Back to the drawing board for the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina

The U.S. Senate, once again, failed to enact the Lumbee Recognition Act, according to a statement released by Lumbee Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin.

The Act earlier passed the House as it has many times in the past. With support from powerful politicians, such as President Donald J. Trump, President-elect Biden, North Carolina Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr as well as Reps. Ruben Gallego and Raul Grijalva who are members of the House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United State, Lumbee leaders were confident the act would pass as a rider to the appropriations bill passed by the Senate on Dec. 20.

Indigenous film, television projects in the works

Big names, big projects, and lots of Native projects to get excited about.

Pictured: Oscar-winning filmmaker and actor Taika Waititi, Maori, poses for a portrait to promote the film, "Hunt for the Wilderpeople", at the Toyota Mirai Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 in Park City, Utah.

Director Taika Waititi poses for a portrait to promote the film, "Hunt for the Wilderpeople."

Click here to see a list of film projects in various stages of development that are coming to video-on-demand streaming platforms.

Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act included in new relief bill

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez called the passing the Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act a “historic milestone.”

The settlement act was included in a $1.4 trillion catchall spending bill that the House and Senate passed on Monday. The bill went to President Donald J. Trump for his signature, which the AP reported is expected in the coming days.

Read more.

US deaths in 2020 top 3 million, by far most ever counted

NEW YORK (AP) — This is the deadliest year in U.S. history, with deaths expected to top 3 million for the first time — due mainly to the coronavirus pandemic.

That would mark the largest single-year percentage leap since 1918, when tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers died in World War I and hundreds of thousands of Americans died in a flu pandemic.

COVID-19 has killed more than 318,000 Americans and counting. Before it came along, there was reason to be hopeful about U.S. death trends.

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Legislation making its way through Congress aims to reaffirm that tribal epidemiology centers should have access to state and federal health data. Tribal leaders have had trouble accessing information to help fight COVID-19 and other diseases in places like the Navajo Nation, where this sign stands. (Photo by Daja E. Henry/Cronkite News)

Navajo officials urge COVID vigilance over holidays

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation reported 157 new cases of the coronavirus as of Sunday, the lowest daily count this month.

Still, tribal officials are urging residents of the vast reservation to stay vigilant to help stop the spread of the coronavirus amid the holiday season when families usually gather to celebrate.

Navajo President Jonathan Nez encouraged everyone to spend Christmas with only the people in their household. A stay-at-home order is in effect until Dec. 28, along with a weekend lockdown where business hours are limited.

Read more.

Humanities council awards grant to launch Native American and Indigenous studies working group

The Humanities Council at Princeton University awarded an Exploratory Grant in Collaborative Humanities to Professor of English and American Studies Sarah Rivett.

The University also recently announced its creation of an endowed professorship of Indigenous Studies through a $5million gift from alumni Wendy and Eric Schmidt.

Princeton student Gabriel Duguay told the Daily Princetonian, “This initiative is important not only because Princeton has historically underrepresented Indigenous topics in its curriculum but it has especially failed compared to its peers.”

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NAJA

New York University, NAJA announce new full-time scholarship

The New York University Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute is offering a full-tuition scholarship to a member of the Native American Journalists Association admitted to one of the ten NYU journalism graduate programs in fall 2021.

The scholarship is worth more than $70,000.

The goal of the scholarship is to support journalists who might not otherwise have an opportunity to earn a graduate degree at a top level university program.

Deadline is Feb. 10.

Read more.

American Indian College Fund teams up with Ford to provide Native-serving organizations with protective gear

The Ford Motor Company and the American Indian College Fund are delivering personal protective equipment to Native communities in need.

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Watch: Urban Native nonprofits receive MacKenzie Scott grant

The National Urban Indian Family Coalition, a coalition of more than 12 organizations, received a $2 million grant from MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Janeen Comenote, executive director of the National Urban Indian Family Coalition, talks about receiving the grant and a report the coalition released on how the pandemic is negatively impacting Native nonprofit organizations.

Indian Country Today Editor Mark Trahant shares a year end obituary story, reflecting on just a fraction of the people lost this year.

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