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WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Navajo Nation citizen will now serve as the permanent director of the health agency for the next four years. Tso was sworn in on Tuesday at the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“I am excited. I am ready to take on this challenge for the Indian Health Service and I am committed to ensuring that we continue to improve access to care and the services that we provide our tribal people,” Roselyn Tso said.

The agency provides services for about 2.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives across the nation. The process for her to become director took seven months. The position was left open since President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

During her speech, she got emotional talking about how her and Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez were part of the team that weathered the COVID-19 pandemic on Navajo.

CEOs and directors from Navajo-area Indian Health Service facilities were in attendance. — Pauly Denetclaw, ICT

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A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers re-introduced legislation Thursday to provide more resources for tribal law enforcement, an issue they say has become more urgent as Congress begins to consider how to respond to a July Supreme Court case that complicated state-tribal criminal jurisdiction.

The bill, introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona and in the Senate by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, both Democrats, seeks to improve data sharing between tribes and state and federal authorities.

It would also allow the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to conduct background checks on tribal police applicants and establish grant programs to coordinate efforts on missing and murdered persons cases.

Reps. Sharice Davids, a Kansas Democrat, Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, and Dan Newhouse, a Washington Republican, cosponsored the House bill. READ MORE.Source New Mexico

In the grassy plateau of eastern Washington, powwow dancers in full regalia entered a circle of spectators, drummers and singers. There were grass dancers adorned with brightly colored fringe that shook and swayed with their movements. Jingle dancers covered in tiny metal cones added to the percussive rhythm.

But most of the dancers that day were dressed in identical khakis and white tee shirts. They moved to the beat of the drums, surrounded by their families and supporters. Outside that ring stood rows of chain link fences topped with razor wire.

On Sept. 8, Native American prisoners at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla hosted their first powwow in three years, a 50-year tradition temporarily halted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Today is a big day, to be able to see our families,” said Yakama inmate Tallon Saluskin. “And to get to show love.” READ MORE.Underscore News

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The Cherokee Nation is launching a nationwide campaign to get its first-ever, treaty-mandated delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives seated before Congress adjourns in December.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. nominated Kim Teehee in 2019 to serve as the tribe’s delegate to Congress, a move that was supported by the Tribal Council. The effort to seat the Cherokee’s delegate-designate, a position that was promised in the 1835 Treaty of New Echota, was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cherokee Nation and its citizens are mobilizing across the country to call on Congress to act. READ MORE. Cherokee Phoenix

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On the Tuesday edition of the ICT Newscast, climate change will be top of mind for Midwestern tribes at an upcoming gathering. A future medical doctor wins a major fellowship, and the nation’s oldest Native sorority turns 28.

Watch: 

The Indian Health Service awarded $1.2 million in three-year cooperative agreements to seven tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations to go toward eliminating HIV and hepatitis C in Indian Country.

The health service received $5 million as part of the federal government's campaign called “Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S."

The following received funding: Southern Indian Health Council, Inc., Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board, Inc., First Nations Community HealthSource, Chickasaw Nation, Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Seattle Indian Health Board. To read more, click here.

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster for the Muscogee Nation in Oklahoma.

Last week Biden ordered federal aid to supplement the Nation’s response and recovery efforts. This comes as the tribal lands were blasted by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in May of this year.

Principal Chief David Hill says his nation is proud to be able to use the funds to better support his community.

The move makes the nation the first tribal government to receive funding for local communities through FEMA’s Public Assistance funds. Tribal leadership will now meet with FEMA experts to create a plan for the aid money. — ICT Newscast with Aliyah Chavez

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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. dalton@ictnews.org.

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