Indian Country Headlines for Tuesday

Indian Country Today

A look at what we’re reading, watching and talking about

Menominee teacher wins National Human and Civil Rights Award

Ben Grignon of the Menominee tribe of Wisconsin was awarded the National Human and Civil Rights Award by the National Education Association. Grignon teaches traditional beadwork, pottery, basketry and weaving at Menominee Indian high school on the Menominee reservation in northeastern Wisconsin.

The National Education Association began the awards program in 1967 to recognize people who expand opportunities for students of color as well as educators.

Northern Cheyenne try again to block coal sales that Trump revived

A coalition of Native Americans, states, and environmentalists on Monday renewed its push to stop the Trump administration from selling coal from public lands after a previous effort to halt the lease sales was dismissed by a federal judge.

Joined by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and several environmental groups, Democratic attorneys general from California, New York, New Mexico and Washington state filed a lawsuit challenging the administration's coal program in U.S. District Court in Montana.

They alleged the administration acted illegally when it resumed coal sales that had been halted under Obama due to climate change and other concerns.

The case is among scores of legal challenges that environmentalists and their political allies have launched to counter the Trump administration's push for more domestic energy production and less stringent regulations.

Nez delivers State of Navajo Nation Address 

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez delivered a virtual State of the Navajo Nation Address on Monday as part of the 24th Navajo Nation Council Summer Session. 

The tribe released its State of Navajo Nation in a 19-page document.

The document outlines the budget as well as how the CARES Act funding will be distributed, water projects, a phased-in reopening plan, the upcoming school year, voting, and a report from the Navajo Health Command Operations Center.

The Office of the Speaker also released a 30-page speaker's report.

The summer session is scheduled through Friday. For video updates, click here. 

Members of 4 Vermont tribes can now hunt and fish for free

ST. ALBANS, Vt. (AP) — Members of tribes recognized by the state of Vermont can now hunt and fish for free.

On Tuesday, Gov. Phil Scott signed the bill passed by the Legislature that grants members of four Abenaki tribes recognized by the state to apply for free, permanent hunting and fishing licenses.

Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi’s chief Richard Maynard says about 2,500 members, or about half the state’s total, belonged to the Swanton-headquartered tribe.

Members of Vermont’s Abenaki tribes have publicly pushed for hunting and fishing rights since at least the 1970s. the St. Albans Messenger reported.

At least two powwows closed to outsider visitors

The Shinnecock Indian Nation and the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska plan to host their annual powwows, but with COVID-19 restrictions.

The 154th annual Homecoming Celebration in Winnebago is set for July 25 and only local tribal citizens are allowed to participate, according to the Winnebago Indian News. Coronavirus and social distancing precautions will be taken.

The Shinnecock Indian Nation’s Labor Day weekend powwow will be closed to outside visitors for the first time in 74 years, according to Newsday. Chairman Bryan Polite said the powwow is a huge moneymaker for tribal citizen vendors, who will feel the impact this year with the smaller attendance.

The pandemic has forced tribes and organizations across Indian Country to cancel their powwows.

WATCH: Return of sacred Black Hills: 'It's a question of when' and 'no surrender of sovereignty'

The newscast looks at students returning to school during a pandemic and the need to reauthorize the Special Diabetes Program for Indians. The program's guests are Nick Tilsen, president and CEO of the NDN Collective, and attorney Mary Kathryn Nagle.

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