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Despite gains, tribal nations seek more inclusion in national affairs

Tribal governments have “a foot in the door” with the federal government but they don’t yet have a seat at the table where decisions concerning them are being made, the president of the National Congress of American Indians said Monday. ... Read more»

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Federal investigation aims to uncover painful history of Native American boarding schools

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland ordered a federal Indian Boarding School Initiative to recover the histories of the institutions, saying she wants the investigation to identify the children who attended and their tribal affiliations, along with a particular emphasis on finding records of cemeteries or burial sites connected with the schools.... Read more»

Enduring trauma: Indian boarding schools will be investigated, Interior announces

With nearly 1,000 bodies in mass graves discovered this month on the grounds of Canadian boarding schools amid their ongoing investigation, and Secretary of the Interior Deb Halaand’s recent pledge to investigate past abuses in the U.S., Arizona’s Indigenous boarding schools will face fresh scrutiny.... Read more»

House OKs ERA bill, Violence Against Women Act during Women’s History Month

With Women’s History Month as a backdrop, the House last week voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and remove the 1982 deadline for states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. But both bills still need approval from the evenly divided Senate, where they could face significant obstacles.... Read more»

Committee vote moves Haaland one step closer to historic Interior post

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 11-9 to advance Rep. Debra Haaland’s nomination to be the next secretary of Interior, moving her one step closer to becoming the first Native American to head a Cabinet-level agency. The vote passed over the objections of Republicans who said her “radical views” are “squarely at odds with the mission of the Department of the Interior and outside of the mainstream.”... Read more»

State of tribal nations 'strong' despite crises, but feds need to help

National Congress of American Indians President Fawn Sharp said the state of Indian nations is strong despite long-running problems of disrespect for tribal sovereignty and of missing and murdered Indigenous women, as well as new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sharp did acknowledge hopeful signs in the early days of the Biden administration.... Read more»

Pandemic, Trump and racism drive voter turnout in some tribal communities

Enthusiasm across Arizona was higher this election than in the 2016 presidential contest, and final results show the contrast was even more stark in Indian Country, where voters said they were especially motivated because of the COVID-19 pandemic and issues of race.... Read more»

FCC grants no-cost broadband spectrum licenses to 11 Arizona tribes

The Federal Communications Commission has granted broadband spectrum licenses to 11 Arizona tribes in what FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called “a major step forward in our efforts to close the digital divide on Tribal lands.”... Read more»

Critics: Feds reopened tribal schools without asking or advising tribes

Lawmakers and tribal leaders berated the Bureau of Indian Education on Thursday for a school reopening plan that prioritizes in-person learning, despite tribes’ opposition to the plan in the face of COVID-19 health concerns.... Read more»

Tribes: Delayed release of COVID-19 funds hurt coronavirus relief, other efforts

At a time when some Native American communities continue to struggle with the most basic needs, tribal leaders Wednesday called it “an outrage” that tribes had to wait months for coronavirus relief funds.... Read more»

Tribal leaders say border wall, other projects continue to threaten sacred, historic sites

As President Donald Trump was hailing the pace of border wall construction Tuesday, Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris Jr. was bemoaning it as a project that continues “to destroy … sacred sites.”... Read more»

Despite funds, lawmakers say tribes still shortchanged in COVID-19 aid

Native American tribes have been severely hit by the coronavirus but have received only a fraction of the help they need from the federal government, said lawmakers, who called the impact on businesses and health on reservations “particularly worrisome.” ... Read more»

Indian Congress president: Tribal sovereignty still threatened from ‘every corner’

Despite some “encouraging developments,” threats to tribal sovereignty still come “from every branch and every corner of federal and state governments,” the president of the National Congress of American Indians said Monday. ... Read more»

Az woman celebrates as appeals court denies 'Redskins' trademark

A federal judge Wednesday upheld a ruling by the Patent and Trademark Office to cancel registration of the Washington Redskins' trademark.... Read more»4

Az woman looks back after almost 10 years fighting Redskins’ name

Amanda Blackhorse said things have changed since a 2005 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Washington Redskins, when she and other protesters faced fans’ verbal abuse for having the audacity to suggest that the teams’ names were racist. Today, Blackhorse has President Barack Obama on her side. ... Read more»

From state Senate to State Department: Jackson is new liaison to tribes

Former Arizona state Sen. Jack Jackson Jr. knew his job with the State Department would be a balancing act between representing the federal government and serving tribal communities. But five months into the job, he is finding that he also faces another balancing act, the same one that challenges tribes across the country – how to weigh economic growth against and cultural and environmental concerns.... Read more»

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