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Indian Country Today

South Dakota lawmakers push office for missing Indigenous people

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota House on Tuesday passed a proposal to create an office under the attorney general to coordinate tribal, state and local law enforcement agencies in tackling the crisis of missing Indigenous people.

Democrat Rep. Peri Pourier, Oglala Sioux Tribe, proposed the office as part of an effort to solve how a disproportionate number of Indigenous people go missing and are murdered in the state. She said that of 109 missing people statewide, 77 are Indigenous.

Pourier’s bill would create a one-person office within the attorney general’s office to specialize in coordinating law enforcement efforts across agencies.

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The Associated Press, an Indian Country Today partner, picked up ICT national correspondent Mary Annette Pember's story on Enbridge Line 3, part 1 of an ongoing series.

To read part 1, click here.

Washington state bill advanced to ban Native American mascots

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The use of Native American names, symbols and images would be banned from being used as school mascots, logos and team names at most public schools in Washington under a bill passed Tuesday by the state House of Representatives.

The measure passed with a bipartisan 92-5 vote and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

If approved by the full Legislature and 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.

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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Record snow, cold kills Kiowa citizen

The record-breaking snowstorm that recently hit Oklahoma has taken the life of a citizen of the Kiowa Tribe.

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After days of family members’ searching, Truman ‘TL’ Leon Baker, 51, was found by his brother Robert ‘Whitey’ Baker Sunday evening in his abandoned pickup truck behind his home 10 miles southwest of Anadarko on Ware Road, according to a Kiowa Tribe press release.

Baker is the second Oklahoman to have died due to circumstances tied to the storm, according to records of the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner.

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Other news headlines:

The decision was in response to the 2017 federal Cherokee Nation v. Nash case that determined Freedmen citizens have full rights as Cherokee citizens, including the right to run for elected office, based on the Treaty of 1866.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia says he'll vote for Rep. Deb Haaland for interior secretary.

Two packages thrown from a vehicle are under investigation as tensions rise over pipeline project.

Day 2 reaction to Rep. Deb Haaland’s historic Senate confirmation hearing.

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