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Indian Country Today

IHS receives Janssen COVID-19 vaccine

The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine has reached Indian Country.

On Tuesday, Indian Health Service announced that 76 tribal organizations are receiving the vaccine, which has been endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Janssen vaccine is the third vaccine approved by the CDC to fight the coronavirus and the only one that requires a single shot instead of two doses recommended by Pfizer and Moderna.

“The recent authorization of a third vaccine provides another tool as we work to prevent COVID-19 illness and deaths in our community,” an Indian Health Service social media post read.

Biden meets virtually with Trudeau

President Joe Biden and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met virtually in late February and discussed a number of issues facing the two countries. The two leaders put out a statement on the importance of Indigenous people and the significance of the Arctic in a changing climate.

Raina Thiele, Dena’ina Athabascan and Yup’ik, has worked in the White House and planned President Obama’s trip to the Arctic, the first ever by a sitting president. She has also worked at the Office of Management and Budget.

“If you look at their joint statement, they talk a lot about Indigenous peoples and their involvement, both in climate solutions and inclusivity of Indigenous groups,” Thiele told Indian Country Today. “They talked about conservation led by indigenous peoples. They also talked specifically about Indigenous peoples in the build back better initiative, which of course President Biden has made a cornerstone of his administration. And so just to see the acknowledgement and inclusion of indigenous peoples in that statement was incredibly encouraging.”

Cherokee Nation dedicates land to hunting, fishing and cultural use

The leaders of the Cherokee Nation signed the Cherokee Nation Park and Wildlands, Fishing and Hunting Reserve Act of 2021.

The tribe held a signing ceremony on Monday. The tribe has allotted more than 4,000 acres in three counties.

“Providing the Cherokee people with hunting and fishing reserves is another way we can practice tradition as good stewards of our land by creating suitable, dedicated space for hunting food sources, utilizing the bountiful stock of fish in our waterways and providing more cultural use for our people,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said.

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Other news headlines: 

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will host a business meeting Thursday to consider the nomination of Rep. Deb Haaland to be Interior secretary.

Unlike federally recognized tribes, the Chinook Nation doesn't have a political relationship with the United States, which would make it eligible for federal coronavirus relief funding for state, local and tribal governments.

A year has passed since the coronavirus pandemic first surfaced in Indian Country, the first case on record in a tribal nation.

The Pentagon did not have reliable estimates for the cost of its work supporting Homeland Security efforts on the southwestern border and did not assess the impact of those efforts on military readiness, a new report says.

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