Indian Country headlines for Wednesday

Opponents of Enbridge Line 3 at the Minnesota State Capitol on January 7, 2019. (Photo by Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Indian Country Today, File)

Indian Country Today

Stories we're following on Dec. 2: Missing Mashpee teen found dead; Enbridge's Line 3 construction starts; House Democrats push for Haaland as Interior secretary; Supreme Court's impact on Indian Country; and more

Missing Mashpee teen found dead

A body found near a busy Florida highway is presumed to be a missing Mashpee Wampanoag citizen.

Jalajhia Finklea, 18, was last seen Oct. 20 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Law enforcement found the body in a field off Interstate 95 in Fellsmere, Florida, on Nov. 25, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

The death is being investigated as a homicide, and an autopsy was planned in Florida to positively identify the victim, the office said.

Mashpee Wampanoag citizen Jalajhia Finklea. (Photo courtesy of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe)
Mashpee Wampanoag citizen Jalajhia Finklea. (Photo courtesy of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe)

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Enbridge starts construction on Line 3 in Minnesota

Enbridge Energy began construction on its Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement in Minnesota on Tuesday, a day after state regulators approved the final permit for the $2.6 billion project amid legal challenges from local activist and Indigenous groups.

Spokeswoman Juli Kellner said Enbridge began construction in several locations around the state.

Two tribes - the Red Lake and White Earth Bands of Chippewa - asked the PUC last week to stay its approval of the project, saying the influx of construction workers would put residents along the route at higher risk of COVID-19. A consolidated appeal by environmental and tribal groups is also pending before the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

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House Democrats push for Haaland to be 1st Native Interior secretary

Julian Brave NoiseCat talks with CBS News about the potential impact of U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland’s appointment for Native Americans.

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New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, seeks a second term in Congress. (Photo by Aliyah Chavez, Indian Country Today)
Haaland (Photo by Aliyah Chavez, Indian Country Today)

Keystone XL gets Indigenous investment with hopes to woo Biden

Natural Law Energy, a group of five first nations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, will make an equity investment of as much as C$1B (US $765M) in the Keystone XL pipeline Canadian project. TC Energy Corp., owner of the Keystone XL project, hopes the Indigenous endorsement will make the pipeline project more palatable to President-elect Joe Biden and garner his support for the U.S. portion of the pipeline.

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McGirt v. Oklahoma: US Supreme Court’s impact on Indian Country

The Native American Rights Fund’s “Legal Review” features explanations of Supreme Court decisions and their impacts on Indian Country. And it provides updates on important cases such as voting rights in Montana, and Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo v. Texas, in which a district court finds that the Pueblo’s settlement act, not the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, governs the Pueblo’s gaming activities.

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'Hunger now is the result of the pandemic'

Potato farmer Herlinda lluac, center, waits for customers in a market in Cusco, Peru, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. Small farmers in Peru provide a majority of the food that ends up on the South American nation's dinner tables. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Potato farmer Herlinda lluac, center, waits for customers in a market in Cusco, Peru, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. Small farmers in Peru provide a majority of the food that ends up on the South American nation's dinner tables. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

PISAC, Peru (AP) — Under a punishing Andean sun, Nazario Quispe digs his plow into the soil where he is growing dozens of different potato varieties — uncertain when he will be able to afford the seeds and supplies to sow them again.

Farmers like Quispe are responsible for the food that lands on 70 percent of Peruvian dinner tables, officials say, but months of pandemic lockdown and a souring economy have left many bankrupt and questioning whether to plant again.

Across this South American nation an estimated 7 million small farmers like the 51-year-old Quispe toil small plots of land to feed their families and earn a living. Strict quarantines early in the pandemic made transporting beans, potatoes and other crops to markets difficult. Prices plummeted as demand dropped.

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Watch: Ryan Redcorn's visual sovereignty

Osage media impresario Ryan Redcorn is featured on Tuesday’s Indian Country Today newscast. He's been busy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he's filling us in on some of the great projects he's involved in.

Plus, national correspondent Dalton Walker joins the show to talk about how tribes and pro sports teams are creating some incredible partnerships.

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