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Bryan Newland sworn in as assistant secretary for Indian Affairs

Bryan Newland was ceremonially sworn in Wednesday as assistant secretary for Indian Affairs by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

The Interior released a photo of the swearing in.

Newland, Bay Mills Indian Community, was nominated by President Joe Biden and approved by the Senate earlier this year.

“Bryan has worked on behalf of Indigenous peoples and Indian Country for decades,” Haaland said. “His wealth of experience will advance the department’s commitment to ensuring tribes have a seat at the table for every decision that impacts them and their communities.”

(Previous article: Nominee to oversee Indigenous affairs has support)

Newland served as Bay Mills president before leaving for the Interior. From 2009 to 2012, he served as a counselor and policy advisor to the assistant secretary for Indian Affairs. Newland is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Michigan State University College of Law.

“The Biden-Harris administration has made clear its priorities to respect tribal sovereignty and self-governance, fulfill federal trust and treaty responsibilities to tribal nations, and make regular, meaningful and robust consultation with tribal nations cornerstones of federal Indian policy,” Newland said. “I am committed to engaging with tribes every step of the way and ensuring they have the support and resources they need to fully thrive.”


Unequal pay devalues Native women

Sixty cents on the dollar.

That’s what Native women earn compared to White, non-Hispanic men based on 2019 data, according to the Equal Pay Today campaign.

Sept. 8 is Native Women’s Equal Pay Day. Based on the aforementioned numbers, it is the date Native women must work up until to make what White, non-Hispanic men made at the end of last year.

Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison, along with the committee’s Native American Caucus chair and vice-chair Rion Ramiriez, Turtle Mountain Chippewa and Pascua Yaqui, and Paulette Jordan, Coeur d'Alene, released a statement saying the Biden administration has prioritized ending the gender pay gap and no American should find the disparity acceptable… READ more.

Kolby KickingWoman, Indian Country Today

Tribes, states seek review of ICWA

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to review a case that centers on whether Native Americans should receive preference in adoptions of Native children.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a sharply divided ruling in April over the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. The law gives Native American families priority in foster care and adoption proceedings involving Native children, and places reporting and other requirements on states.


The appeals court upheld the law and Congress' authority to enact it.

But the judges invalidated some of the law's placement preferences, including for Native American families and Native foster homes, saying they violate equal protection rights under the Constitution... READ more.

The Associated Press

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Native youth are stepping up & repping

A few history-making tribal leaders have one thing in common: A commitment early on to make a change.

Brian Weeden, the youngest chairman to date for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in southeastern Massachusetts, and Vivian Juan-Saunders, the first chairwoman of the Tohono O'odham Nation in southern Arizona, both had the ambition and commitment to help their tribes in any way they could. They sought out helping the youth by joining or creating organizations that benefited them.

“I figured I needed to be the boots on the ground and a lot of our elders were happy to see a young person stepping up for our community,” Weeden said.

He helped create Mashpee Wampanoag’s youth council, which participated in a well-known national Native youth organization. Through being an affiliated youth council, Native youth “engage in annual projects in four areas – cultural preservation, environmental awareness, healthy lifestyles, and community service.”

(Photo courtesy of Vivian Juan-Saunders)

Weeden, 28, said being one of the youngest tribal leaders in the country feels like “our generation is finally getting our chance to show everyone else what we're made of.” READ more.

Kalle Benallie, Indian Country Today

Alaska offers $49k weekly prizes to encourage vaccinations

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Officials in Alaska are hoping that a weekly lottery prize will encourage more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Alaska Chamber and state officials announced Thursday that they are offering $49,000 each to one newly vaccinated adult and one youth weekly through Oct. 30, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Those vaccinated before Thursday won’t be left out. There will be a one-time prize of $49,000 awarded to an adult and to a young person who rolled up their sleeves earlier.

Funding for the $1 million campaign came from federal funding funneled through the state health department.

Entries for the first weekly drawing are due by Sept. 11 and the winners will be announced five days later.

People trying to win the money must provide basic information to a secure website. The winners will be drawn randomly from age pools of people 18 and above people between ages 12-17.

The younger winners will receive their funding through an Alaska educational savings plan, where the money will be invested for their education. Their parents or guardians will receive $10,000 in cash if they are vaccinated.

About 55 percent of Alaska residents 12 or older are fully vaccinated, according to the state health department.

The Associated Press


Hopis to narrow candidates for tribal chairman in primary

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. — Hopis are voting Thursday to narrow down the list of candidates for tribal chairman.

Tim Nuvangyaoma is seeking a second, consecutive term in the post. He faces David Norton Talayumptewa, a member of the council and former U.S. Bureau of Indian Education official, whom he beat in the 2017 general election.

Former Vice Chairman Alfred Lomaquahu, Jr. and Andrew Qumyintewa also are running for chairman.

The top two finishers move on to the Nov. 11 general election. Both candidates for tribal vice chairman, incumbent Clark Tenakhongva and Craig Andrews, automatically move on to the general election.

Thousands of Hopis are eligible to vote in the primary election.

The Hopi chairman and vice chairman run separately. Much of their authority comes from the council, which functions like a city government. The chairman presides over meetings but doesn’t vote except to break a tie.

The Associated Press

#ICYMI: Pharrell, Dee Jay Two Bears collaborate on adidas Sičhona sneaker

Pharrell Williams has collaborated with artist Dee Jay Two Bears to create the Humanrace Sičhona sneaker and is promoting it with the “I am Dakota, We Are Dakota” photo campaign with Standing Rock community members. (Photo Andrew White)

In 2016, the iconic multi-award-winning musical artist Pharrell Williams, perhaps best known for his hit song “Happy”, met with citizens of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation in order to collaborate on the launch of his Humanrace NMD sneaker.

The sneaker was immediately successful and well-received by enthusiasts.

But in addition to the launch of his sneaker, Williams also sought a way for Indigenous communities to use his platform as a way to share their own cultures and ways of life with the world.

In 2021, Williams, in collaboration with Native artist Dee Jay Two Bears, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, released a new Adidas sneaker called the Humanrace “Sičhona.” READ more.

Vincent Schilling, Indian Country Today

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