Indian Country Today

President Biden amends California tribe disaster declaration

This week, President Joe Biden increased disaster assistance available to the La Jolla Band of Luiseo Indians in California.

The tribe has been recovering from severe weather damage in February 2019. Flooding, landslides and mudslides hit the tribe. A major disaster declaration was issued on March 26, 2019.

Biden increased funding for Public Assistance projects, according to the White House.

Lakota rancher to head Farm Service Agency

A South Dakota rancher and former head of the Intertribal Agriculture Council has been tapped as the first Indigenous person to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Services Agency.

Zach Ducheneaux, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, joins more than a half-dozen Native people appointed by President Joe Biden’s administration for top government positions.

Ducheneaux and his family raise cattle and horses on the DX Ranch on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in north-central South Dakota.

"What Indian Country has been doing in agriculture holds a lot of promise for solution building and knocking down barriers,” Ducheneaux told AgWeek after his appointment was announced in February. “And I'm very excited for the opportunity to do it within the Farm Service Agency."

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Tribal firefighters accused of operation meth lab

A firefighter on the Tohono O’odham Nation in southern Arizona has been arrested for allegedly operating a methamphetamine lab at his mobile home in Sells, according to federal authorities.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said 36-year-old Stephen Folson admitted to possessing and manufacturing meth after several federal agents searched his home south of Tucson.

Court documents show Folson was being investigated because multiple agencies had leads that pointed to suspicious overseas purchases and shipments spanning several months.

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Other news headlines:

A key Senate committee on Thursday approved the nomination of New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland to be interior secretary, clearing the way for a Senate vote that is likely to make her the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency.

Naelyn Pike was one of the youngest people to ever testify in front of Congress at age 13, when she spoke against mining at Oak Flat. She has continued speaking out and sharing information about Apache Stronghold, the Oak Flat protection organization she leads with her grandfather and mother and its mission to keep the sacred area and others safe from extraction.

More than 100 water protectors marched to observe the 30th anniversary of the largest inland oil spill in the United States, blocking one highway and clashing with teams of law enforcement officers.

It depends on the child's age, but some teenagers could be rolling up their sleeves before too long.

Mark Trahant talks operations at ICT.