for their annual conference this year because of the ongoing pandemic. UNITY Executive Director Mary Kim Titla says as Native youth continue to play a vital role in tribal communities combating COVID-19, it’s important for them to take time to connect with peers at workshops, share talents, and build on self-care techniques to help navigate stress and anxiety amid lock-downs and isolation.


Salish and Blackfeet hip-hop artist Shadow Devereaux, known as Foreshadow from the video for the song “Protect Your People,” part of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ COVID-19 youth outreach initiative.

Musical initiative offers safety message to young people
July 6, 2020

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation collaborated with local musicians to launch a COVID-19 youth safety awareness campaign. So far, following the release of their second hip-hop song, they’re seeing a successful response in their community’s youth. The series, with a targeted social media campaign, is aimed at 12 to 18-year-olds. In a written release, CSKT officials say the song series was “driven by concerns that youth may not be responding to COVID-19 prevention guidelines.”

 


 

Susan Harjo

Suzan Harjo says she’s twice tested positive for coronavirus
June 18, 2020

First tested on May 19, prominent Native American rights advocate Suzan Harjo says she’s tested positive for Covid-19Suzan Harjo has recently tested again and came up positive a second time for the coronavirus. Harjo is currently making her way through her second round of quarantine.

“I have been reading and writing and talking to people and working; you just continue your life,” Harjo said. “You continue your life with more care for others and prioritize your time.”


White Mountain Apache Tribe is upping strict safety measures as positive Covid-19 cases rise
June 15, 2020

The White Mountain Apache Tribe reached 1,259 reported positive COVID-19 cases. The sudden surge, according to Tribal Chairwoman Gwendena Lee-Gatewood, is likely due an increase in testing and contact tracing. The tribe is on stay-at-home orders, with an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, and is closed to non-tribal citizens and tribal members not living on the reservation.


Overcoming potential COVID-19 barriers to voting
June 10, 2020

The Native American Rights Fund outlines ways to avoid potential voting barriers as states consider safety options during the COVID-19 pandemic. NARF organizers say any move to an entirely vote-by-mail system would be a big problem for Native voters, with the potential to disenfranchise many. They point out it’s not uncommon for items to get misplaced or delivered to the wrong person in the process of picking up and distributing mail from a shared PO box, making the wait to get mail delivered longer, sometimes taking up to a month.


Protecting Human Rights and sovereignty during the pandemic
May 27, 2020

The Native American Rights Fund and the University of Colorado Law School have teamed up and launched a new online legal resource to help Tribal self-determination efforts during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.


Native domestic abuse line adds service to help survivors during pandemic
May 20, 2020

As Covid-19 safety restrictions amped up across the country in March, StrongHearts Native Helpline initially saw a dip in their calls. The organization’s director points to the possibility that survivors sheltering in place at home with an abusive partner find it difficult to make a phone call when they need help. StrongHearts  launched a new online chat function to better assist Native American and Alaska Native people experiencing abuse.


 

Emergency aid for students helps with student housing, utilities and travel
May 15, 2020

When schools started shutting down back in March, the American Indian Graduate Center began a designated Student Emergency Fund outside of their initial awarded scholarship dollars.

“It comes down to student emergency needs,” Executive Director Angelique Albert said. “They are no longer on campuses, so they are no longer in the dorms, so they have housing needs, they have food needs, and we’re having to respond to make sure that they can just say in college.”


 

 

 

 

 

The post Native solutions to tackle COVID-19 appeared first on National Native News, by Art Hughes.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Monday, September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020 - 12:25pm

Hopi Chairman Timothy Nuvangyaoma asks U.S. Senators to reauthorize the Special Diabetes Program for Indians. (Screenshot)

Tribal plaintiffs claim victory in U.S. Census lawsuit Hopi chairman advocates for special diabetes program https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/nnn092820.mp3

The post Monday, September 28, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Friday, September 25, 2020

September 25, 2020 - 11:51am

Officials announce federal decision on Catawba Nation gaming project. (Photo-Catawba Nation, Twitter)

Hudson Bay document reminder of how Indigenous rights ignored Tribal leaders testify about controversial North Carolina casino project https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/nnn092520.mp3

The post Friday, September 25, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Thursday, September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020 - 11:49am

Keystone XL project. (Photo-Victoria Wicks)

Public Keystone XL pipeline hearings set for next week United Tribes of Bristol Bay call for stop of Pebble Mine Native advocates praise movement of MMIW legislation https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/nnn092420.mp3

The post Thursday, September 24, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020 - 11:47am

Chairwoman Amber Torres of the Walker River Paiute Tribe talks about voter registration. (Screenshot)

Arizona governor signs proclamation recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day Rise in cases prompts Navajo leaders to reissue strict COVID-19 orders Native vote advocates encourage young people to engage in voting process https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/nnn092320.mp3

The post Wednesday, September 23, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020 - 11:56am

The Cherokee Nation proclaims voter registration day. (Screenshot)

First Nation points to fishing rights in lobster dispute Native elders encourage community members to vote Cherokee Nation proclaims voter registration day https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/nnn092220.mp3

The post Tuesday, September 22, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Monday, September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020 - 12:10pm

Dr. Anthony Fauci participates in a Navajo Nation virtual town hall. (Screenshot)

Native people pay tribute to Supreme Court Justice Tribal court halts hemp cultivation on Navajo land Dr. Fauci says Navajo Nation model for rest of U.S. https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/nnn092120.mp3

The post Monday, September 21, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Friday, September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020 - 11:29am

White House press conference on the repatriation of Native American items and remains.  (Photo-Assistant Secretary Tara Sweeney, Twitter)

President Trump touts administration’s work in Indian Country Congressional Native Caucus introduces bill to protect burial sites Tribal college advocates call on Congress for increased support https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/nnn091820.mp3

The post Friday, September 18, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Thursday, September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020 - 11:43am

A virtual National Congress of American Indians tribal leader roundtable addresses infrastructure, health care, COVID-19 and other issues. (Screenshot)

Two South Dakota tribes file voter lawsuit Tribes repatriate remains from Finland New infrastructure among top tribal needs https://www.nativenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/nnn091720.mp3

The post Thursday, September 17, 2020 appeared first on National Native News, by Antonia Gonzales.

Categories: UNITED STATES

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