Here’s a look at what’s happening today:
Broken system can't keep track of Native deaths
From medical health privacy laws to a maze of siloed information systems, a true accounting of COVID-19’s impact on Indian Country is impossible to know
The Indigenous Investigative Collective has found that those data problems extend nationwide. As of June 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 6,585 American Indians and Alaska Natives have died from COVID-19 — the highest rate of any ethnic group in the United States. That estimate likely falls far short of the actual death toll.
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Another tribe joins in investing in Las Vegas ventures
The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation purchased 8.7 acres of land on the end of the Las Vegas strip in July, the Brainerd Dispatch reported.
The land is currently empty. The tribal nation says it doesn’t have plans for the lot yet but are in discussions of what it could be. Tribal chairman Mark Fox told the Brainerd Dispatch it could possibly be used for a parking lot or even a tribally operated casino.
The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation — who have received $1.7 billion in tax revenues from oil drilling since 2007 — bought the empty lot for $12 million.
Two other tribes have ventures in Las Vegas. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians plans to acquire the Palms casino resort by the end of the year. The Mohegan Tribe operates the Mohegan Sun Casino at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.
Assistant secretary for Indian Affairs nomination hearing Wednesday
A nomination hearing for potentially the next assistant secretary for Indian Affairs is set for Wednesday.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Todd Newland, Bay Mills Indian Community, has been nominated for the Senate-confirmed role. He is set to appear in front of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs starting at 2:30 p.m. ET.
More than 30 tribes and tribal organizations submitted letters in support.
To watch, click here.
Cheat sheet: Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act 101
Alaska is a unique place — record breaking temperatures below zero, summer nights where the sun doesn’t set, grizzly bears on your morning walk. With this comes unique laws and public policies. It can be confusing to keep track of the various Native organizations and layers of tribal enrollment options within Alaska, so we put together a list of definitions that explain some of the basics.
Alaska's modern treaty is a bit confusing so we broke it down for you here.
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No charges against police officer in shooting death of First Nations woman
APTN National News
New Brunswick’s Public Prosecutions Services says no criminal charges will be filed against the police officer who fatally shot Chantel Moore a year ago.
Moore, 26, from Tla-o-qui-aht Nation in British Columbia, was shot by a member of the Edmundston Police Force during a wellness check on June 4, 2020.
Investigators said at the time that the shooting occurred after the young woman approached the officer with a knife in her hand.
Quebec’s independent police watchdog, known as the Bureau des enquetes independantes, investigated the case because New Brunswick does not have its own police oversight agency.
To read more, click here.
Arizona residents wait as wildfire spreads uncontained
PHOENIX (AP) — Firefighters in Arizona were fighting Tuesday to gain a foothold into a massive wildfire, one of two that has forced thousands of evacuations in rural towns and closed almost every major highway out of the area.
The so-called Telegraph Fire, straddling two counties, has burned 112 square miles and is at zero containment. The blaze was first reported Friday south of Superior in Pinal County, about 60 miles east of Phoenix.
Several miles east of the wildfire, the smaller Mescal Fire was at 23 percent containment Tuesday. Fire officials lifted evacuation orders for residents of the community of San Carlos and in the areas of Soda Canyon and Coyote Flats. But the community of East El Capitan was still on mandatory evacuation.
For the latest, click here.
From social media:
- 'We won't forget about the children': Additional unmarked graves likely at US Indian boarding schools.
- March to stop Enbridge pipeline: Line 3 project poses environmental threats to sensitive areas protected by treaties in northern Minnesota, opponents say.
- Pope voices 'pain' over residential school deaths, doesn't apologize: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blasted the church for being 'silent' and 'not stepping up.’
- Fish kill consumes the Klamath River: Driven by high temperatures and low flows out of Iron Gate Dam, the disease is resulting in what the Yurok Tribe is calling a “catastrophic” fish kill.
- Watch: Two-spirit pride stories: It's Pride Month, Asia Brown is a sexual health communications specialist for the Washington Youth Sexual Health Project, she explains more.
What we’re reading:
- Native American tribe buys island it lost 160 years ago
- Number three at BIA law enforcement is now Oglala Sioux police chief
- Yakama Nation Tribal School graduate all business on and off basketball court.
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