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Maine tribal rep seeks permanent voice on wildlife panel

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A representative for a tribe in Maine wants to ensure the state's wildlife council always includes a tribal voice.

Tribal Rep. Rena Newell of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point said she has introduced a proposal for a permanent Wabanaki appointment to the Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Advisory Council.

Newell said the permanent appointment would make sure there is always tribal representation on issues involving Maine wildlife. She said that would provide “a voice from a Wabanaki cultural perspective in the areas of fishing, hunting, trapping, land management, conservation and enforcement.”

Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Commissioner Judy Camuso supports the proposal, Newell said. The proposal would need to be approved by the Maine Legislature.

U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo to address Smith graduates

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo has been chosen to address graduates at Smith College's commencement ceremony.

Harjo, the first Native American to be named poet laureate, is slated to give the keynote address at the college's May 30 commencement, the school announced. The ceremony is expected to be held in-person for students only, officials said.

Recently reappointed for a third, one-year term as poet laureate, Harjo, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, is known for such collections as “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky” and "In Mad Love and War." Her honors include the PEN Open Book Award and the Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement. As a signature project as poet laureate, Harjo created a website called “Living Nations, Living Words.”

Officials at Smith said Harjo will receive an honorary degree from the liberal arts women's college, which enrolls about 3,000 students.

Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii (Photo from Office of Sen. Schatz)

First Indian Affairs Committee hearing of 117th Congress

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaiʻi, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, will lead a hearing entitled “A call to action: Native communities’ priorities in focus for the 117th Congress.”

Schatz and the committee will hear witness testimony to guide the committee’s oversight and legislative work for the 117th Congress and to hear firsthand from Native communities on pressing issues in Indian Country, Hawaiʻi, and Alaska.

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

Witness list:

  • Fawn Sharp, President, National Congress of American Indians
  • Leonard Forsman, President, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, Portland, Oregon
  • Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey, Chair, Board of Trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Honolulu
  • Andy Teuber, Chairman and President, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage, Alaska

Crisis over Mexican Indigenous blockade after protester dies

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The conflict over highway blockades by members of the Yaqui group in northern Mexico has come to a head with the death of an Indigenous man killed by a trucker at a roadblock.

The Yaquis were once one of the most persecuted indigenous groups in Mexico and have been protesting for years over land and water being taken by outsiders.

But businessmen and truckers in Sonora state complained Tuesday of abuse and violence at the roadblocks. Some truckers say protesters demand money to allow them to travel a main highway that leads to the industrial hub of Hermosillo, and from there to the U.S. border.

The issue has been smoldering for years and got worse in August. It came to a head last week when a truck plowed past a Yaqui roadblock, killing one member of the group.

To read more, click here.

Rep. Deb Haaland, D-New Mexico, delivers a gift to Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, before the start of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on her nomination to be Interior Secretary, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Watson/Pool via AP)

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