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Native Americans for Trump coalition launches Thursday

Donald Trump Jr. will be in Williams, Arizona, near Flagstaff, for the launch of a Native American group supporting President Donald Trump.

Native Americans for Trump will host the event at the Williams Rodeo Grounds. Doors open Thursday at noon MST, and the event starts at 1:30 p.m.

In a statement released last week, Trump campaign spokeswoman Courtney Parella said Trump has been a strong supporter of Native people.

"The president provided $8 billion to address coronavirus preparedness, response, and recovery for American Indians and Alaska Natives, and he remains committed to finding solutions to prominent issues faced by Native Americans, from access to better education to rural development and more," Parella said. "President Trump will leave no American behind as he delivers the Great American Comeback, and that includes our tribal communities.”

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Supreme Court pick has ‘significant impacts’ for tribes

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

Decisions on cases of federal Indian cases that make it all the way to the nation’s highest court are likely to impact all 574 Native American tribes.

So Indian Country needs to pay attention to who is appointed to the US Supreme Court. That’s according to Joel West Williams, Cherokee Nation, a senior attorney with the Native American Rights Fund.

On Monday, Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett began her confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee to potentially fill the high court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

There’s not a lot on Barrett’s record when it comes to federal Indian law. She has said she’ll follow in the footsteps of the Justice she once clerked for, the late Antonin Scalia. He was not supportive of tribal interests in the view of the Native rights fund.

“For Indian country, Judge Barrett’s background, legal experience and judicial record offer little substance to solicit support for her confirmation,” the Native rights fund wrote in a memo.

No Native person has ever been nominated to the Supreme Court, and only three Native judges serve on the federal bench across the country.

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High court halts census in latest twist of 2020 count

Vehicles stop at a drive-thru U.S. Census participation campaign organized by Montana Native Vote on the Crow Indian Reservation in Lodge Grass, Mont. on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. There have always been geographic and cultural challenges to Census taking on Native lands, but the pandemic dealt a devastating setback. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

The 2020 Census ends Thursday. 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the Trump administration can end census field operations early, in a blow to efforts to make sure minorities are properly counted in the crucial once-a-decade tally. A lower court had directed the Trump administration to continue the census count through the end of October. 

Census numbers are used to determine how much federal funding goes to states and localities, and how many congressional seats each state gets.

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Nathan Apodaca: Everyone’s new cousin

Nathan Apodaca is the Northern Arapaho TikToker who went viral skateboarding to Fleetwood Mac's hit "Dreams." (Photo courtesy of Nathan Apodaca)

“Is 100 ‘likes’ good?” Nathan Apodaca asked his daughter after uploading his first set of TikTok videos two years ago.

Fast-forward, and the Northern Arapaho TikToker has become a beacon of hope and positive vibes after his viral video skateboarding to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” was seen by millions.

Since uploading it at the end of September, he has received 8 million likes on TikTok and counting. The throwback song garnered its best-ever weekly streams. And the Ocean Spray juice company gifted Apodaca a truck loaded with crates of juice.

Many in Indian Country were quick to notice the tattoo on the back of Apodaca’s head, which depicts a pair of feathers. They’re now excited to cheer him on.

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True story of survival in the Arctic celebrates strength of 1920s Inupiaq castaway

The main character of the short film "Ada Blackjack Rising" is played by Adelaine Aklaasiaq Ahmasuk, Inupiaq. (Photo by Michael Conti, courtesy of 3 Peaks).

Alaska production company Peak 3 has released the 6-minute short film Ada Blackjack Rising. Based on the book “Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic” by Jennifer Niven, the short film introduces audiences to the sole survivor of a disastrous 1921 Arctic expedition. A young Native woman living in a rural Alaskan village tells the story.

The story of Ada Blackjack, producers said in a statement, is one of grit, ingenuity, and humility.

“We are all Ada! Her struggle is ours, surviving in the harshest climate against all odds, and still we are here.” said producer Holly Mititquq Nordlum, Inupiaq, on the importance of sharing an Alaska Native hero.

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Filmmaker Brice Habeger said “An Alaska Native, Ada Delutuk Blackjack is an example of perseverance, cultural resilience, and ingenuity. We share this 6-minute short film portraying just a part of her inspiring story, honoring her legacy of hope.”

The film was produced by ​Nordlum and Paddy Eason, and directed by Habeger. The team worked closely with an all Alaska Native cast. Most of the film is spoken in Inupiaq by Nome resident and teacher, Madelyn Alfavvan Stimpfle. The original musical score is by Chris David, Tlingit, of Juneau, Alaska.

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Inspired Natives Awards 2020 - A Call for Nominations

Eighth Generation celebrated Indigenous Peoples' Day 2020 by inviting the public to nominate individuals for three Inspired Natives Awards for hardworking Indigenous arts entrepreneurs who embody the Eighth Generation spirit.

Serene Lawrence, Anishinaabe, Hopi, chief operating officer of Eighth Generation, said, “it might be hard to attend Indigenous Peoples' Day events this year,” Serene said. “So, in a time when many artists are really struggling, what better way to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day than to nominate your favorite artists for a financial award and some recognition?”

The Inspired Natives Award is $2,500 in unrestricted funds to an artist or arts entrepreneur who personifies the Eighth Generation spirit. It’s funded by 5 percent of all profits from blanket sales, and represents one component of 8th Generation’s broad-based effort to be stewards of the communities in which we work.

This annual award is distributed in cooperation with our friends at The Evergreen State College Longhouse and The Evergreen State College Foundation.

Any Indigenous artist doing any kind of art form is eligible. Deadline is Nov. 10. For details, click here.

Chicago NHL team statue doused with paint on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

An outdoor statue representing the Chicago NHL team will be sent off for repairs after it was doused with red paint early Monday.

The statue, which was covered with a white tarp, is outside the United Center. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that four White males in dark clothing were seen covering the statue with paint and ran off after.

The statue commemorates the team’s 75th anniversary season in 2000.

Watch: A most promising Indigenous scientist

Serra J. Hoagland, Ph.D., Laguna Pueblo, Montana (screenshot)

Each year at the annual convention of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, professionals are recognized for their outstanding work. On Tuesday’s Indian Country Today newscast, we'll talk with Laguna Pueblo citizen Serra Hoagland. She's this year's recipient of AISES's Most Promising Engineer or Scientist Award.

Plus, Indian Country Today national correspondent Joaqlin Estus brings us reaction to Trump signing a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls bill, the Ambler Road project lawsuit, and much more.

And Stewart Huntington has more on the Native students who died at Rapid City South Dakota’s old Indian Boarding School and how they're being memorialized.

To watch the Indian Country Today newscast, click here.

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