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In 2017, Hurricane Maria hit the Caribbean, destroying homes, killing thousands, and driving many from the region.

Indigenous Taíno people in Puerto Rico were on the front lines of the disaster, which has since been compounded by environmental violence in the form of toxic military waste, luxury development on cultural sites, and other threats. But the Taíno struggle to get those concerns acknowledged by the U.S. and other governments.

Now representatives are at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York to call attention to their situation.

“If we're not getting visibility or any kind of recognition at the national level, we have no choice but to take it outside and try to build that visibility for our people,” said R. Múkaro Agüeibaná Borrero, president of the United Confederation of Taíno People.

The Taíno people are Indigenous to the Caribbean and live in Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and more.

When Christopher Columbus first made landfall in 1492, the Taíno were the first people he met. Today, Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, which means that it is neither an independent country nor an official state. Puerto Rico has a non-voting member of Congress and does not have electoral college votes in presidential elections. Because of this colonial relationship, the Taíno have few platforms to make their concerns heard. READ MORE.Joseph Lee, Grist


Tashina Red Hawk, of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, was named the new Miss Indian World.

Red Hawk was crowned at the Gathering of Nations powwow in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The powwow, known as one of the largest on Turtle Island, was held in person for the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The powwow had been virtual the last two years.

May 5 is National Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls Awareness Day, a time when the Indigenous community and our allies wear red and gather to remember, honor, and give voice to women whose stories have not been heard. Congress passed a resolution creating the designation to honor Hanna Harris, Northern Cheyenne, who went missing and was found murdered on the Cheyenne Reservation in July 2013.

Upcoming events and resources HERE.

Judi gaiashkibos is the first Native American to receive the Nebraskan of the Year award. She has been the executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs since 1995.

She was honored at a lunch on April 19 by Lincoln’s Rotary 14 Club that has been honoring Nebraskans for 33 years. During her tenure, she has served as a highly effective cultural mediator and bridge builder between government and the private sector.

She chairs the Nebraska Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. gaiashkibos is an enrolled citizen of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and has been integral in advancing knowledge of the history of Native peoples in the state. READ MORE. Shirley Sneve, Indian Country Today

Each day, we, Indian Country Today, work to deliver our readers important news and information at their fingertips.

April was full of news in Indian Country.

Catch up on the stories that made headlines this last month. CLICK HERE.

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On Monday's ICT Newscast, Ginger Sykes Torres tells us about her decision to end her campaign for Congress. Plus, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Oklahoma vs. Castro-Huerta last week and more on federally run boarding schools in Wisconsin.


Raynell Morris, an enrolled Lummi Tribal citizen, is known for her activism as vice president of the Sacred Lands Conservancy. She advocated against the coal port at Cherry Point and to bring home southern resident orca Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut from the Miami Seaquarium.

In her neighborhood, she’s the watchful matriarch and to her beloved grandchildren, she’s a dance party host and “Grandma Sparkles.” It’s little-known that Squil-le-he-le (her traditional name) was the first Native staffer appointed to the White House.

Morris’ long journey to serve with President Bill Clinton started at Bellingham High School, where she was the first Native cheerleader — a first of many firsts. She took on an internship at the National Bank of Commerce in Bellingham. READ MORE. — Natasha Brennan, McClatchy Northwest


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