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Washington signs ban on Native American school mascots

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill to ban the use of Native American names, symbols and images as school mascots, logos and team names at most public schools in Washington.

Inslee signed the measure Monday, and the ban would take effect Jan. 1.

“This bill will end the disrespectful use of Native American imagery in our schools,” Inslee said.

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.

The ban does not apply to schools located within Native American areas or to schools in counties adjacent to Native American areas, as long as the nearest tribe is consulted and authorizes the use of the name.

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CNN commentator called out for Native people comments

National Congress of American Indians President Fawn Sharp blasted CNN and Rick Santorum for his comments on Native people and Native culture.

Santorum is a political commentator for CNN. Video of him speaking at a Young America’s Foundation conference surfaced on Monday.

"Before I correct the record, let me address Rick Santorum directly without mincing words: Rick Santorum is an unhinged and embarrassing racist who disgraces CNN and any other media company that provides him a platform," Sharp said in a statement.

Others on social media spoke out against CNN and Santorum.

The Native American Journalists Association called for Santorum's dismissal and asked Indigenous journalists not to work with CNN.

White House convened first Native affairs meeting

Ten Cabinet secretaries and other top ranking officials met Friday for the first convening of the White House Council on Native American Affairs under President Joe Biden’s administration.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo and chair of the council, and Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice co-led the virtual meeting. The discussion focused on improving tribal consultation and formalizing working committees of the council, the White House said in a statement.

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Former Ojibwe chairman tapped for Interior's Indian affairs

President Joe Biden nominated former tribal chairman Bryan Newland for assistant secretary for Indian Affairs of the Interior

The next step is for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to confirm Newland. If He is confirmed by the committee, the vote moves to the full Senate.

The president also nominated Tracy Stone-Manning of Missoula, Montana, a longtime environmental advocate and Democratic aide to oversee the vast expanses of federally owned land in Western states — the latest political appointment raising concerns among Republicans as Biden moves to curtail energy production from public reserves.

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