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Heading into an election year another census shows an increasingly diverse population and many experts are following redistricting closely, saying diversity is not reflected in the process.

Many examples prove “Republicans could have chosen to compete for the votes of a multiracial America” but instead chose to undermine it, top redistricting expert at NYU Law Michael Li said.

Advocates feel voting rights are under attack on many levels and it’s caught the attention of members of Congress. There’s a strong push by Senate Democrats to update and restore voting rights legislation but they face an uphill battle.

One bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, would modernize the Voting Rights Act and extend the preclearance criteria but without the support of centrist Democrats Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin the bills may not make it to the president’s desk.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed several options to pass election reform to overcome the lack of Republican support, including changes to the Senate’s 60 vote requirement to end a filibuster and advance legislation. READ MORE. — Indian Country Today

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Nee-gon-we-way-we-dun introduced himself. He said he was from the Three Fire Society, Gathering of the Sacred Pipes, a Sun Dancer, and the American Indian Movement.

“My spirit name is Nee-gon-we-way-we-dun,” he said. “The translation of that is Thunder Before the Storm.”

Nee-gon-we-way-we-dun said he was only 11-years-old when a Becker County judge gave him another name, “Incorrigible.”

Clyde Bellecourt died Tuesday at 85.

Clyde Bellecourt, co-founder or the American Indian Movement, speaks on Jan. 26, 2018, at Minneapolis City Hall, in Minneapolis. Bellecourt, a leader in the Native American struggle for civil rights and a founder of the American Indian Movement, has died. He was 85. Bellecourt died Tuesday , Jan. 11, 2022, from cancer at his home in Minneapolis, Peggy Bellecourt, his wife, told the Star Tribune. (AP Photo/Amy Forliti File)

There is a story here. Or a story layered on another story. Make that stories. READ MORE.Mark Trahant, Indian Country Today

Water rights, the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, voting rights, and infrastructure needs were some of the common issues that several tribal leaders from across Arizona talked about during their visit to the Capitol to talk with legislative leaders about their respective sovereign nations as part of the 27th Annual Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day.

“Since 1995, we have come together in this form here at the state capitol to address critical issues in tribal communities within the boundaries of Arizona,” Kristine Fire Thunder, executive director for the Governor’s Office on Tribal Relations, said in a video played for attendees who gathered in the state House of Representatives on Wednesday.

A variety of important topics and issues were brought to the forefront as Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Colorado River Indian Tribes Chairwoman Amelia Flores, and Gila River Indian Community Governor Stephen Roe Lewis addressed legislative leaders on the Arizona House Floor. Each tribal leader touched on important topics such as water rights, voting rights, COVID-19 and infrastructure issues. READ MORE. Shondiin Silversmith, AZ Mirror

On Thursday, Indian Health Service announced efforts to provide more opportunity for contracting with Native-owned businesses as part of the Buy Indian Act.

Rudy Soto, Shoshone-Bannock, was appointed to serve as the USDA state director in Idaho, according to the White House.

Soto ran for Congress in 2020.

"This will be a return to government service for me and I look forward to doing my best day in and day out to improve the lives of Idahoans from all walks of life," Soto said in a statement. "I firmly believe my selection for this role is in part due to the positive impact of our previous congressional campaign as the Democratic Nominee for Idaho’s 1st District in 2020. I extend my deepest gratitude to all who supported our campaign through every means."

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Supreme Court cases that impact Indian Country. Plus, a Navajo lawmaker in Kansas, and changes to Canada’s child welfare system.

Watch:

Call it one step forward and two steps sideways in a dispute over former boarding school land.

The city council in this South Dakota reservation border community voted Monday to allocate $9 million toward the construction of an urban Native community center in a move that was seen as groundbreaking.

“This is the first time that a substantial investment has been made (by the city) to an Indigenous effort in our community,” said Tatewin Means, Oglala Lakota and a volunteer with the group behind the effort to build the center.

But the enthusiasm was tempered by strings attached to the funding and questions whether the deal would resolve a thorny land dispute. READ MORE.Stewart Huntington, special to Indian Country Today

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