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Watch: Hearing on Oak Flat set

The subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States is hosting a legislative hearing on a bill Tuesday to permanently protect the Oak Flat area of Tonto National Forest in Arizona from destructive mining proposals.

Oak Flat, or Chi’chil Bildagoteel, is of significant cultural importance and considered sacred by many tribal communities.

The bill, Save Oak Flat Act, was introduced by longtime Arizona lawmaker Raúl M. Grijalva. The witness list includes National Congress of American Indians President Fawn Sharm, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona President Shan Lewis and others.

Tuesday's hearing starts at 1 p.m. EDT and will be livestreamed.


Crowning blow: Pageants hit by lockdowns

Cheyenne Eete Kippenberger took the responsibilities of Miss Indian World in stride.

The title took her around the world as an ambassador, visiting New Zealand, Alaska and tribal lands across the United States. She met dignitaries and movie stars, rock stars and politicians, but not Deb Haaland just yet.

And she emceed an alligator wrestling contest, looking on as a participant lost a finger and got it back again.

Miss Indian World Cheyenne Eete Kippenberger, Seminole Tribe of Florida, won the title in 2019 but served an extra year because of the pandemic. She is stepping down April 24, 2021.

But the impact of the pandemic on her reign – and on other pageants across Indian Country – may have topped them all. Kippenberger will step down on April 24 after serving an additional year of what would have been a one-year reign, and she won’t be handing the crown off to anyone when she leaves.

To read more, click here.

Legislature approves ban on Native American school mascots

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Legislature has approved a measure to ban the use of Native American names, symbols and images as school mascots, logos and team names at most public schools in Washington.

On a 90-8 vote, the House concurred with changes made in the Senate. Once the measure is signed by Gov. Jay Inslee, the ban would take effect Jan. 1.

Under the measure, school districts would have some time to phase out the mascot, team name or logo, but they would be required to select a new mascot by Dec. 31 to take effect by the end of the 2021-22 school year.

To read more, click here.

Enbridge taps new approach for pipelines

To some, corporate social responsibility means companies will consider their impact on the local communities, economy and environment and mitigate any potential harm.

Water protectors rally against Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline in March 2021 and commemorate a pipeline spill that took place along the Prairie River near Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 1991. (Photo by Mary Annette Pember)

To detractors, however, corporate social responsibility is all talk and no action, a smokescreen designed to obscure the ongoing historic exploitation of Indigenous lands, peoples and resources – a kinder, gentler form of imperialism.

An ongoing series: Growing use of ‘corporate social responsibility’ helps companies bypass tribal opposition.

Read the latest story by Mary Annette Pember here.

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