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President Trump orders Interior Department to fast track environmental reviews

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is seeking to fast track environmental reviews of dozens of major energy and infrastructure projects.

That would speed up agency assessments of oil and gas industry proposals such as the 5,000-well Converse gas field in Wyoming, the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal in Oregon, and the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline in Virginia.

Other projects targeted for quick review include the Lake Powell water pipeline in Utah; wind farms in New Mexico and off the Massachusetts coast; and mining projects in Nevada, Idaho, Colorado and Alaska.

In June President Donald Trump ordered the Interior and other departments to scale back environmental reviews under special powers he has during the coronavirus emergency.

More than 60 projects targeted for expedited reviews were listed in an attachment to a July 15 letter from Assistant Interior Secretary Katherine MacGregor to White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow.

To read more, click here.

Native youth navigate complex, contradictory jurisdictions

Generations of historical trauma and increased exposure to violence make young Native Americans more vulnerable to the complicated, often contradictory clutches of the juvenile justice system, legal experts say. 

Once in the justice system, Native children become lost in a jurisdictional web, a dysfunctional state system and a federal system that has no proper place for them.

Tribes across the country are striving to address and heal some of the issues that make Native children more susceptible to fall into the justice system. To read more, click here.

American Indian short films now streaming on Alaska Airlines flights

Now through Aug. 31 of next year, Alaska Airlines passengers will have the option to stream short films featured in the American Indian Film Festival.

Fifteen Indigenous films of the San Francisco annual festival are part of Alaska Beyond Entertainment, the airline's inflight entertainment option.

Films include "Sweetheart Dancers," "Your Name Isn't English," and "Amásáni (The Grandmother)."

For a full list, click here.

Student Impact Scholarship campaign targets marginalized college students

College students intending to enroll in the spring 2021 semester are eligible to apply for Wells Fargo Student Impact Scholarships. It’s awarding $1 million total in scholarships to racially and ethnically diverse students making an impact in their communities.

To help amplify this scholarship, the company partnered with actress and activist Yara Shahidi to encourage students to apply for the program – see her post on Instagram.

For more information and how to apply, click here.

75 years after WWII, a look at the Native American impact

The fact that indigenous language speakers helped the United States win in World War II is “ironic,” says James Riding In, Pawnee. He’s a Navy veteran and American Indian Studies associate professor at Arizona State University. He was Wednesday’s guest on the Indian Country Today newscast, followed by Indian Country Today’s Mary Annette Pember.

Riding In said, "It's ironic that the federal government was trying to stamp out Indian languages [through boarding schools]…” yet Choctaw code talkers served in World War I and code talkers of many Indian nations served during the second world war.

Riding In said Native Americans have served in every war since the revolutionary war period even though military service has had good and not-so-good outcomes for them.

Mary Annette Pember

National correspondent Pember talked about the University of Southern California’s Spiritual Exemplars fellowship, which sent her to Nepal just before the pandemic hit. There she talked to Indira Ranamaga, of the Magar tribe.

Ranamaga is the founder and director of Prisoners' Assistance Nepal, a non-profit charitable organization helping incarcerated women and their children. “She’s an auntie, She’s like the kind of person we see in our community. She’s... this really tough go-to woman who champions others,” Pember said.

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