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Washington’s NFL team announced Tuesday it will unveil its new name on Feb. 2 and that it will not be the Wolves or RedWolves.

Commanders, Admirals, Armada, Brigade, Sentinels, Defenders, Red Hogs, Presidents and the status quo “Washington Football Team” were among the other finalists.

“We are on the brink of starting a new chapter, but our history, our legacy cannot be lost along the way," team president Jason Wright said in an episode of the team-produced show “Making the Brand." "Now, more than ever, it’s important that we stay connected to our roots. We understand the importance of choosing a meaningful name: one that will anchor the team for the next 90 years and beyond.”

After the initial announcement in July that the team would not use a Native-themed mascot in the next team name, Suzan Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee, said it was far past time for the organization to do the right thing. Harjo had been pushing for change for decades.

“I think it is the right thing to do,” Harjo told Indian Country Today. “It's the right thing to do because they've done the wrong thing since the mid 1930s.” READ MORE.The Associated Press

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Daryl Noon was sworn in as the new chief of police for one of the largest Indigenous police departments in the country, the Navajo Nation.

Newly sworn-in Chief of Police Daryl Noon knows there are many challenges ahead in his new position but he is confident he can overcome them. He was sworn-in on January 3, 2022 in Window Rock, Arizona. (Photo by Pauly Denetclaw for ICT)

Noon previously served as the deputy chief under his predecessor, Phillip Francisco, who started in 2016. Under Francisco, Navajo Police saw the reestablishment of the police academy, the hiring of dozens of new officers, and increasing salaries.

Francisco announced he was leaving Navajo Police to spend more time with his family in late November of last year. This comes after years of tension between Francisco and the Navajo Nation Council’s Law and Order committee that has legislative oversight over the department. In 2019, Francisco even laid his badge on the table after a heated exchange between him and the delegates over the handling of a criminal case.

The hostility festered all the way to the end.

Delegate Eugenia Charles-Newton, chair of the Law and Order committee, stated in a press release, “The Division of Public Safety has major internal issues they need to address and a federal audit investigation continues to hinder their ability to apply for new federal funding to support our officers. Chief Phillip Franciso does not understand the importance of keeping lines of communication open and he would rather speak to news reporters to get his points across.” READ MORE.Pauly Denetclaw, special to Indian Country Today

Severe winter weather temporarily delayed the planned evictions set for this week for some of the more than 60 former Nooksack tribal citizens who were among hundreds disenrolled from the tribe.

Despite at least five pleas from federal agencies to delay the actions while a civil rights investigation is completed, the tribe was set to begin evictions or the hearing process on Tuesday, Dec. 28, for some of the 61 former tribal citizens and two of their children who are enrolled members living in 21 federally funded homes on Nooksack tribal land.

But record cold temperatures and snow delayed the process for at least two families this week – one that had been ordered to vacate by Tuesday and another that had an eviction hearing scheduled for the same day.

Gabe Galanda, a citizen of Round Valley Indian Tribes and the attorney for the families facing eviction, said the hearing was rescheduled for next week. He also said that the man and his family ordered to vacate by Tuesday expected to be removed from their home by police, but that it appeared officers were unable to reach the home because of snow and ice.

Still, Galanda said he doesn’t expect the reprieve to last long. READ MORE. — Chris Aadland, Underscore.news and Indian Country Today

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Epidemiologist Dean Seneca gives important updates on the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Plus, Paige Bethmann tells us about her upcoming documentary called 'Remaining Native.'

Watch here:

For over a decade, residents of the rural Fort Apache Reservation in eastern Arizona have been promised miles of pipeline that would bring clean drinking water to their communities.

Now, a one-time windfall to help carry out the agreement could be on its way.

The federal infrastructure bill signed last month includes $2.5 billion for Native American water rights settlements, a tool tribes have used to define their rights to water from rivers and other sources and get federal funding to deliver it to residents.

The federal government has not disclosed how the money will be divided up. But tribes involved in more than 30 settlements — many in the U.S. West, including the White Mountain Apache of the Fort Apache Reservation — are eligible and eagerly awaiting specifics.

Access to reliable, clean water and basic sanitation facilities on tribal lands remains a challenge for hundreds of thousands of people. The funding for settlements is part of about $11 billion from the infrastructure law headed to Indian Country to expand broadband coverage, fix roads and provide basic needs like running water. READ MORE. — The Associated Press

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The Navajo Nation reported 10 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and no deaths Monday, but tribal health officials say the first case of the omicron variant has been detected on the vast reservation.

Based on cases from Dec. 17-30, the Navajo Department of Health has issued an advisory for 42 communities due to uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus.

The latest numbers pushed the number of cases on the Navajo Nation at 41,657 since the pandemic began. The death roll remains at 1,590.

“The first known case of the omicron variant has been found here on the Navajo Nation,” President Jonathan Nez said in a statement Monday. “This is not a time to panic, but we must step up our efforts to take the necessary precautions to limit the spread of this new variant in our communities.

“Health officials recommend wearing two masks in public due to how quickly the omicron variant has spread in other parts of the world. In many parts of the country, more and more health care workers are having to isolate due to the spread of the omicron variant,” Nez added. — The Associated Press

As a child, Christine Begay knew it was time for string games when the first snow arrived in Shiprock.

The traditional stories told with string were a highlight of the winter season. Manipulating the string between two hands, the designs told of coyotes going in different directions, of a cat’s cradle, or the sun and the moon.

Some were humorous, and some, she knew, were warnings to be patient and pay attention.

“String games hold stories that are passed down from generation to generation,” said Begay, Diné, who now lives in Bemidji, Minnesota. “Some are funny interpretations, while most are significant in culture as they tell the origin of an array of objects and characters pertinent to Navajo culture.” READ MORE.Dan Ninham, special to Indian Country Today

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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