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Indian Country headlines for Tuesday

Ivanka Trump takes flack over missing, murdered Indigenous women office opening

The new Missing and Murdered Native American Cold Case Office in Bloomington, Minnesota is part of a Lady Justice Task Force President Donald Trump created by executive order in November to address violence against Native Americans, particularly women and girls. It's the first of seven such offices the administration is establishing across the country in coming weeks. Other locations include Phoenix, Nashville, Tennessee, and Anchorage, Alaska. 

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Ivanka Trump's attendance at the opening drew sharp criticism from Lt. Gov. Flanagan, White Earth Ojibwe, and other Minnesota Democrats, who called it 'political showcasing' and a ‘photo op.' Outside the building, protesters carried signs reading, "You are on stolen land" and "Stop pretending to care about Native Lives." 

Haaland, Warren announce broadband spectrum bill

U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, Laguna and Jemez Pueblos, a New Mexico Democrat, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, announced what they are calling a “historic bill” that would affirm tribal nations ownership of broadband spectrum on their lands.

The DIGITAL Reservations Act was announced on Monday and includes support from multiple tribal leaders and Native organizations leaders.

“Our DIGITAL Reservations bill will help tribes fully realize self-governance and protect their sovereign right to manage their own natural resources on tribal lands and ensure Native communities aren’t stuck in the digital divide,” Haaland said in a statement.

Kyrie Irving commits $1.5 million for WNBA players skipping season

Kyrie Irving, Standing Rock Sioux, is making sure Women's National Basketball Association players can sit out the season and not stress about a paycheck.

The Brooklyn Nets star is committing $1.5 million to supplement the income of players who choose not to play this season, whether it be because of coronavirus concerns or social justice reasons, according to the Associated Press.

The funds will come from the KAI Empowerment Initiative that Irving launched Monday. It will also provide players with a financial literacy program created by UBS.

The season began Saturday and will be played entirely at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Notre Dame withdraws as host of first 2020 presidential debate

University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced Monday the University has withdrawn as the host site for the first of the 2020 presidential debates, scheduled for Sept. 29.

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After consultation with health officials and with the support of university trustees, Father Jenkins made the call "because the necessary health precautions would have greatly diminished the educational value of hosting the debate on our campus.” 

Notre Dame has hosted six presidents at commencement ceremonies through the years but this would have been the University’s first presidential debate.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, of which Father Jenkins is a board member, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and has sponsored all general election presidential and vice-presidential debates since 1988.

Two Confederate monuments removed, Arizona advocates and veterans push for more

PHOENIX – The United Daughters of the Confederacy on Wednesday removed two monuments from the Capitol complex and along U.S. 60 near Gold Canyon. The move came after Arizona veterans and other groups wrote to Gov. Doug Ducey saying the state should not glorify those who fought to dissolve the Union, but it was the United Daughters of the Confederacy's June 30 letter to the Arizona Department of Administration that led to the removal. It requested the state “regift” the vandalized monuments for repairs, adding, "Due to the current political climate, we believe it unwise to repair them where they are located.”

Watch: Survey is about seeing ourselves represented

Indian Country Today’s Monday newscast featured guests Dr. Stephanie Fryberg, Tulalip, and Kendra Bicenti, Navajo.

Fryberg is a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. Her research centers on how social representation of race, culture and social class influence the development of self, psychological wellbeing and educational attainment.

Bicenti is the interim program manager at the Center for Native American Youth based in Washington, D.C. She is an undergrad student at Stanford University, and a published author.

Three organizations are teaming up to conduct a survey to get a better understanding of the issues and interests of Native Americans. It's called the Indigenous Futures Survey and it's being led by IllumiNative, The Native Organizers Alliance and the Center for Native American Youth.

Fryberg said, "This has long been a dream of mine to be able to carry out such a survey ... in terms of a survey that's about giving Native people a voice and allowing us to say what's important to us, what we prioritize, this is definitely the first."

Becenti said “it's really important that we represent everyone in our communities. So we need more men" to take part in the survey. Also, "We need our elders to take the survey and we also need our relatives in rural, in reservation communities to also take the survey as well. 

This is something meant for all of Indian country and is supposed to capture all of our experiences, no matter where we're living and really no matter our tribal affiliation,” Becenti said.

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