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More Natives doesn’t mean more voting power

Native people’s dramatic population increase is unlikely to bring them more political power.

The 2020 census showed a whopping 86.5 percent jump in the Native population from the numbers recorded in the 2010 census.

Overall, 2020 U.S. Census data shows that the U.S. has grown more racially diverse. The non-Hispanic White population dropped for the first time on record, according to the Census Bureau.

Since census data is used to redraw the country’s political maps, one might assume that Native people and other voters of color will gain more power in electing congressional representatives who reflect America’s population. There is a 0.747 percent Native representation in Congress. Currently, 77 percent of both chambers’ voting members are non-Hispanic White.

But that’s not necessarily so, according to Native voting rights advocates. The reasons are complicated, some related to alleged undercounts by the 2020 Census of Native people living on tribal lands and some by states’ redistricting rules… READ more.

Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today

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Analysis: Justin Trudeau faces ‘snap’ election, Indigenous relations in tatters

Justin Trudeau swept to power in November 2015 to the tune of the song, “Sunny Days,” a Canadian classic by the band Lighthouse that is an ode to smoking marijuana and sitting in the sun doing nothing.

And things stayed high for the hip, young Canadian prime minister as he took charge. One of the first things he did in office was legalize marijuana, and his support bumped up among youth and the Indigenous community, which saw the marijuana business booming in the legal and independent market on First Nations across Canada.

Now, however, Trudeau is headed for a snap election of his own making, called in hopes of winning a majority in Parliament as poll numbers showed the government scoring well among voters on pandemic stimulus checks but little else.

With the Sept. 20 election day approaching, however, the skies have turned stormy and Trudeau’s poll numbers have dropped, with the rival Conservative Party taking the lead in the polls soon after the election was called… READ more.

Miles Morrisseau, special to Indian Country Today

Indigenous athletes medal at Paralympics

Among the thousands of athletes at the closing ceremony of the Paralympics Games in Tokyo, at least seven Indigenous medalists stood on the podium representing not just their countries but their tribal nations.

New Zealand once again led the way with Indigenous athletes, with three Native athletes winning medals in the Paralympics to add to the 21 Indigenous athletes who medaled in the Tokyo Olympics.

The United States and Australia were close behind with two each, including Team USA’s Cheri Madsen, who at age 44 brought home silver and bronze in track and field events in her fourth Paralympics.

The total number of Indigenous athletes who participated in the Paralympics this year is not known, since many countries don’t collect or report that information. The Paralympics 2020, delayed a year by the pandemic, was held in Tokyo this year from Aug. 24-Sept. 5 after the Olympic games had concluded.

Here’s a look at the Indigenous athletes from around the world who medaled at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Dan Ninham, special to Indian Country Today

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New Miss Navajo Nation

It’s nicknamed the most prestigious cultural pageant in the world. Niagara Rockbridge was crowned as the new titleholder of Miss Navajo Nation over the weekend.

This was Rockbridge’s second time running for the pageant. She says she dreamed of being Miss Navajo since she was a little girl.

Rockbridge: "This feeling of being Miss Navajo is really indescribable. And it's something I'm so happy and honored and humbled. As you can see the crown is a brand new one here. It's a little bit heavy on the heavy side. And I always say it's the weight of the nation that I feel I'm carrying with me now. It's the weight of the people and everything that needs to be addressed and that I can help and advocate for.”

The first Miss Navajo competition, held in 1952, was simple. The contestant stood in front of a large audience … whoever received the largest applause was crowned the winner.

Nearly 70 years later, competition for the crown includes various categories including a sheep butchering contest, traditional knowledge interview and traditional skills competitions. The winner is now decided by a panel of judges.

Aliyah Chavez, Indian Country Today

Navajo broadcasters make history

Cuyler Frank and Glen King made history on Saturday by announcing the New Mexico State and University of New Mexico football game in Navajo.

It was the first Division I game to be called in the Navajo language, according to a KRQE report.

The Lobos won 34-25 in Albuquerque...READ more.

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Online market addresses food insecurity

A popular Native restaurant in Colorado is addressing food insecurity with its new online marketplace concept.

Some items for purchase include Navajo roasted blue corn mush, Red Lake Nation wild rice and — if you’re cooking for two — there’s a bundle of grass-fed bison.

Denver’s Tocabe is offering to donate an item to community organizations and community members for every two items purchased through its online market.

Tocabe was on the ICT newscast earlier this year in a feature titled, “A year into the pandemic.”

Carina Dominguez, Indian Country Today

#ICYMI: Top 10 Indian Country stories for week

What you, our Indian Country Today readers, read most. Each week, we post our most-read articles. No. 1 this week was related to the show everyone in Indian Country is talking about, “Reservation Dogs.”

  1. That Reservation Dogs Greasy Frybread music video backstory
  2. Food, fun, racism at the Alaska State Fair
  3. Alaska’s ranked-choice system could boost Indigenous voting

To see the full list, click here.

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Other top stories:

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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. Email dwalker@indiancountrytoday.com.

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