Indian Country headlines for June 19

"Today (May 27, 2020) I visited the Shiprock Service Unit in New Mexico, part of the Navajo Area IHS, which provides drive-through #COVID19 testing for community members. Thank you to all our team members at the service unit for continuing to take excellent care of our patients. #IndianCountry." (Photo courtesy of Rear Admiral Michael Weahkee, Twitter)

Indian Country Today

Congressman calls for COVID hearing; Hulu show features Indigenous chefs; Columbus statue to leave namesake city; plus other news of note

Indian Country Today

Indian Health Service 'extremely stressed'

Oklahoma Republican U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Cherokee, called on the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee to hold a hearing on the health disparities affecting Indian Country during Thursday's hearing on racial and ethnic disparities in the pandemic. 

“The Indian Health Service is greatly underfunded already, and they’re extremely stressed with the COVID crisis going on,” said Mullin. If tribal nations were states, the five states with the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the country would all be tribal nations.

Cooking show features Indigenous chefs, healers

Cooking author, host and producer Padma Lakshmi is featuring several Native chefs in her new show, “Taste the Nation,” on Hulu. She tries out frybread at the Yellowman Fry Bread food truck owned by Roland Yellowman, Diné, with his family. Lakshmi meets up with chef, healer and Indigenous food activist Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz, Tewa/Xicana, owner of Kitchen Curandera. She also cooks with chef Brian Yazzie, Diné, Owner of @IntertribalF and host of @PodcastYaz. Also featured in the episode is educator Twila Cassadore, San Carlos Apache, of icollective, who passes on the teachings of elders.

The show premieres on Hulu June 19.

San Francisco and Columbus, Ohio, remove statues

In this Sept. 12, 2019 photo, a statue of Christopher Columbus sits in front of City Hall in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther announced on Thursday, June 18, 2020 that the statue at will be removed as soon as possible and placed in storage. (Doral Chenoweth III/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)
In this Sept. 12 photo, a statue of Christopher Columbus sits in front of City Hall in Columbus, Ohio. The statue was later removed. (Doral Chenoweth III/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)

A Christopher Columbus statue at San Francisco's Coit Tower was taken down early Wednesday morning. This was ahead of a planned protest that planned to throw it into the bay.

A statue of Columbus in front of City Hall in Columbus, Ohio, is being removed, mayor Andrew Ginther said, because “for many people in our community, the statue represents patriarchy, oppression and divisiveness. That does not represent our great city and we will no longer live in the shadow of our ugly past.” He said the statue should be replaced with art that reflects the fight to end racism and celebrates diversity and inclusion.

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Blackfeet tribe is keeping border closed

As the state of Montana opens up, the Blackfeet Nation is keeping its border closed.

Glacier National Park typically draws about 3 million people to the area. Blackfeet COVID-19 Incident Commander Robert DesRosier says even a fraction of those numbers would pose a great risk to local residents.

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