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Tribal leaders in Washington are pressing the state to reject permits for a proposed hydropower project that they say will have disastrous effects on more than a dozen important tribal sites and resources.

The public comment period for the proposal is set to end on Tuesday.

On July 28, 17 of Washington’s 29 federally recognized tribes sent a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee, urging him to deny permits for the proposed Goldendale Energy Storage Project because it would destroy irreplaceable sacred sites and violate hunting, fishing and gathering treaty rights reserved by the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation when the tribes ceded millions of acres to the federal government in the 19th century.

Yakama Nation Chairman Delano Saluskin separately sent a letter to Inslee recently, reiterating the tribe’s long-held opposition to the project and asking him to not issue any state permits that the project needs to move forward.

“We Treaty Tribal Leaders stand with the Yakama Nation in their fight to protect their cultural and natural resources,” the leaders said in their letter. “We call on the state and federal governments to do better. Uphold the Treaties and respect the rights of our Sovereign Nations. Deny the permits for the Goldendale pumped storage project on Yakama Nation’s sacred lands.” READ MOREChris Aadland, ICT and Underscore News 

The Supreme Court has released its November arguments schedule for cases to be heard to start the 2022-23 term.

Of note for Indian Country is a monumental case regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act.

The high court will address the question in Haaland v. Brackeen as to whether or not various provisions in the Indian Child Welfare Act, which was passed in 1978, violate the Constitution.

Arguments have been scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 9.

Related:

Court strikes key provision of Indian child welfare law
Supreme Court to review ICWA case
Reaction to developments in Indian Child Welfare Act review

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One of the top Indigenous state officials in the country is up for reelection this year. Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, White Earth Band of Ojibwe, and Gov. Tim Walz are working to secure another four years in office.

Flanagan is running against one other in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, Julia Parker, running mate to Ole Savior who first ran in the gubernatorial race in 2014. In 2018, Savior got .7 percent of votes in the Democratic primary. There are three in the Republican primary including a candidate that goes by Captain Jack Sparrow.

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According to the Cook Political Report, Minnesota is a likely blue state. It supported Joe Biden in 2020. FiveThirtyEight has Walz polling at four points higher than the Republican candidate Scott Jensen, who is leading as the Republican candidate.

Minnesota isn’t the only state that has a primary election that day. Connecticut, Vermont and Wisconsin are also holding elections. According to the list of Indigenous candidates compiled by ICT, there are no Indigenous candidates in the three other states. The list isn’t complete and ICT encourages people to reach out to political correspondent, Pauly Denetclaw, at pauly@ictnews.org to add any past or present candidates we may have missed. READ MORE Pauly Denetclaw, ICT

It was beginning to sprinkle on Monday afternoon in the capital of the Navajo Nation, just feet away from the Office of the Navajo Nation President and Vice President, when incumbent Jonathan Nez announced his vice-presidential candidate. Per Navajo Nation code, candidates have just five days after the primary election to announce their vice-presidential candidates, making Monday the last day.

After much anticipation, Nez introduced Air Force veteran Chad Abeyta, 33, who is an attorney, husband, and father from Alamo, New Mexico, one of the satellite Navajo communities on the eastern side of the nation. He currently lives with his wife’s, Paulene Abeyta, community in To’hajiilee, west of Albuquerque, where they are raising their two children.

Abeyta is Tó Baazhní’ázhí born for Chishí. His maternal grandfather is Kiis’áanii and his paternal grandfather is Áshįįhí. He earned a bachelor’s and juris doctorate degree from the University of New Mexico. He went on to get a masters of law degree from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law.

His wife, Paulene Abeyta, is currently vice president of the To’hajiilee Community School Board of Education, which in satellite Navajo communities wields a lot of influence. She also holds a juris doctorate degree and graduated from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. READ MOREPauly Denetclaw, ICT 

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The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Tuesday that approximately $841,000 will be awarded in Tribal HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing expansion grants to three tribally designated housing entities.

The Cook Inlet Housing Authority in Alaska, the Tohono O’odham Ki:Ki House Authority and the White Mountain Apache Housing Authority in Arizona are the recipients of the award.

About 45 Native American veterans who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness will be helped.

The awards will be announced by the department’s Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman at the Association of Alaska Housing Authorities and Enterprise Community Partners’ Housing Innovation Summit in Anchorage, Alaska. Todman will also announce the release of Tribal HUD-VASH renewal awards for more Native American veterans.

The program provides services that combine “rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.” Congress authorized the expansion of the program’s funding to Indian Country in 2015 and since then 600 Native American veterans have been housed and almost 1,000 veterans have been provided case management services.

The awards announced today are part of the second round of expansion awards from the Tribal HUD-VASH program. About $1 million was awarded in Sept. 2021. 

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