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It's been one year since President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took office. What has the Biden administration done in their first year for Indian Country?

Political contributor Holly Cook Macarro, Red Lake Band of Ojibwe, said mainstream America is concerned with his legislative agenda, his falling poll numbers, COVID, voting rights, and more. All of which are "serious points" and a lot of discussion is happening.

"I think for Indian Country, a one-year review is a different picture," she said.

WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW.

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There is a story told about how we are defined by talent, taking what we have learned and building a successful career and path. The economic data shows something else. Families with wealth have a head start.

This is certainly true in Indian Country where studies have detailed that disparity, such as one that found American Indian and Alaska Native households have only 8 cents of wealth for every dollar controlled by the average White American household.

The wealth gap has been consistent, if nothing else.

The U.S. House Select Committee on Race and Economic Disparity held a hearing Thursday that looked at the problem and explored potential solutions. What would the country look like if there was a level playing field? READ MORE. — Mark Trahant, Indian Country Today

Two Alaska Native corporations are working to develop what would be one of the world’s largest gold mines while some of their shareholders oppose it and more than a dozen area tribes have joined in a lawsuit against it.

The Donlin Gold mine would be situated on a tributary of the Kuskokwim River, 275 miles west of Anchorage. Several Alaska tribes are concerned about harm to the river. The river provides habitat for salmon, a key subsistence food for more than a dozen Yup’ik villages downriver.

Three federally recognized tribes held a virtual press conference last week with the Center for Science in Public Participation, and Earthjustice Alaska. The tribes represent the communities of Bethel, Chevak, and Kasigluk.

Bethel is one of the communities downriver, 73 miles from the proposed mine. It has a two thirds Yup’ik population of 6,500 and serves as a regional hub for transportation, medical services, fuel, and groceries.

Participants urged mine opponents to ask the Biden administration and the state of Alaska to stop further permitting and development of the Donlin mine. READ MORE.Joaqlin Estus, Indian Country Today

The city of Phoenix outlined how it will voluntarily contribute water to a regional plan to shore up the country’s largest reservoir that delivers Colorado River water to three states and Mexico.

The city joins tribes with the announcement.

“We just recently signed a conservation agreement in Las Vegas and this was during the Colorado River Water Users Association where we agreed to put a significant amount of water up in Lake Mead to protect the crashing of the elevation levels,” Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis told Indian Country Today.

In December, Colorado River water users gathered for a conference in Las Vegas to discuss the water future in the west. Multiple water agencies and tribes signed the “500+ Plan.”

The Phoenix City Council voted unanimously in January to enter into an agreement with the Central Arizona Water Conservation District. As part of the “500+ Plan,” the district will pay Phoenix more than $4 million to conserve just under 16,000 acre feet of water. READ MORE. Carina Dominguez, Indian Country Today

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One of the Navajo Nation's prolific presidents visits the show. Plus, the latest on Indigenous athletes playing on major stages.

WATCH:

The Heard Museum’s World Championship Hoop Dance Contest in Phoenix has rescheduled its popular event for March 26-27.

Dancers from across Turtle Island compete in multiple categories.

The annual event was held virtually in 2021 due to the pandemic.

The Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market is still scheduled for March 5-6. READ MORE. — Indian Country Today

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We want your tips, but we also want your feedback. What should we be covering that we’re not? What are we getting wrong? Please let us know. icteditors@indiancountrytoday.com.

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