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The headlines last week after the release of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics told one story. “Stunning jobs report,” said Politico. CNBC said the report showed a “surprisingly powerful gain.” And CNN added this take: “Here’s what makes the jobs report ‘shocking.’”

Even President Joe Biden celebrated. “This morning’s report caps off my first year as president,” he said. “And over that period, our economy created 6.6 million jobs — 6.6 million jobs. If you can’t remember another year when so many people went to work in this country, there’s a reason: It never happened.”

But for Indigenous people, the numbers show that the labor market is leaving Indigenous people behind, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. READ MORE. Mark Trahant, Indian Country Today


The South Dakota Senate passed a proposal Wednesday to fund two new schools based around Oceti Sakowin language and culture.

The proposal, pushed by Democratic Sen. Troy Heinert, aims to address high dropout rates among some Native students by structuring the schools around Lakota, Nakota and Dakota language, giving students and communities ownership over their education. It passed the Republican-controlled Senate on a 22 to 13 vote.

The bill caps the number of schools that can be created at two in the next five years. It doesn’t specify where they would be located, but groups in Rapid City and on the Rosebud Indian Reservation are hoping to apply if the bill passes.

Native educators have pressed state lawmakers this legislative session on several proposals to incorporate Oceti Sakowin language and culture, but met limited success in the Republican-controlled Legislature. It will face a tough test in the House. — Associated Press

The body overseeing Berlin’s museums will hand over Hawaiian ancestral remains collected by a German naturalist in the 19th century to authorities in Hawaii.

The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation said Monday that the remains of 32 individuals, known as “iwi kupuna,” will be handed over Friday to a representative of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a semi-autonomous state agency directed by Native Hawaiians.

The remains were part of collections that the heritage foundation took over from Berlin’s Charite hospital in 2011 and whose provenance it is researching. The foundation said the bones were acquired by collector and naturalist Hermann Otto Finsch around 1880 during a voyage to the South Pacific and were sent to Berlin.

Discussions about repatriating the remains had been ongoing since 2017. The German foundation has said it will return human remains from “colonial contexts” if the countries and groups they come from are known and their return is desired. — Associated Press

A southeast Alaska school district said it is investigating allegations of racist behavior during a high school basketball game, photos from which showed student fans dressed in Western attire, such as cowboy hats, as their team played a school from Alaska’s lone Native reserve.

Latonya Galles, whose son plays for the Metlakatla Chiefs, told Anchorage television station KTUU the way fans of the Ketchikan High School Kings were dressed was inappropriate.

The school posted an apology “for the cultural insensitivity shown” at the game. The post was no longer on the school’s Facebook page Wednesday.

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District, in a separate post that also was no longer visible Wednesday, said it was looking into the situation and would take “all appropriate actions to ensure our schools and students uphold the highest standard of sportsmanship, respect, and hospitality.” — Associated Press

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An Indigenous reporter won a major journalism award. He shares more on the accomplishment. Plus, a new book shares Dakota stories.

(Related: Indigenous journalist awarded $100K prize)


The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act has been useful but is long overdue for changes. So said several people testifying at a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing last week. NAGPRA is a tool for Native Americans seeking the return of ancestral remains and funerary, sacred and cultural objects.

The National Park Service, which administers the law, said it has consulted with 71 tribes and plans to soon release proposed changes to the law for public review.

Carmen Hulu Lindsey, Native Hawaiian, elected trustee and chair of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, described conditions before the law was enacted in 1990.

“Just over 30 years ago, the mass excavation of the sacred remains of over 1,100 men, women, children, and infants out of their final resting place occurred at Honokohau on my island home of Maui to build a large hotel resort. At the same time, hundreds of remains were being disinterred at another large resort in another area of Maui.” READ MORE.Joaqlin Estus, Indian Country Today


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