Things to Know for Thursday
Indian Country Today
NAVAJO NATION STOPPING WEEKEND CURFEWS
President Jonathan Nez of the Navajo Nation announced in a virtual town hall on Wednesday that the tribe will stop the 57-hour weekend curfew. The tribe had a total of eight weekend curfews. The seven-day nightly curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. will continue. As of June 2, tribal officials said they had a total of 5,533 positive confirmed COVID-19 cases and 252 deaths related to COVID-19.
4 NATIVE CANDIDATES FOR CONGRESS ADVANCE TO NOVEMBER
At least four Native candidates for Congress will advance to the general election.
Both candidates running in Idaho on Tuesday — Paulette Jordan, Coeur d’Alene, and Rudy Soto, Shoshone-Bannock — will appear on the November ballot.
In New Mexico, Yvette Herrell, Cherokee, won the Republican nomination for a U.S. House seat. She will run against incumbent Democrat Rep. Xochitl Torres Small.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, officially won the Democratic nomination in her bid for reelection, with no opposition in her New Mexico primary. Also in New Mexico, Republicans Gavin Clarkson, Choctaw, and Elisa Martinez, Navajo, lost their primary bids in a U.S. Senate race.
That leaves one Native congressional candidate whose race had yet to be called late Tuesday, plus six more with primaries in August.
NO REASON FOR THAT KIND OF USE OF FORCE IN A PEACEFUL PROTEST: FORMER COP SPEAKS OUT
Kevin Allis is the chief executive officer of the National Congress of American Indians. While he was attending law school, he also for eight years as an officer with the Baltimore Police Department. In that role, he also served in an internal affairs division that investigated and prosecuted officers accused of using excessive force.
He joins us today to share his perspective on the protests going on across the country in reaction to a history of police brutality.
“I worked alongside many police officers or a few police officers that really shouldn't have been there,” he said in the newscast Wednesday.
Prosecutors on Wednesday expanded their case against the police who were at the scene of George Floyd's death, charging three of the officers with aiding and abetting a murder and upgrading the charges against the officer who pressed his knee on Floyd's neck to second-degree murder.
The most serious charge was filed against Derek Chauvin, whose caught-on-video treatment of the handcuffed Floyd spurred worldwide protests. Three other officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. All four were fired last week.
'STUNNING' RATES OF CHILD HUNGER, EDUCATION AND DEATH IN INDIAN COUNTRY
Isolated areas with high Native American and Alaska Native populations tend to be among the worst to suffer from childhood disparities around malnutrition, graduation rates, and early deaths, according to a new report.
New Mexico’s McKinley County, which sits on the Navajo Nation - a tribe suffering amid the pandemic - is ranked near the bottom in child hunger and graduation rates. A South Dakota county within a Lakota reservation and two Alaska census areas with high Alaska Native populations were also some of the lowest ranked.
Those inequities put these populations more at risk for the novel coronavirus, the report by Save the Children concludes.
NORTH DAKOTA TRIBE FIGHTS RULING GIVING MINERALS TO STATE
Leaders of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakota and others are challenging a U.S. Interior Department opinion rolling back an Obama-era memo stating that mineral rights under the original Missouri River bed should belong to the Three Affiliated Tribes.
The memo filed May 26 by Daniel Jorjani, solicitor for the department, said a review by Historical Research Associates Inc. shows the state is the legal owner of submerged lands beneath the river where it flows through the Fort Berthold Reservation. That contradicts a January 2017 memo by former solicitor Hilary Tompkins, the department secretary under Obama and enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.
At stake is an estimated $100 million in oil royalties waiting in escrow to be claimed as well as any future payments. Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Mark Fox said he plans to take legal action "ASAP," likely with a federal lawsuit.
"We're going to continue to fight," Fox said. "I'm concerned that the state government is going to do everything that it can to get that money into their accounts and worry about litigation some distant day."