Sponsored by
story archive

Stories by Nancy Marie Spears

'We are still here': Tribes reclaiming out-of-state ancestral homelands

Native American tribes – from Alabama to Michigan to Kansas – are increasingly buying back or being gifted back property in their ancestral homelands, either to build economic sustainability or to manage cultural preservation sites.... Read more»0

Oklahoma, tribes clash over jurisdiction after Supreme Court’s McGirt decision

Oklahoma is in a power struggle with its 39 tribes over criminal jurisdiction and whether Native American reservations in the state still exist, but legal experts say Arizona and other Western states settled most of those issues years ago.... Read more»0

Oklahoma tribal sovereignty case gets Supreme Court review, not reversal

The Supreme Court will revisit – but not overturn – its landmark 2020 decision that said a large part of eastern Oklahoma is still legally Muscogee (Creek) reservation land, a ruling that state officials claim has upended trial courts there.... Read more»0

As tribes wait for investigation to conclude, debate over Indian schools continues

Tribes across the Southwest dread the possibility that thousands of unmarked graves might be uncovered by a federal investigation into abandoned Native American boarding schools expected to wrap up early this year.... Read more»0

State statutes could protect families if Indian Child Welfare Act is overturned

A Texas challenge to the federal Indian Child Welfare Act at the Supreme Court might not be entirely successful in at least nine states where state laws impose similar restrictions on the adoption of Indigenous children by non-Native parents. ... Read more»0

Design chosen for quarter commemorating Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller

The Wilma Mankiller quarter, slated to begin circulating next year, will feature an image of the Cherokee chief who was the first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and a Medal of Freedom winner who championed of the rights of Indigenous people and women.... Read more»0

Joy Harjo, first Native American U.S. poet laureate begins third term, publishes memoir

Joy Harjo of Oklahoma, the first Native American woman to serve as the nation’s poet laureate, has begun her third term – an honor bestowed only once before. Robert Pinsky was the first U.S. poet laureate to serve a third term, in 1999.... Read more»0

Attorneys, advocates reflect on new Native American Voting Rights bill

Some people with stakes in Indigenous voter rights are looking to the Native American Voting Rights Act to help address physical and cultural voting and election problems for tribal members.... Read more»0

Chickasaw woman gets USDA post, one in a string of Indigenous nominees

For the first time in history, an Indigenous woman is overseeing U.S. agriculture law – but Janie Simms Hipp is just the latest in a number of Native Americans nominated to top posts in the Biden administration. ... Read more»0

COVID relief highlights complexity of issues facing Native Americans

For some Indigenous communities, the historic amount of federal funds allocated to tribes through the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act was beneficial - for others, the pandemic highlighted deeper systemic complexities that federal funding cannot fully address.... Read more»0

Tribal efforts to preserve languages get boost from COVID relief funds

The American Rescue Plan, which allocates $31 billion to the tribes nationwide, set aside $20 million to help Native American nations preserve their languages. The funding is designed to help assure the survival of tribal cultures, spiritual identities and forms of traditional communication. Elders who speak those Native languages are dying from COVID-19 and its complications at much higher rates than white populations.... Read more»0