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Interior officially restores bison range lands

The U.S. Department of Interior announced that the lands that contain the National Bison Range have officially been put into trust for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation in Montana.

“The establishment of the National Bison Range was an historic use of lands to preserve wildlife, but we must also acknowledge that this act reduced the Salish and Kootenai peoples’ homeland by thousands of acres,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “The return of these lands back to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes is truly a significant milestone in their relationship with the Interior Department and the United States.”

ICT’s Mary Annette Pember reported the story in January when former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed a secretary’s order “directing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management to facilitate the transition of the National Bison Range land and property to the tribes and restore it to the Flathead Indian Reservation.”

READ the story: The bison have returned.

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US boarding schools to be investigated

The U.S. Department of Interior will formally investigate the impact of federal Indian boarding schools, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced before tribal leaders on Tuesday.

The new “Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative” will result in a detailed report compiled by the Interior and will include historical records of boarding school locations, burial sites and enrollment logs of children’s names and tribal affiliations. Haaland made the announcement virtually at the 2021 National Congress of American Indians mid-year conference, a four-day gathering for tribal leaders, policymakers, and partners to discuss issues currently facing Indian Country.

The unprecedented move will ultimately aim to create healing by understanding the true scope of boarding schools in the U.S., Haaland said.

The initiative will make “a comprehensive review of the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies” from as early as the 19th century... READ more.

Montana firm offers legal help with missing Native Americans

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A Missoula law firm is offering no-cost legal advocacy for families of missing Native Americans, Kimberly Dudik and Associates has announced.

While attending listening sessions held by the Montana Department of Justice, Dudik said she heard Native American families express frustration with the reporting and investigative process.

The program offers legal representation, advice and correspondence related to the investigations, help with records requests and aid in coordinating and collaborating with different entities involved in a case… READ more.

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Virtual powwow set for Friday

Details here:

More arrests along Enbridge Line 3

Three people were arrested Monday at a prayer lodge along the Mississippi River near an Enbridge construction site as questions persist that the pipeline work is worsening water shortages in northern Minnesota.

According to the Aitkin County sheriff’s office, three people were charged with misdemeanor trespass and remained in custody late Tuesday. Police did not release their names.

Meanwhile, a large law enforcement presence remained near the prayer lodge Tuesday, said Shania Mattson, a water protector from Palisade, Minnesota... READ more.

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Southwest tribes, pueblos receive Head Start grants

Pueblos and at least two tribes in New Mexico are set to receive thousands of dollars in grants for Head Start.

U.S. Rep. Leger Fernández, a New Mexico Democrat, made the announcement on Wednesday that she secured more than $5 million for New Mexico Head Start programs. The money is part of the American Rescue Plan.

Of the 15 programs receiving grants, most have a connection to a pueblo or tribe, according to a news release. The following is a list of grant awardees.

  • Santo Domingo Tribe- Kewa Health Outreach Program: $256,051
  • Pueblo of Santa Clara: $45,467
  • Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos: $49,057
  • Pueblo of Taos: $59,825
  • Jicarilla Apache Nation: $193,833
  • Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council, Inc.: $38,288
  • Pueblo of San Felipe: $111,275
  • Ohkay Owingeh Tribal Council: $96,917
  • Pueblo of Jemez: $81,362
  • The Navajo Nation: $1,615,275

Tourism and hospitality scholarship deadline approaches

The deadline to apply for a American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association scholarship that awards $1,000 a semester is July 9.

The financial assistance is for students working towards a degree or certificate in hospitality, tourism, recreation, culinary arts or related fields.

Details and how to apply here.

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