Indian Country headlines for Tuesday

Tune in Tuesday at 8 p.m. MST/10 p.m. EST for Indian Country Today's news coverage of the 2020 election returns. Shown here: crew in the newscast studio preparing for #NativeVote2020 (Photo by Eugene Tapahe)

Indian Country Today

Stories we’re following on Nov. 3, 2020: Election Day coverage, President Trump issues proclamations, Maori woman named first Indigenous female New Zealand foreign minister, and more

Indian Country Today

Finally, Election Day is here

On Tuesday, Indian Country Today will bring you live election coverage of the dozens of Native candidates seeking local, state and federal office.

Visit our site often to learn the latest: indiancountrytoday.com

Our special Native Vote 20 newscast begins at 8 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (10 p.m. EST). Look for it on our website and on FNX and PBS. Check local listings for details.

Find out about the 2020 general election candidates we’re following:

  • 111 Native candidates
  • 66 Native women candidates
  • 45 Native men candidates
  • 9 Native candidates who won a special election

For a recap of our coverage to date, click here.

Dueling proclamations from Donald Trump

Native American Heritage Month celebration (Photo by SCUF, courtesy of Creative Commons)
Native American Heritage Month celebration (Photo by SCUF, courtesy of Creative Commons)

President Donald Trump has signed two history-related proclamations. One, National Native American Heritage Month, has roots dating back to 1915. It celebrates the contributions of Native Americans to the United States, and lists legislation and funding President Trump has supported that benefit Native people.

Last year President Trump used similar language to create the first National American History Founders Month. This year’s founders proclamation, however, differs starkly from last year’s. It includes language such as the following:

“A fringe element of radical politicians, media voices, corporate executives and other activists seek to use their immense power to obscure the ideals of our country, rewrite our Nation’s proud history and desecrate the memory of our founders.”

2020 has been marked by increased momentum in the Black Lives Matter movement, protests against police brutality aimed at people of color, and calls for a reckoning with systemic racism that many say permeates U.S. institutions and society.

Trump signed the latest proclamations on Friday.

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Māori woman named first New Zealand Indigenous female foreign minister

Nanaia Mahuta, Māori, was named New Zealand’s first Indigenous female foreign minister.

She follows the country’s previous foreign minister, a Māori man named Winston Peters, according to CNN World. Mahuta was first elected to parliament in 1996 and in 2016 became the first female member with a moko kauae, a traditional Māori tattoo on her chin.

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden appointed Mahuta to her post. Arden was recently reelected and her Labour Party holds the majority of Parliament seats.

Navajo company to acquire shares in coal power plant

In this April 2006, file photo, is the Four Corners Power Plant in Waterflow, N.M., near the San Juan River in northwestern New Mexico. The Navajo Nation would expand its investment in coal-fired electricity generation as part of a plan announced Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, to acquire more shares in one of the Southwest's last remaining coal power plants. The Navajo Transitional Energy Co. has negotiated an agreement in which Public Service Co. of New Mexico would divest from the Four Corners Power Plant in 2024 with the tribal company taking over PNM's 13% share. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)
This 2006 photo shows the Four Corners Power Plant in Waterflow, N.M. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation would expand its investment in coal-fired electricity generation as part of a plan announced Monday to acquire more shares in one of the Southwest's last remaining coal power plants.

The Navajo Transitional Energy Co. has negotiated an agreement in which Public Service Co. of New Mexico would divest from the Four Corners Power Plant in 2024 with the tribal company taking over PNM's 13 percent share. The agreement would call for the utility to pay $75 million to the tribal company for breaking current coal contract obligations at Four Corners.

If approved by state regulators, the transaction would preserve jobs at the plant and the adjacent tribally owned mine for at least a few more years as the tribe and the Four Corners region — spanning parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado — adjust to a changing energy economy and mandates for more renewable energy.

Many of the workers at the mine and the power plant are Navajo.

The deal also would allow the New Mexico utility a faster exit from coal. PNM already has regulatory approval to exit the neighboring coal-fired San Juan Generating Station in 2022. The workforce there also includes many tribal members.

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Chicago NHL team to read land acknowledgement before home games

Chicago hockey player, 2012 (Photo courtesy of Creative Commons)
Chicago hockey player, 2012 (Photo courtesy of Creative Commons)

Chicago’s professional hockey team will open home games by reading an Indigenous land acknowledgement.

The team made the announcement as part of its Native American Initiatives and on the first day of November’s Native American Heritage Month.

“To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honouring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial,” the statement read.

The Chicago NHL team has been pressured to change its mascot name for years and declined once again earlier this year.

Judge rejects Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrator's defamation claim

In this Dec. 4, 2016 file photo, protesters march at Oceti Sakowin camp where people have gathered to protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline in Cannon Ball, N.D. It has been called the largest gathering of Native American tribes in a century. Tribal members and others have joined in an ongoing, tense protest against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline, which the Standing Rock Sioux believes threatens sacred sites and a river that provides drinking water for millions of people. The protest is included in the AP top news stories in North Dakota this year. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
In this Dec. 4, 2016, photo, protesters march at Oceti Sakowin camp, where people gathered to protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline in Cannon Ball, N.D. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed defamation charges by a woman who was severely injured in an explosion while protesting the Dakota access oil pipeline in North Dakota four years ago.

In a 54-page ruling issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Daniel Traynor dismissed claims against law enforcement officials who made public statements blaming the New York City woman for her own injury.

Sophia Wilansky was 21 when she suffered an arm injury in a violent November 2016 clash between protesters and police. The injury came during the unsuccessful months-long protest in southern North Dakota against the pipeline.

Protesters allege the blast was caused by a concussion grenade thrown by officers, but law enforcement said it was caused by a propane canister that protesters rigged to explode.

Wilansky's lawsuit filed two years ago also seeks millions of dollars for alleged excessive force, assault, negligence and emotional distress. Those parts of the lawsuit are still pending.

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Native media: 'That much more important'

Indian Country Today's Friday broadcast is a look at Native media in both the United States and Canada. Guests are Bryan Pollard, Troy Little and Candis Callison.
Indian Country Today's Friday broadcast is a look at Native media in both the United States and Canada. Guests are Bryan Pollard, Troy Little and Candis Callison.

Indian Country new coverage involves federal Indian law, Native history, tribes and history. 

Where do you get your news? Who are the journalists you follow and trust?

Many news reports are filled with inaccuracies, so where does that leave the state of Native media?

For today's show, guests are Bryan Pollard, associate director, Native American Journalists Association; Troy Little, general manager of the KTNN Native Broadcast Enterprise; and Candis Callison, associate professor at the University of British Columbia.

This is an encore presentation. It originally aired on Aug. 7, 2020.

Click here to watch this video.

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