Wed, 15 Sep 2021 15:40:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Native American roots of the American constitution Wed, 15 Sep 2021 13:10:11 +0000

September 17 is Constitution Day, marking the signing of the Constitution of the United States in 1787. Schools often trace the intellectual lineage of the Constitution from ancient Athens to the European Enlightenment. But Robert Miller, a lawyer, tribal court judge and citizen of Oklahoma’s Eastern Shawnee tribe, writes that another source for many of his ideas are the tribal political entities that were the fledgling US government’s closest neighbors. .

Miller explains that many of the Founding Fathers who signed the Constitution had extensive knowledge of Indigenous nations, some having negotiated treaties or maintained diplomatic relations with them.

18th century tribal governments throughout what is now the United States had a wide variety of models of government, from “relatively complex governments to simple governments.”, and from almost autocratic to highly democratic governments. The governments of eastern North America best known to the founders were confederations of tribal nations, including the powerful Iroquois confederacy of upstate New York. The Iroquois, Shawnee, Cherokee, and other political parties generally separated military and civilian leadership, protected certain personal freedoms, including freedom of religion, and included somewhat democratic policies for referendums, vetoes, and revocations. . (Most also gave women prominent roles in government, something that wouldn’t be enshrined in the U.S. Constitution for over a century.)

Miller notes that Benjamin Franklin was closely involved in negotiating and printing treaties with Indigenous nations, including the Iroquois Confederacy, and studied their systems of governance. Writing in 1751, Franklin argued that:

It would be a very strange Thing if six Nations of ignorant Savages [sic] should be able to form a plan for such a union, and be able to execute it in such a way that it has endured for ages and seems indissoluble; and yet a similar union should not be practical for ten or a dozen English colonies[…]

John Adams has suggested that those who draft the Constitution should study the governments of “ancient Germans and modern Indians,” which he says divides power between the three branches of executive, judicial and legislative governance. Specifically, he cited the Mohawks, who he said enjoyed “complete individual independence”, while tribal chiefs brought important decisions like declarations of war to “a national assembly”.

Thomas Jefferson also studied Indigenous systems of government, expressing admiration for them, although they mistakenly refer to them as having “no law”. In a letter written after the completion of the first draft of the Constitution, he wrote that “the only condition on earth to compare with ours is that of the Indians, where they have even fewer laws than we do. Europeans are governments of kites on pigeons [sic]. “

While European thought had obvious and substantial influences on the US Constitution, Miller concludes, “Ultimately, the founders developed democratic political theories and principles that were hardly practiced in Europe.”

Editor’s Note: The caption for this article has been updated to more accurately reflect the image shown.

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Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 159, n ° 1 (MARCH 2015), pp. 32-56

American Philosophical Society

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Annual Motorcycle Ride Celebrating Native American Heritage Through Northern Alabama September 18 | New Sat, 11 Sep 2021 04:30:00 +0000

Motorcyclists from the Southeast will gather on September 18, 2021 for a scenic ride through the northern Alabama region in honor of the Native Americans. Now in his 28e year, the Trail of Tears Memorial Motorcycle Ride travels from Bridgeport in northeast Alabama to the city of Waterloo in the northwest. Indian festival day in Waterloo for the public.

The Trail of Tears Memorial Motorcycle Ride begins at the Alabama-Tennessee border off US Highway 72 in downtown Bridgeport, departing at 8:00 a.m. CST on Saturday, September 18. The ride takes US Highway 72 West to I-565 West and arrives at Redstone Harley-Davidson around 10:30 a.m. for an official break for rest and lunch. The public is invited to welcome the riders while enjoying a lunch and special entertainment. At 12:00 p.m., runners will depart and head west through Florence to arrive in Waterloo around 2:30 p.m.

A kick-off rally featuring kids’ activities, live music, entertainment, street dancing, fireworks show and other free family entertainment for the public is planned in downtown Bridgeport on Friday September 17. Bikes will start arriving at 3:00 p.m. and the official opening ceremony will begin at 5:00 p.m.

The City of Waterloo will host a free Indian Festival September 17-19 in remembrance of all who have walked the Trail of Tears. Presented by the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission, the three-day event features live music on Saturday nights, flute and drum music, and exhibits from Native American craftspeople and vendors. A River Walk dedication ceremony is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. to honor those who went through the forced journey with the grand entrance scheduled for 1 p.m. and bikes arriving around 2:30 p.m.

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 provided for the voluntary or forced relocation of all Indians from the eastern United States to the state of Oklahoma. In 1838, the US government hired railcar master JCS Hood to transport 1,070 Native Americans on foot and by railcar from Ross’s Landing to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to what is now Waterloo, Alabama.

Much of the trip followed what is now US Highway 72. Many Native Americans died in Waterloo and others escaped into the hills and today residents of the area can trace their Native American ancestors to those. who fled.

As many as 4,000 deaths have occurred as a result of this forced withdrawal of civilized Native Americans from their rightful homes. In recognition of this removal process, the first Trail of Tears Motorcycle Ride was held in 1994 with approximately 100 riders participating and today numbers over 10-15,000 riders each year.

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Go. Native American tribes acquire more land for cultural and environmental preservation Thu, 09 Sep 2021 04:04:54 +0000

Over the past three years, the Chickahominy Tribe of Charles City County has received nearly $ 7 million in state funding to acquire and preserve tribal lands, thereby preventing development and improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The current plan for the $ 3.5 million provided by the General Assembly this year is to purchase more land that is of cultural significance to the tribe, according to Dana adkins, environmental director of the Chickahominy tribe.

An area of ​​over 900 acres probably containing the historical remains of a Chickahominy village called Mamanahunt is currently being considered for acquisition. Other properties along the Chickahominy River in Charles City County, where the tribal villages were located, are of interest to the tribe as well.

“We are trying to create places for our young people to be educated about the environmentally and culturally significant events that impact the tribe,” Adkins said. “We are looking for ways to make the best use of our property for the benefit of our tribal citizens and the community at large, primarily for educational purposes.”

The last major land acquisition for the Chickahominy came through a $ 3.1 million state grant to purchase 105 acres in Charles City County along the James River in 2019. The tribe placed a bondage on the ground with the Virginia Outdoor Foundation which limits development and includes riparian buffers in an effort to restore the health of the habitat and the nearby river.

According to Brett Glymph, executive director of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, riparian forests, known as riparian buffers, are standard protocol for the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, as well as management practices that maintain the land in its natural forested state. for the benefit of nearby waterways. The Chickahominy Tribe, among other tribes in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, have understood and practiced these techniques for centuries.

“Tribes know that stewardship, water quality, and environmental protection are important things,” said Matthew J. Strickler, Virginia Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources. “It’s a key value for them, and they’re closer to the earth than anyone else. It’s not just about leading by example, it’s the real work they do.


Riparian habitat, known as riparian lands, plays an important role in determining what enters the waterways that feed Chesapeake Bay.

“Forests and wetlands capture precipitation, trap polluted runoff, and stabilize soils that might otherwise flow into waterways,” said Roy Seneca, spokesperson for the United States Environmental Protection Agency. the environment. “Riparian forests, also called riparian forests forest buffers, can reduce the amount of nutrient pollution in streams, sometimes up to 30 to 90 percent.

Land conservation is seen as a “tool in the toolbox” to improve the overall health of the bay, according to Seneca.

“Some of the most effective practices for reducing nitrogen in the Chesapeake from unregulated, non-point sources are riparian forests, riparian fencing to exclude livestock from streams, management planning nutrients and planting cover crops, ”Seneca said.

Diffuse sources of pollution, or widespread and unregulated pollution, constitute a cause of water quality problems in the watershed.

“When you think about the water column and the quality of the water, you really have to ask yourself where this water comes from,” said Joel dunn, president and CEO of the Chesapeake Conservancy, a nonprofit organization involved in many important land acquisitions for indigenous tribes across the watershed. “This water flows from the land, into the rivers and into the bay.”

The Chesapeake Bay watershed stretches from Cooperstown, New York, to Norfolk, Virginia. “It’s a little hard for people who live 100 miles upstream to make that mental connection that when they flush the toilet they end up making their way to Chesapeake Bay,” Dunn said.

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed. (US Department of Agriculture)

Revealing the source of pollution entering the bay, usually in the form of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment, is “not that simple,” said Allen Davis, Associate Chairman of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland.

“For the most part, this is primarily agriculture, as most of the watershed is used for agriculture,” Davis said. “The city is small but growing; septic tanks are small; wastewater treatment plants are important, but they are shrinking the most because they are probably the easiest to manage.


The tribes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed understand that all elements of nature are inextricably linked, including land and water.

“Everything is related to us in all forms of life, so we must respect and honor all of these forms,” said Chief G. Anne Richardson of the Rappahannock Tribe located in King and Queen County. “We got our food from the river, our medicine from the river and our knowledge from the river. “

Through a coordinated effort between the Rappahannock Tribe, the Conservation Fund, the Chesapeake Conservancy and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, 252 acres of land was purchased and successfully preserved two years ago in a culturally and environmentally significant location along the Rappahannock River called Fones Cliffs.

There are still 1,000 acres to the north and 1,000 acres to the south that the Rappahannock Tribe and the Chesapeake Conservancy would like to see protected.

“Conservation is important to everyone, or it should be,” said Richardson. “This not only affects the quality of the water, but also the quality of life of all the life forms that are part of us. We want to live in such a way that all forms of life thrive.

Fishermen use a jetty at Lawrence Lewis Jr. Park adjoining the newly acquired Chickahominy lands, July 31, 2021. (Evan Visconti / For the Virginia Mercury)

The tribes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed have a historical, cultural and spiritual connection to the rivers and streams that eventually flow into Chesapeake Bay. “If our Earth and our waters are sick, then we are sick,” said Richardson.

Richardson is leading an initiative called “Back to the river”To teach young tribesmen the traditions and culture of the Rappahannock River. She views land development as the greatest threat to the Rappahannock River and the tribe’s way of life. “Because our river hasn’t seen much development, it’s cleaner than most. We want it to stay that way. “

The broader restoration efforts of Chesapeake Bay focus on total maximum daily loads and complex best management practices for farms and wastewater treatment plants, but the effort to preserve large tracts of land on the along the tributaries of the bay also has a significant impact.

“We don’t create any more land, and whatever we can conserve is good for the planet and it’s good for us, for the animals, the flora and the fauna,” said Glymph. “Land conservation is essential in helping us heal our planet, fight climate change and improve the quality of our land and water. “

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to correct the title of Allen Davis.

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Native American Women Break My Money Myths Wed, 08 Sep 2021 12:00:00 +0000

Credit: Aly McKnight

There is a common myth among non-Indigenous people in the United States and Canada that Indigenous people do not pay taxes. Whether it’s sales tax, federal income tax, or even the tax gleefully dubbed “death,” some people apparently feel that aboriginal people are exempt from all of this.

Not so. In fact, as a registered member of the Muscogee (Creek) and Cherokee tribes, I can assure you that Uncle Sam has my bank account number living rent free in his head. And I’m responsible for it all – federal, state, sales, property – you name it.

Although the details of this assumption can get complicated (ie paying their “fair share” which, given our history, is quite insulting in addition to being inaccurate.

To add even more insult to injury, Native American women might argue that they are the ones who are not getting their fair share. Data shows they earn about 60 cents for every dollar a non-Hispanic white man earns each year. That’s even less than the overall gender wage gap, which stands at 82 cents on the dollar.

In fact, September 8, 2021 has been designated Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day because today represents the number of days in 2021 it took for an Indigenous woman in the United States to earn what it took a non-Hispanic white man to win in 2020 alone.

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That’s right – over a full year and eight months. As US Department of the Interior Senator Deb Haaland (Pueblo of Laguna) wrote as a member of Congress: “This is a statistic that has an impact on so many other issues, including access to health care, education, vocational training and childcare.

After all, less money in the bank means less money for basic necessities, not to mention extras.

Nor is it a problem unique to aboriginal women. BIPOC’s women’s communities, including Black and Latinx, are no strangers to their unique pay gaps, with many experts offering advice on how to negotiate wages.

And unfortunately, despite more Indigenous women seeking higher education, the biggest gaps can be seen at the bachelor’s and master’s level, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

“Native women typically have to earn a master’s degree before they are paid more than non-Hispanic white men with just an associate’s degree ($ 56,000 and $ 53,842, respectively),” the organization reports.

During a career taxed on income, it adds up.

Viewing Receipts

Indigenous women recently took to TikTok to share their feelings about Indigenous stereotypes about money. And these feelings are great.

TikToker Lily (Diné), aka @sheshortnbrown, jumped on the ‘Questions I Get Asked’ trend by sharing some of the comments she says she’s sick of hearing as a native woman – one of them “must be kind not to pay taxes.” “

“No, I do,” she replies. “[D]o Do your favorite billionaires still pay them? “


This is a fair point. Find out how many non-native multibillionaires – with a “b” – on this list have dodged the income tax train.

Another TikToker, @ sherry.mckay (Anishinaabe) explains how the myth spreads to our First Nations families in Canada.

While showing literal receipts, McKay shares how much she paid in sales taxes.

“Stop with the narrative that indigenous people don’t pay taxes,” she says.

Meanwhile, Patricia Raylynn (Salish and Pend d’Oreille) shakes her head at the multiple Indigenous stereotypes thrown at her, including one asking her if she is getting free government money.

While there are so many myths that seek to undermine Indigenous communities, those that involve undeserved financial gain are particularly insidious.

After all, when you lose $ 977,720 on average over a 40-year career, being accused of bypassing the government that colonized your tribe is, well, to stay on the money topic. , rich.

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If you enjoyed reading this article, check out In The Know’s story about the finance expert who shares tips for women of color to negotiate more money..

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How Texas abortion law undermines Native American women’s reproductive justice Sat, 04 Sep 2021 08:30:41 +0000

For Native American women living on tribal lands, obtaining an abortion has long been a difficult and intimidating process.

For native Texas women, this challenge was magnified after the United States Supreme Court this week refused to block the state’s ban on most abortions, highlighting the unique health disparities that native women face. have long faced and potential threats to their health, said Charon Asetoyer, executive director of the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center.

Asetoyer, a descendant of the Comanche tribe, fears that many indigenous women, who already suffer from the highest rates of rape and sexual assault, will not be able to find the financial means to access a safe abortion and legal outside Texas – if that’s even an option for them – or being forced to give birth under already difficult and financially burdensome circumstances. Indigenous women in the United States are more than twice as likely as white women to die from diseases caused or exacerbated by pregnancy.

“It’s definitely a whole other level of mental anxiety and cruelty that is forced upon us,” Asetoyer said. “Our right, our human right, to make this decision is taken away from us.”

The abortion-related data available through the Indian Federal Health Service, or IHS, which provides access to health care to an estimated 2.5 million American Indians and Alaska Natives, is sadly incomplete, according to activists and researchers.

Asetoyer helped lead a survey in 2002 that found that 85 percent of IHS health facilities were not complying with the agency’s official abortion policy, and in 62 percent of facilities, staff said they do not provide abortion services or funding, even in cases where a woman’s life is threatened by pregnancy.

This is in violation of the Hyde Amendment, which was enacted by Congress in 1976. The measure – whose namesake was GOP Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois – essentially prohibits the use of federal funds. for abortion services, except for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest or if the woman’s life is in danger. Many states also require that women seeking abortions file police reports within a certain time limit.

After the Hyde Amendment was passed, the IHS said it performed 25 abortions over a 20-year period, the researchers said.

The IHS did not immediately respond to a request for the latest available abortion statistics or for comment on the process for indigenous women on tribal lands requesting abortions.

Asetoyer said the problem remains that many IHS facilities simply do not have the resources to perform abortions, or their employees mistakenly believe that all forms of abortion are illegal.

“They don’t even offer abortions under the restrictions of the Hyde Amendment,” she added.

The main IHS website does not specifically mention abortion on its “reproductive health” page, nor does its health manual mention allowances for abortions related to rape or incest.

Activists say it’s especially troubling given that one in three indigenous women is raped or attempted rape, according to Justice Department statistics from 2012.

Texas’ new abortion law is the most restrictive in the country and prohibits such a procedure once a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, which is typically around six weeks old and may even be before some women have realize they are pregnant. The law makes an exception for medical emergencies that would affect the health of the mother, but not for rape or incest.

Even with state law in place, native Texas women who receive care through the IHS would theoretically have more permissive access to abortion since the Hyde Amendment makes exceptions for rape or rape. incest. But IHS Texas Tribal and Urban Health Centers contacted by NBC News said they were not providing abortion services anyway.

Indigenous women seeking an abortion usually have to venture out of reservation, which can be a trying experience if the nearest clinic is in a town hundreds of miles away, requiring significant travel and expense. refundable.

Asetoyer, who resides on the Yankton Sioux reservation in South Dakota, said this had been the case in his state, where the only clinic offering abortions – a Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls – had suspended procedures for seven months in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions. . More than 450 women had to travel out of state, South Dakota News Watch reported.

For these women, especially Indigenous women living in poverty, getting a safe abortion can be simply unrealistic, said Sarah Deer, professor of women, gender and sexuality studies at the University of Kansas and a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. .

Adding yet another distressing layer to the question of how indigenous women have historically been deprived of their reproductive rights, approximately 3,400 of them – including three dozen under the age of 21 – have been forcibly sterilized by the IHS in the 1970s. The practice was part of the federal government’s “family planning” services and was explored in the 2018 documentary “Amá” on the consequences of forced sterilization.

“To understand reproductive justice in a historical context, the government says, ‘We don’t want you to have babies. We no longer want Indians to deal with it. Your children will be taken away, ”said Deer. “The message we want to send now is that all reproductive justice in the Indian country is loaded with these really difficult issues.”

She added that because of the trauma resulting from the dismemberment of their families, there are also Native Americans who are against abortions and “could approach it through the issue of preserving children.”

In 2006, Cecilia Fire Thunder, the first woman elected president of the Oglala Sioux tribe, South Dakota’s largest indigenous tribe, defended the creation of a family planning clinic on her reservation – in response to the ban by the State of virtually all the reasons for an abortion. But this proposal was controversial and led the tribal council to depose Fire Thunder.

Asetoyer said indigenous women traditionally decide when to start a family and how many children they want to have, and for those who end up choosing to terminate their pregnancy, this should also remain their sovereign right.

“This is what is so cold about these laws: if they really have everyone’s best interests, they wouldn’t put a woman in this situation,” said Asetoyer, who has helped lead the fight in recent years. to ensure that the IHS makes emergency contraceptives available in all of its health centers.

Abigail Echo-Hawk, executive vice president of the Seattle Indian Health Board and a member of the Pawnee Nation, was among a group of prominent Indigenous activists and scholars, including Deer, focusing on reproductive rights in Mississippi after the U.S. Supreme Court said in May it would review the legality of the state’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

These activists plan to file a brief this month in support of the state’s only abortion clinic, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Activists hold up placards at an abortion rights rally at the Washington Supreme Court to protest new state bans on abortion services on May 21, 2019.Caroline Brehman / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images file

As part of their preliminary research, Echo-Hawk said, they found that the IHS paid very little for abortions involving Indigenous women, “meaning that even with the high rate of rape and incest in our communities, we have no choice but to have the procedure available to us in cases where it should be. “

Echo-Hawk said that as a rape survivor, she knows how crucial it is for women to have barrier-free access to care.

She reflects on what other aboriginal women in the midst of generational poverty and burdened with having to bear a child will do.

“I think of Cecilia Fire Thunder, who once said, ‘Keep your white hands away from my brown body,'” Echo-Hawk said. “We have to make sure that we have autonomy over our bodies.”

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Native American tribes defy state policies on masks Wed, 01 Sep 2021 17:31:03 +0000

In states where local rulers have banned compulsory masks in schools, Native American tribes are using their authority to enforce their own rules regarding masks, tests, and vaccines, The Guardian reports.

Jason Dropik, chairman of the board of directors of the National Indian Education Association, told the Guardian that most of the indigenous communities he has been in contact with have implemented mask warrants despite statewide bans. He also told the outlet that part of the motivation for implementing their own security measures is due to the way the pandemic has hit some indigenous communities.

“When we have losses, and we do every year, even outside of a pandemic, but when you increase that amount of loss, there are ways of being that just don’t continue to be taught, and that can be completely lost, ”Dropik said.

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“It’s not just about someone’s life, which in itself has a huge impact, but also about ways of being, cultural traditions, language and work that sometimes also pass with our native speakers. “, he added.

Native Americans have some of the highest vaccination rates in the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that Native Americans are 24% more likely than whites to be fully vaccinated, 31% more likely than Latinos, 64% more likely than African Americans, and 11% more likely than Asian Americans, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We were extremely aggressive with our vaccination rates very early on”, Loretta Christensen, chief medical officer of the Indian Federal Health Service, told the LA Times. “We already had all of that on board, certainly before the Delta variant ramped up, so we’ve reduced our cases.”

“It has been just a huge effort across the Indian country to take care of our people,” she added.

Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona, Iowa and South Carolina have banned masks in schools. In Florida, Texas and Arkansas, mask bans are currently being challenged and therefore not enforced, according to The Guardian.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez told the Guardian that students and staff meet the mask requirement at their schools. He attributes the success in part to the tribe not politicizing COVID-19.

“With any war, any battle, you have to be equipped, you have to have your armor and you have to have your weapons,” he said. “And one of the armors we have is the vaccine. And one of the weapons we have is the mask and hand sanitizers. And so we framed it that way so that our elders could understand what we are dealing with. And they helped us and helped talk to our younger generation.

The Navajo Nation reports that more than 70% of its members who live on the reservation are fully vaccinated, according to Christensen and The LA Times.

The CDC reports that 52.4% of the general population is vaccinated against COVID-19.









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Native American Voting Laws Introduced in Congress – The Cherokee One Feather Tue, 31 Aug 2021 19:09:07 +0000


Staff with a feather

For years, Native Americans, especially those residing on tribal lands, have questioned unequal access to the vote in federal elections. From a general lack of access to polling stations due to long distances or the refusal of election officials to accept tribal ID cards, complaints have been constant.

Senator Ben Ray Lujan (DN.M.) introduced the Frank Harrison, Elizabeth Peratovich and Miguel Trujillo Native American Voting Rights Act (NAVRA) (S.2702) in the 117e Congress recently helped reduce barriers to voting in federal elections for Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and those residing on tribal lands.

In a statement, Senator Lujan said, “This historic voting rights legislation will protect the sacred right to vote and reduce barriers for voters living on tribal lands, thereby attracting more voters into the electoral process. With more Senate co-sponsors than ever before, I am proud of the momentum that is building for this bill. Native Americans’ right to vote must be part of the national conversation. “

Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif), one of the co-sponsors of the bill, said in a statement: “We cannot have an inclusive democracy if we do not provide Native Americans with equal access to the ballot. We must remove the systemic and other barriers that Native Americans face when voting and customize our election administration to ensure that tribal communities are not denied equal protection in our democratic process. “

Representatives Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), Member of the Ho Chunk Nation, sponsored companion legislation HR 5008 in the United States House of Representatives with co-sponsor, Representative Tom Cole, member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. Both are co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus.

She said in a statement: “Voting is the very foundation of our democracy, but indigenous voters face repeated obstacles at the polls, ranging from considerable distance and uneven hours of operation at polling stations to the polls. lack of voter education. This bill further fulfills our federal trust responsibility to protect and promote the exercise by Native Americans of their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. “

Representative Cole said in a statement, “This legislation dramatically improves the tools and resources available to help Native Americans exercise their right to vote, which is especially important for those who live in rural areas.”

According to information from Senator Lujan’s office, some of the key provisions of NAVRA include:

  • Provides grant program “to help establish state-level Native American voting task forces to address voting issues unique to Indian country”
  • Improves Access to Voter Registration, Polling Stations and Drop Boxes in Indian Country
  • Facilitates the addition of polling stations on tribal lands and “adopts factors to be considered when considering whether to add a polling station on tribal lands”
  • Requires acceptance of all identification documents issued by tribes at polling stations
  • Provides electors without a residential address or mail delivery a means to register, collect and cast a ballot

The legislation already has the support of many Native American organizations across the country. In a statement, John Echohawk, executive director of the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), said: “Over the past decade, NARF has documented and addressed the targeted and current barriers that Indigenous voters face when trying to vote… NARF strongly endorses this legislation which will create more equitable access for Native Americans. “

S.2702 was referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and HR 5008 was referred to the Committee on House Administration and the House Committee on the Judiciary.

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Native American Tribes Enforce Mask Warrants Regardless of State Bans | Native Americans Tue, 31 Aug 2021 18:34:00 +0000

NOTNative American tribes across the handful of American states banning school mask warrants have asserted their powers as sovereign nations to defy orders, some also implementing their own testing and vaccine guidelines for dozens of thousands of students and teachers in schools on their reserves as Covid-19 cases rise.

Under the U.S. constitution, federally recognized tribes, such as the Navajo Nation and the Cherokee Nation, have self-governing authority and have therefore been able to implement mask warrants despite statewide bans. .

Jason Dropik, chairman of the board of the National Indian Education Association and director of the Indian Community School of Wisconsin, said the majority of the Indigenous communities he had heard of in the banned states had mandates in place to mask.

The reasoning, he explained, was often tied to the fact that Native Americans have faced a disproportionate death toll from Covid. According to an analysis released in February, one in 475 American Indians has died since the start of the pandemic – a greater proportion of any other demographic in the country.

“When we have losses, and we do every year, even outside of a pandemic, but when you increase that amount of loss, there are ways of being that just don’t continue to be taught, and that can be completely lost, ”Dropik said.

“It’s not just about someone’s life, which in itself has a huge impact, but also about ways of being, cultural traditions, language and work that sometimes also pass with our native speakers. .

State leaders in Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona, Iowa and South Carolina have implemented mandatory mask bans in schools. The civil rights enforcement arm of the Education Department said Monday it has launched investigations in all five states to determine whether their ban on mask warrants discriminates against students with disabilities.

The rulers of Florida, Texas and Arkansas have also added bans, but due to legal challenges they are not being enforced or have been blocked altogether.

The Navajo Nation, the largest tribe in the country, reaffirmed in early August a mask mandate for the 133 schools with K-12 students on its reservation, covering more than 27,000 square miles in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said students and staff have met the requirement scrupulously. Since last week, there has been no evidence of the spread of Covid in schools so far this school year, he said.

President Nez attributed this success in part to the fact that Covid was not politicized within the tribe, but rather framed in a historical context as the last monster afflicting the community that must be defeated.

“With any war, any battle, you have to be equipped, you have to have your armor and you have to have your weapons,” he said. “And one of the armors we have is the vaccine. And one of the weapons we have is the mask and hand sanitizers. And so we framed it that way so that our elders can understand what we are dealing with. And they helped us and helped talk to our younger generation.

The Meskwaki Settlement School, which belongs to the Sac and Fox tribe of Mississippi and is the only Indigenous tribe recognized by the federal government in Iowa, also announced a mask requirement for students and staff. And in Arizona, the Hopi tribe and the White Mountain Apache tribe made it mandatory to wear masks in schools.

Covid cases in the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma have risen sharply since July, with the total number of weekly cases reaching more than 1,000 in August. Over the summer, tribal chiefs made the decision to implement a mask requirement for hundreds of students at his high school and immersion school for the new school year. They also included weekly Covid testing requirements in schools and vaccination warrants for extracurricular activities.

Chief Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr has described schools as some of the safest places to go in the region thanks to these protocols. He said there had only been two documented cases of Covid this school year.

But more than 95% of students on the reserve attend an Oklahoma public school, which, while located on the reserve, is not run by Indigenous leaders. Hoskin described the situation as frustrating and said he couldn’t recall another time when the tribe’s school system took a different approach to health than Oklahoma public schools.

“In terms of operations and basic things like health and safety, it has never really occurred to me as a tribal chief that the schools operating on our state reserve would be so miserable. fall short of such a fundamental health and safety measure, “he said. “Covid and the law, pushed by the governor [Kevin] Stitt, of course changed all that, and I hope that’s an anomaly.

He added: “Unfortunately, even though it is an anomaly, it is very expensive.”

In Tahlequah, Oklahoma, which is the capital of the Cherokee Nation, the principal of Tahlequah public schools reported last week that in the first 10 days of school, they have seen more than 100 cases of Covid. Later in the week, schools opted to move all elementary sites to distance education until September 3 due to understaffing and increasing cases for staff and students.

Other tribes in these areas have faced similar situations, in which the schools their students attend do not fall under the jurisdiction of the tribe.

The Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, for example, do not have reserved lands, so students attend Oklahoma public schools.

Cheyenne and Arapaho’s Education Department Executive Director Carrie F Whitlow explained that while the tribes are taking a serious stand on Covid safety protocols – there have been mask warrants for children over five-year-olds and teachers, and tests and immunization requirements for teachers at its two daycares and three head start centers – its leaders have had no say in the rules in schools public.

“We are really trying to do our best,” she said. “However, due to our lack of authority in public school districts, they don’t really ask us for advice from a tribal and tribal education department, when it comes to our students and their families and how to protect them- we.”

But tribal leaders have continued to ensure that students still have access to the masks and understand their importance. Earlier this month, the Department of Education’s Facebook page featured a post from Whitlow wishing students a safe and healthy school year.

She then added: “Please do your best to protect your homes and communities by wearing a mask.”

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]]> 0 Warren Maskless Parties with Deb Haaland and real American Indians Mon, 30 Aug 2021 22:40:34 +0000

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren appeared to join real American Indians on Saturday when she partied without a mask in defiance of New Mexico’s mask mandate at Home Secretary Deb Haaland’s wedding.

Photos obtained and released by the Washington Free Beacon show Warren with the First Native American Cabinet Secretary at a tribal complex in a state where Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has reimposed indoor mask requirements regardless of status vaccination.

“The reimplemented mask requirement applies to all persons aged 2 and over in all indoor public places – except when eating or drinking,” the Grisham office wrote in an Aug. 17 press release. with the policy expiration date set for September 15th.

A spokesperson for the Home Office wrote in an emailed statement to The Federalist “guests must be vaccinated and wear masks,” to be “in accordance with CDC guidelines and New Brunswick public health orders. -Mexico”.

But Saturday’s no-mask celebrations, illustrated by photos from the Free Beacon, mark the latest episode of Democrats bypassing restrictive COVID protocols imposed by their own statist politicians in liberal enclaves across the country.

Governor Grisham herself became the face of lockdown hypocrisy when local KRQE News 13 reports at the start of the pandemic exposed her by opening a jewelry store to buy expensive jewelry for herself, having already closed the store.

“We are going through a very difficult financial time as a state,” Grisham said a month before her purchase, when she urged residents to stay home and shut down their businesses. “This reflects the incredible personal sacrifices that occur every day because people have a limited ability to work, telecommute and many people have in fact lost their jobs.”

Haaland, 60, married longtime partner Skip Sayre over the weekend in a wedding the Associated Press wrote “incorporated elements honoring his Native American ancestry.” Sayre is an executive with Laguna Development Corp., which manages the gaming and hospitality services for the Laguna Pueblo tribe to which Haaland belongs.

Warren has claimed for decades that she is a member of the Cherokee Nation. Ahead of a DNA test in the run-up to her presidential failure, Warren cited her grandfather’s “high cheekbones” as proof of her ancestry she claimed when teaching law at Harvard. She was even presented by the university as evidence of expanding faculty diversity, and the student newspaper called Warren “the first minority woman to hold office,” according to the Boston Herald in 2012. A 1984 Indian cookbook titled “Pow Wow Chow” also included allegedly “Cherokee” recipes provided by Warren.

Warren apologized for pushing the false identity after the published results of her 2018 DNA test failed to prove that she was a true descendant of American Indians, let alone a member of the Cherokee nation. The test simply showed “strong evidence” of ancestry six to ten generations ago, putting Warren’s lineage between 1/65 and 1/1024 American Indian.

In August last year, the Democratic Party included Warren on an American Indian panel at the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

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Another coronavirus stimulation control for Native American tribes Mon, 30 Aug 2021 13:32:39 +0000

A fourth stimulus check may never arrive, but there are a few groups that could get another stimulus payout. However, these groups will not get another coronavirus stimulus check from the federal government, but some Native American tribes will send the money to their members.

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Another coronavirus stimulation check for members of the Choctaw Nation

Recently, the Choctaw Nation, a Native American tribe, announced that it would be giving stimulus checks of $ 1,000 to all of its members aged 18 and over. In addition, these checks will be issued annually for two years. Those under 18 would get $ 700 a year for two years.

The Choctaw Nation Stimulus Payment is not a one-time payment, but rather an experiment with the concept of a Universal Basic Income. Thus, the payment does not target any particular group, but offers the same financial support to all members. The program is expected to cost $ 627 million over the next two years.

One such tribal program aims to support tribal members amid the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, by helping those under the age of 18, the program ensures that they continue to have access to education and the Internet.

“The plan is centered on caring for our elders and is available to all members of the Choctaw tribe living across the United States who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the tribe said in a statement. Press. Release.

To request the stimulus payment, as well as to get more information about the program, members can visit Members may be asked to prove that they have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

“You may also, upon request, be required to provide evidence to support this negative impact,” the Choctaw Nation website states.

Other Native American tribes are also planning similar programs

To give the stimulus payment, the tribe will use the funds it got from the US bailout, which was approved in March. The stimulus package allocated $ 20 billion to tribal governments, including $ 1.1 billion to the Choctaw Nation.

In addition, the tribe plans to establish mobile grocery stores to provide basic supplies for members who cannot travel. Already, the tribe offers its members aged 55 and over, as well as disabled people between the ages of 18 and 54, a monthly grocery allowance of $ 200.

Three other Native American tribes have developed similar programs to give stimulus checks to their members. Earlier this month, the Osage Nation revealed plans to donate up to $ 2,000 to members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Business Insider, the Cherokee Nation also plans to send a one-time payment of $ 2,000 to all of its members, regardless of age.


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