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Secretary Deb Haaland heads home

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is scheduled to meet with pueblo leaders Tuesday in New Mexico.

Haaland, Laguna and Jemez Pueblo, will hold a listening session with the All Pueblo Council of Governors at the Indian Pueblo Culture Center in Albuquerque. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other elected officials will be part of the session.

Haaland will talk about President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan and learn about the pandemic impact on tribes.

The trip will be one of Haaland's first as Interior secretary. She also plans to visit Utah to review the monument boundaries for Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. 

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Alaska tribes to receive over $1B in federal COVID-19 relief

BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — Alaska tribes will receive over $1 billion from the most recent $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief bill.

The tribes can take as long as three years to spend these funds, unlike a similar bill that was passed in 2020, which had a shorter deadline, KYUK-AM reported.

Alaska tribes will be required to document their spending because records will be reviewed by auditors.

To read more, click here.

(Related: $31 billion to 'change the course of the pandemic in Indian Country')

The Knik River in Alaska. Photo by Joaqlin Estus, Indian Country Today)

Choctaw Nation to offer COVID-19 vaccines to public

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Choctaw Nation announced plans to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the general public, becoming the latest Oklahoma-based tribe to expand vaccine distribution beyond just tribal citizens.

The tribe also announced it is partnering with a new national database, Dr. B, that allows people to be put on standby to receive unused doses of the vaccine.

Tribes in Oklahoma have been receiving separate allocations of vaccines from the federal government, and the Chickasaw and Muscogee (Creek) nations have previously announced plans to make some of their allocation available to the general public.

To read more, click here.

Fire destroys reservation apartment building

An apartment building on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota is a total loss in a weekend fire, officials said.

Emily Sitting Bear is director of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation's Emergency Operations Center. She says all tenants from the 36-unit apartment building in New Town are accounted for, but there was one report of a person being treated for smoke inhalation in Sunday's fire.

To read more, click here.

Faculty senate votes ‘no confidence’ in Haskell president

The Indian Leader is reporting that the Haskell Indian Nations University Faculty Senate unanimously voted "no confidence" in school President Ronald Graham.

The news organization posted an article on April 2 of the voting results presented to Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Tony Dearman.

The resolution stated, “Support for a vote of no confidence in the leadership, commitment to shared governance, a collegial culture of academic integrity, and transparent communication of" Graham.

In late March, an academic watchdog wrote a letter to the BIE accusing Graham of restricting the free speech rights of the faculty.

(Related: Watchdog says Haskell president silencing faculty)

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