Indian Country Today

Happy World Water Day! Here’s a look at what’s happening today:

Monday is World Water Day 2021

The day celebrates water and raises awareness of the global water crisis. Leaders across the world shared why water is important, including Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

“It's a reminder that we all have a shared interest in the health of the water cycle,” Haaland posted on social media.

Learn more about World Water Day here.

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State hire will handle missing, murdered Indigenous cases

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Attorney General’s Office plans to hire a full-time employee dedicated to missing and murdered Indigenous person cases.

Rep. Peri Pourier, Oglala Sioux, says Gov. Kristi Noem will sign the legislation creating the position.

“On behalf of those who helped lobby this effort, and, most importantly, the countless missing and murdered Indigenous people throughout our state, we say Pilamayaye. Thank You!,” Pourier wrote in a news release.

To read more, click here.

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17 tribal communities in Nevada to get $10M in US relief

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Seventeen tribal communities in Nevada are slated to receive a total of more than $10 million for affordable housing under the federal government’s COVID relief act, the state’s U.S. senators said.

Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen called the funds for tribes long overdue and the single largest infusion of dedicated resources to Indian Country in U.S. history.

To read more, click here.

House passes bill to expand Alaska tribal law enforcement

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. House has passed a bill to renew the Violence Against Women Act that includes a pilot program that would expand tribal law enforcement in five Alaska Native villages.

The bill would provide Alaska tribal authorities the ability to prosecute crimes that include sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking, Alaska Public Media reported Friday.

To read more, click here.

Ryneldi Becenti (Navajo) was one of the first Native American women to play in the WNBA.

Yahoo Sports highlights Navajo basketball star

As part of a series dedicated to women called "Changed the Game," Yahoo Sports has included former WNBA player Ryneldi Becenti.

Becenti, Navajo, played basketball for the Phoenix Mercury and Arizona State University.

The series looks at "overlooked, under-appreciated or simply deserve more flowers for their contributions to women's sports history."

To read more, click here.

Indian Affairs Commission leader stepping down

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The head of North Dakota’s Indian Affairs Commission is stepping down, Gov. Doug Burgum announced.

Scott Davis has been executive director of the commission since 2009. He has served three governors, 23 tribal chairs and five tribal nations. He has also worked with numerous state and federal agencies in his cabinet-level position.

To read more, click here.

Navajo Nation opens two casinos

The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise reopened two of its casinos last Friday with reduced capacity.

The casinos in northwestern New Mexico near Gallup and Farmington opened after being closed for a year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The casinos in Flagstaff, Arizona and in northwestern New Mexico remain closed.

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