Happy Wednesday! Here’s a look at what’s happening today:

Native History

Nearly 100 years ago, on today's date, history was made with the Indian Citizenship Act.

On June 2, 1924, Congress granted citizenship to Native Americans born in the U.S. Even as U.S. citizens, Natives weren't allowed to vote until years later because the right to vote was a state law.

The Library of Congress explains here more details about the Indian Citizenship Act.


Treaties offer new aid in environmental fights

Treaties are not just for tribes anymore.

Native treaty rights are becoming powerful tools for protecting the environment against government mismanagement and destructive private industries, as worldwide efforts intensify to halt climate change and protect the environment .

With the right to hunt, fish and gather on lands ceded to the federal government, treaties also offer growing leverage on state and federal governments to ensure the health of the habitats upon which those rights were granted.

“Tribes exercising treaty rights is not a one-sided thing,” said Paul DeMain, citizen of the Oneida and Ojibwe tribes and a board member of Honor the Earth, an Indigenous environmental advocacy organization.

“Non-Native citizens also benefit from natural resources being protected and preserved for tribal subsistence hunting, gathering and fishing.”

Treaty rights are already surfacing in the fight against Enbridge’s Line 3 and Line 5 pipelines that stretch from Canada into northern Minnesota and Michigan and back again.

To read more, click here.

Democrat wins Deb Haaland's old Congress seat

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Democrat Melanie Stansbury won election to Congress for New Mexico on Tuesday with a campaign closely tied to initiatives of the Biden administration.

Stansbury prevailed in an open, four-way race to fill a vacant seat previously held by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. The 42-year-old state legislator outpaced her Republican rival by more than 30,000 votes, garnering roughly six of every 10 votes as ballots were tallied into the night.

Her victory shores up the Democratic majority in Congress ahead of 2022 midterm elections.

To read more, click here.

Chickasaw woman included in list of transgender politicians changing politics

Insider published a story highlighting eight transgender politicians on Tuesday and the list includes Chickasaw Nation citizen Stephanie Byers.

Kansas House candidate Stephanie Byers (Photo courtesy of Byers for Kansas)

Byers serves in the Kansas House of Representative. The former music teacher jumped into politics in 2019 and was elected to her first term in November.

To see the full list, click here.

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Florida board renames schools honoring Confederate leaders

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida school board has voted to rename six schools named for Confederate leaders, but will keep three others named for a French colonizer and a U.S. president who supported slavery and forced Native Americans to move west along the Trail of Tears.

Following a months-long debate, the Duval County School Board decided on the names Tuesday night, news outlets reported.

The result: Joseph Finegan Elementary will become Anchor Academy; Stonewall Jackson Elementary will be Hidden Oaks Elementary School; Jefferson Davis Middle will become Charger Academy; Kirby-Smith Middle will be named Springfield Middle School; J.E.B. Stuart Middle will be Westside Middle School and Robert E. Lee High will become Riverside High School.

Three Jacksonville-area schools will keep their names: Jean Ribault Middle and High School and Andrew Jackson High School.

Some school board members wanted to nix the name of the 7th president, but their amendment failed.

To read more, click here.

Hawaii officials want evacuation plan for Mauna Loa volcano

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii is creating an emergency evacuation plan for the Big Island in preparation for the next eruption of the largest active volcano on Earth.

A state Senate resolution adopted in March asks the state’s emergency management division to develop evacuation plans for impact zones around Mauna Loa volcano, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Monday.

That includes most of the Big Island, which is home to several active volcanos including Kilauea, which erupted in 2018 and displaced thousands of residents.

While the resolution is not legally binding, lawmakers hope a completed plan will be codified into law next year.

To read more, click here.

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