Indian Country headlines for Tuesday

Birdie Lyons received the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, at the Cass Lake Hospital on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. (Photo courtesy of Vince Rock)

Indian Country Today

Stories we’re following on Dec. 15: First COVID-19 vaccine hits Indian Country, Trump says Barr resigning, will leave before Christmas, Cleveland Indians owner says name won’t change in 2021, Anxiety over House majority may thwart Haaland Interior bid, and much more

First COVID-19 vaccine hits Indian Country

The first Indian health system facility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine was a hospital in northern Minnesota on Ojibwe land.

The Cass Lake Hospital on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation received the distribution on Monday, and health care staff were expected to begin to receive the vaccination immediately, according to Indian Health Service.

The hospital is the first to receive some of the roughly 22,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine dedicated to the federally run agency under Health and Human Services.

Read more.

Mike Myers Birdie Lyons received the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 at the Cass Lake Hospital on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. (Photo courtesy of Vince Rock)
Mike Myers received the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday at the Cass Lake Hospital on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. (Photo courtesy of Vince Rock)

Trump says Barr resigning, will leave before Christmas

Attorney General William Barr went to the White House Dec. 14 where he submitted his letter of resignation.

A longtime fierce ally of President Trump, Barr stated earlier this month that the Justice Department had found no evidence of widespread election fraud despite President Trump’s insistence that there was.

Barr’s last day on the job will be Dec. 23.

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Indians owner says name won’t change in 2021

The Cleveland baseball team’s owner, Paul Dolan told the Associated Press, “The name is no longer acceptable in our world.”

According to Dolan, however, the team will keep the Indians name in 2021 until a new name is chosen.

Read more.

Progressive Field in Cleveland on opening day. File photo by Mary Annette Pember
Progressive Field in Cleveland on opening day. File photo by Mary Annette Pember

Anxiety over House majority may thwart Haaland Interior bid

Despite groundswell of support for Rep. Deb Haaland to be the first Native American to lead the Department of Interior, anxiety about Biden picking too many Democrats increases.

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Biden to have White House disinfected after Trump moves out

Politico reports that a team from the General Services Administration will “thoroughly clean and disinfect” every object and surface in the White House before President-elect Joe Biden moves in.

Read more.

First lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump walk along the Colonnade after she spoke on the second night of the Republican National Convention from the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
First lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump walk along the Colonnade after she spoke on the second night of the Republican National Convention from the Rose Garden of the White House on Aug. 25. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Kaw Nation asks for return of sacred prayer rock

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Native American tribe is seeking the return of a prayer rock that was transformed into a monument honoring Kansas settlers.

Before the Kaw people were forcibly moved from Kansas to what is now Oklahoma in 1873, they held ceremonies and gatherings before the 23-ton boulder known as the “Big Red Rock.”

In 1929, the rock was moved from a site that the tribe considered sacred to a park in town. It then was fitted with a plaque listing the names of the abolitionist settlers who founded the city.

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Members of Congress Navajo Nation's request for disaster declaration

Ten of the 11 members of Arizona's Congressional delegation have joined the Navajo Nation in its request to President Donald Trump to issue a disaster declaration due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Dec. 3, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez signed a letter asking Trump for the declaration and on Dec. 10, members of Congress sent Trump a letter of support of a potential declaration.

Larry Fisher, chief sachem of the Mattakeeset Massachuset tribe, foreground, poses with other tribal members at Titicut Indian Reservation, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, in Bridgewater, Mass. A rift has been widening between Native American groups in New England over a federal reservation south of Boston where one tribe is planning to build a $1 billion casino. The Mattakeeset Massachuset tribe contend the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe doesn't have exclusive claim to the lands under their planned First Light casino in the city of Taunton, as they've argued for years. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Larry Fisher, chief sachem of the Mattakeeset Massachuset tribe, foreground, poses with other tribal members at Titicut Indian Reservation, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, in Bridgewater, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Tribes dispute reservation where a $1B casino is planned

BOSTON (AP) — A rift is widening between tribes in New England over who has claim to scores of acres south of Boston where one tribe has been trying for years to build a $1 billion casino.

The recently revived Mattakeeset Massachuset Tribe argues it's the rightful heir to the land in Taunton set aside by the federal government for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, which is planning to build a hotel, casino and entertainment complex.

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The painful history of Portland's 'Red house'

A developer who bought a house in Portland, Oregon, that became the center of an anti-eviction protest is reportedly in negotiations to sell the house back to its former Black and Indigenous owners.

If all goes as planned, William and Julie Kinney – he is Black, she is Upper Skagit – would return to the home that had been in their family for 65 years. Some 5,400 donors had contributed more than $286,000 by Dec. 11 – surpassing the $250,000 goal — toward the repurchase of the home.

Read more.

LIST: 40+ gift ideas that are Indigenius

Looking to shop from Indigenous artists and small businesses this holiday season? Here is a list of Indigenous-owned businesses where you can find these products online.

More here.

Reigning during the pandemic

On Monday's newscast we have the reigning 2020 Miss Indian Rodeo Oriana Lopez from the Tohono O'odham Nation. She explains what it's like to hold her title during the pandemic.

And Editor of Indian Country Today Mark Trahant is breaking down all the numbers behind President-elect Joe Biden's cabinet appointments.

Plus, Indian Country Today's Carina Dominguez has more about the Shinnecock Nation's fight for economic prosperity against the state of New York.

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