Happy Thursday! Here’s a look at what’s happening today:

Senator introduces bills to increase access to Small Business Administration resources

On Thursday, Democratic Sen. John Hickenlooper introduced his first four bills of the legislative session, all relating to the Small Business Administration.

One of the bills in particular will directly impact Indian Country if passed; the SBA Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA) Enhancement and Modernization Act.

In a press release from Hickenlooper, it states the Office of Native American Affairs is intended to help and support Native entrepreneurs. However, insufficient funding and a lack of an associate administrator has left the office in need of resources to be most effective.

Associate administrators set the policy and direction of the office and report to SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman, who was appointed by President Joe Biden.

Hickenlooper’s bill will double the funding for the Office of Native American Affairs compared to its current levels, as well as creating an associate administrator. The position will be “charged with formulating and promoting policies, programs, and assistance that better address the entrepreneurial, capital access, business development and contracting needs of Tribes and Native businesses.”

This bill, along with the three others, will break down barriers and provide resources to underserved communities, the senator said.

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Maine tribe reacquires historically significant island lands

INDIAN TOWNSHIP, Maine (AP) — A Native American tribe in Maine has partnered with conservation groups to take back ownership of an island that is historically significant to its members.

The Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township said that it has reacquired 140 acres of ancestral lands on an island in Big Lake in rural eastern Maine. The tribe said the island was originally known as Kuwesuwi Monihq, or Pine Island, and renamed “White’s Island” by settlers.

The tribe worked with First Light and The Nature Conservancy to reacquire the island. The island was most recently listed for $449,000, the Portland Press Herald reported.

The tribe said in a statement that the island was once used as a place to store food in root cellars. Tribal members once used it to deliver food to sick relatives who were in quarantine during a smallpox epidemic brought by settlers from England and France, the tribe said.

Deb Haaland makes appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, and the first Native American Cabinet member, held a virtual conversation with the host of Late Night with Seth Meyers. The conversation was posted on Wednesday

Watch the segment here:

May 18 proclaimed Fred Sasakamoose Day

Fred Sasakamoose, the first treaty First Nations man to play in the National Hockey League, has a day set aside in his honor.

According to an APTN News report, the Province of Saskatchewan and the City of Saskatoon declared May 18 – Fred Sasakamoose Day.

Sasakamoose, from Ahtahkakoop First Nation died from COVID-19 in November at the age of 84.

The mayor of Saskatoon, Charlie Clarke says it’s important to acknowledge his legacy in Saskatoon.

“The fact that the very first First Nations NHL player in the league came from Ahtahkahkoop First Nations has really strong roots and relationships here in Saskatoon. I can’t think of anything better than us celebrating Fred,” Clarke said.

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Trial set for former Mashpee Wampanoag chairman

Former Mashpee Wampanoag Chairman Cedric Cromwell is facing bribery charges, and his jury trial is scheduled for September, according to Cape News.

The charges against Cromwell are over activities that allegedly occurred between July 2014 and May 2017, according to the report.

An estimated 30 witnesses are expected to appear in the two-week trial.

For details about the case, click here.

A cicadas pizza recipe

David George Gordon, author of the “Eat-a-Bug Cookbook,” says periodical cicadas should be harvested immediately after they have undergone their final molt — usually within minutes of their appearance above ground, according to an Associated Press report.

(Related: Cicadas: ‘The other white meat’)

In 1987, when Gordon found himself up to his elbows in a previous brood of cicadas, he took the advice of University of Chicago professor emeritus Monte Lloyd and prepared the catch as a topping for pizza. It was a hit in his kitchen.

Click here for recipe.

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