Indian Country Headlines for Monday

Indian Country Today

News we’re watching on July 27, 2020

Missing and Murdered Native American Cold Case Office to open

The Trump administration is opening a Missing and Murdered Native American Cold Case office in the Minneapolis area on Monday.

The new office is set to open in Bloomington, Minnesota and is part of a Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Ivanka Trump, advisor to the president, Interior Secretary David L. Bernhardt and Tara Sweeney, assistant secretary for Indian Affairs are scheduled to attend the opening.

Fry bread in the mail? Denver’s Tocabe reworks its business model

Tocabe has always been a restaurant of innovation.

Often an eatery will start with a food truck and then open a dining location. Last summer, Indian Country Today reported that Tocabe was going the opposite direction: Opening a food truck after more than a decade as a successful operating two restaurants. “We had the two brick and mortars, then we got the food truck,” said co-owner Ben Jacobs, Osage.

Now an industry magazine says Tocabe is going to offer a remote alternative. Tocabe is open, but seating is limited to 17 inside and 14 outside.

“So our next evolution is we’re working on partnering with Native producers to do private label packaging for pantry staples — blue cornmeal, yellow cornmeal, wild rice, different variations of beans, plus our own proprietary dry rubs and barbecue sauce,” Jacobs told Restaurant Hospitality magazine. 

It said Tocabe’s team is doing research and development of oven-ready meals for sale in retail, which they hope to have up and running by the end of the year or early 2021. 

Restaurant Hospitality says Tocabe has shipped bison ribs to family and friends for feedback and have “cured, vacuum sealed and frozen with barbecue sauce — currently being made with seasonal huckleberries from the Muckleshoot nation of Washington State.

McGirt case is still make news

It has been less than a month since the Supreme Court gave its ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma, a historic win for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Indian Country, and the fallout surrounding the decision continues to make waves.

Tribal citizens of Oklahoma have raised concerns about a possible rider attached to congressional legislation that would effectively upend the decision in McGirt.

When contacted by Indian Country Today, Oklahoma Republican Senator James Inhofe’s office said it is false the senator is considering attaching any amendment or rider to the NDAA that would disestablish the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation.

Choctaw chief chosen to help design new Mississippi flag

The chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will help design a new Mississippi state flag that does not include the Confederate battle emblem.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves announced Friday that he is appointing Chief Cyrus Ben and two other people to a nine-member flag commission.

Mississippi legislators voted in late June to retire the last state flag in the U.S. with the rebel emblem that's widely condemned racist. The change came after national protests over racial injustice sparked new debates about the public display of Confederate symbols.

Chief Cyrus Ben of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (via Cyrus Ben's Facebook page)
Chief Cyrus Ben of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (via Cyrus Ben's Facebook page)

Lawsuit seeks education reform at Native American schools

A lawsuit that accuses the federal government of failing to adequately provide for students on a small, isolated reservation in Arizona is set to go to trial in November.

The lawsuit filed in 2017 seeks systematic reforms of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education, an agency that oversees more than 180 schools in nearly two dozen states but directly operates less than one-third of them.

Only two of the initial six claims remain in the lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Steven Logan in Phoenix already ruled that the bureau violated its duty to ensure students with disabilities have access to resources such as special education, therapists and mental health services. He will consider the remedy in a seven-day bench trial scheduled to start Nov. 10.

The case centers on Havasupai Elementary School deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon. It is one of the most remote schools in the continental U.S. and among the lowest performing among the bureau-run schools.

Timeline: Alaska’s Pebble Mine:

Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a final environmental impact statement for a proposed mining project near the Bristol Bay watershed area in Alaska.

The corps’ analysis lays the groundwork for a final decision giving the go-ahead to key federal permits for the Pebble mine. The corps stated, “Under normal operations, the Alternatives would not be expected to have a measurable effect on fish numbers and result in long-term changes to the health of the commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay.”

A decision on the permits will be made at least 30 days after the issuance of the environmental statement.

Click here for a timeline of major events that have occurred since the mining site was first identified in 1988.

Workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska near the village of Iliamma, Alaska. The battle over a copper and gold mine near one of the world's premiere salmon fisheries is headed to the ballot in a vote next week that has turned a normally sleepy local election into a national environmental debate. (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)
Workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska near the village of Iliamma, Alaska. The battle over a copper and gold mine near one of the world's premiere salmon fisheries has been underway for decades. (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)

WATCH: Poor record keeping for cost of education for Native students

This past week's reporters' roundtable features Mary Annette Pember, Red Cliff Band of Ojibwe, and Meghan Sullivan, Koyukon Athabascan.

Click here to see Indian Country Today’s newscast archive.

ICT Phone Logo

Support Indian Country Today by becoming a member. Click here.

Comments

News

FEATURED
COMMUNITY