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Native candidate in running for EMILY’s list rising star award

Washington state Rep. Debra Lekanoff, Tlingit and Aleut, is one of six candidates to be nominated for the 2021 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award.

EMILY’s List, a well-known political action committee, announced the six candidates this week. Lekanoff is the only Native candidate and the lone Native lawmaker serving in the state Legislature.

In a social media post promoting each nominee, EMILY’s List stated Lekanoff “introduced over 200 pieces of legislation on issues like climate change, education, public safety, and affordable housing.”

Other candidates include; Georgia state Rep. Park Cannon, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Massachusetts state Rep. Tram Nguyen, New York state Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz and Pennsylvania state Rep. Jennifer O’Mara.

The winner will be chosen with community input. To vote, click here.

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Former Oregon U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Furse dies

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Elizabeth Furse, who represented northwestern Oregon in Congress for three terms in the 1990s, has died from complications related to a fall, her former husband said.

She was 84 and died Sunday, said John Platt.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that Furse championed the rights of Native Americans and helped five Oregon tribes regain federal recognition. She also worked to advance the rights of women, children and farm workers and advocated for peace and nuclear disarmament, environmental regulation, and land use rules.

The Democrat was first elected in 1992 to the U.S. House representing Oregon’s 1st District without ever having held elected office before.

To read more, click here.

Indigenous literature celebration: ‘Firekeeper’s Daughter’

The author of “Firekeeper’s Daughter” is the focus of an Indigenous literature discussion scheduled for April 27.

The National Congress of American Indians is hosting the special virtual event, which includes authors Angeline Boulley and Louise Erdrich. Boulley recently penned “Firekeeper’s Daughter.”

The event starts at 7 p.m. EST and includes special guests Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Rep. Sharice Davids and others.

To register, click here.

Reaction to Derek Chauvin verdict

Former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of murder and manslaughter of George Floyd. Floyd’s death last May sparked worldwide protests, including many in Indian Country turning out to honor Floyd and oppose police brutality.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, White Earth Nation, said the verdict “is a step toward the vision of justice that sent thousands of people into the streets, demanding change,” and “the legacy of this moment and this movement does not end today.”

To read more, click here.

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