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Navajo new Indian Health Service top medical officer

PHOENIX (AP) — The chief medical officer for the Navajo Area Indian Health Service based in Arizona has been named to the same position for the national service.

Dr. Loretta Christensen, Navajo, began her career with the Indian Health Service as a general surgeon and has been chief medical of the Navajo Area service since 2014. She previously served as chief medical officer at the Gallup Service Unit in New Mexico and has been the acting IHS chief medical officer since May.

IHS Acting Director Elizabeth Fowler announced Christensen’s appointment Friday to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency which provides health services for about 2.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives in 574 federally recognized tribes in 37 states.

Before joining the Navajo Area service, Christensen served 17 years as the clinical trauma director and associate director of the surgical intensive care unit at Jersey Shore University Hospital.

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Memo to Biden administration: Less talk, more action

The climate change crisis and missing and murdered Indigenous epidemic are inextricably linked, with added negative impact from extractive industries. On top of that, the federal government has much work to do to uphold its trust and treaty obligations to tribal nations to help bring an end to these crises, according to a memo from NDN Collective.

The memo, shared with key members of the Biden administration on Wednesday, outlines how these issues are intertwined, as well as offering solutions that would help address them.

Citing a report from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the memo states between 2010-2019, 8 percent of all murdered girls and women in Minnesota were American Indian despite making up only 1 percent of the state’s population… READ more.

Governor orders flag at half-staff in honor of Red Lake Nation officer

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz ordered all U.S and state flags to be flown at half-staff at all state buildings from sunrise to sunset on Monday in honor of Red Lake Nation officer Ryan Bialke.

Bialke was fatally shot responding to a call last Tuesday. The six-year veteran of the police force was 37.

The alleged shooter has been charged in federal court… READ more.

Equality Can’t Wait Challenge includes Native winners

New Mexico Community Capital and Native Women Lead were big winners this week. The collaboration between the two organizations landed them $10 million as part of the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge.

In all, $40 million was awarded to four initiatives that empower women.

“New Mexico Community Capital and Native Women Lead will catalyze the investability and economic liberation of Indigenous womxn by scaling impactful businesses owned by Native womxn. Their growth will increase power and influence within their families and unlock potential for wealth creation through community employment opportunities,” read a short message on the challenge’s website.

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New A Tribe Called Red album drops

The group formerly known as A Tribe Called Red is back with a new album.

The two-person group, now called The Halluci Nation, released “One More Saturday Night” this week. The album was intended to be released last year but COVID-19 intervened, according to The Star.

The group has come a long way from 2007, when it started. Since then, the group has won multiple awards and released multiple albums and music videos.

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Shoshone-Bannock citizen named fair grand marshal

Leo Teton, Shoshone-Bannock, was named 2021 grand marshal of the Eastern Idaho State Fair.

Teton will be the fifth citizen of the tribe to hold this position and the third member of his family. His daughter and mother both did it.

Leo Teton will be riding horseback with his people.

The fair starts Sept. 3 and the parade is set for the next day.

#ICYMI

Vaccine hesitancy as old as vaccines themselves

Vaccine hesitancy; a new term for a very old phenomenon.

Historically many people have distrusted public vaccine programs from the very beginning. Much of the early opposition stemmed from lack of knowledge about germ theory or scientific understanding of contagion. However, some arguments against vaccination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are remarkably similar to those we hear today.

Citizens rebelled in the 1890s when some U.S. cities tried to forcibly vaccinate people against smallpox. Despite the horrible nature of the disease, 40 percent of those infected died; those who survived were often disfigured or blinded, many people refused vaccines. They expressed the belief that the government had no right to inject disease into their bodies; in 1902, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed, ruling that the government could not force people to be vaccinated… READ More.

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