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

The largest tribe is...

The title of the largest tribe in the United States can now be given to the Navajo Nation thanks to the pandemic-related financial assistance that garnered thousands of documents to be sent in, verified and updated.

The Navajo Nation Office of Controller said they received more than 293,000 applications that partially updated the total number of Navajo Nation members to 399,494 — a 30.4 percent increase. The tribe also has the largest tribal lands in the country.

“This increase in enrollment is very significant; it is a direct product to the Navajo people’s vested interest in participation in the Hardship Assistance Program which contained a mandatory enrollment requirement for eligibility, prompting many people to update their enrollment records to be considered eligible,” controller of the Navajo Nation Pearline Kirk said.

To read more, click here.


Descendant wants Harvard to return tomahawk

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — A Native American lawyer wants Harvard University to return a tomahawk once owned by his pioneering ancestor, Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca Tribe.

Brett Chapman, of Oklahoma, told GBH last week that he’s reached out to the Cambridge, Massachusetts university’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology to return the heirloom.

Standing Bear gave the tomahawk to one of his lawyers after winning the 1879 Nebraska federal court case that made him one of the first Native Americans granted civil rights under U.S. law, Chapman said.

Standing Bear’s lawyer wrongfully gave away the artifact and that others, including the Ponca tribe of Nebraska, are now also seeking its return, he said.

The fellowship is open to anyone 24 and older living in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or one of the 23 Native nations that share the same geography.

4 Indigenous people named Bush Fellows

Of the 24 recipients of the 2021 Bush Fellowship, four are Indigenous, according to Tuesday’s announcement.

The fellowship provides up to $100,000 over 12 to 24 months to pursue education and learning experiences that help them develop the skills and relationships to foster large-scale change in their communities and region, according to a news release.

The four are Natalie Nicholson, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation; Jodi Spotted Bear, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation; Wizipan Little Elk, Sicangu Lakota Oyate – Rosebud Sioux Tribe; Kimimila Locke, Dakota, Ahtna Dené & Anishinaabe.

To read more about each recipient, click here.

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Judge rules against Klamath Tribes

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — A judge has ruled against the Klamath Tribes in a lawsuit that accuses federal regulators of violating the Endangered Species Act by letting water levels fall too low for sucker fish to spawn in a lake that also feeds an elaborate irrigation system along the Oregon-California border.

The ruling, reported Friday by the Herald and News in Klamath Falls, comes as the region confronts one of the driest years in memory. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation last month announced that farmers who irrigate from its Klamath Project water-management area will get so little water that farming may not even be worthwhile this summer.

The Klamath Tribes consider the federally endangered sucker fish central to their creation story and culture, while the Yurok hold the federally threatened coho salmon in the lower Klamath River sacred and rely on them as a critical food source.

To read more, click here.

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to talk Native tourism

An oversight hearing is set for Wednesday in Washington, and is available to watch online.The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will lead a hearing called, “Examining the COVID-19 Response in Native Communities: Native Tourism Economies One Year Later.”

Experts from across the country are scheduled to speak.

The hearing starts at 2:30 p.m. ET and can be watched here.

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