Things to know for Thursday

Indian Country Today

Standing Rock casinos, South Dakota checkpoints and 'Broken Promises': A look at the latest headlines from around Indian Country

STANDING ROCK CITIZENS SEEK CASINO INJUNCTION

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe flag
(Photo: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe)

Two citizens of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, Terrance Yellow Fat and Virgil Taken Alive, are seeking an injunction to prevent the tribe from opening two casinos, Prairie Knights near Fort Yates, North Dakota, and Grand River, near Mobridge, South Dakota. The matter is scheduled to be heard via telephone in tribal court Thursday. 

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NATIVE VOTE CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES

Native-Vote-Rock-the-Vote

The National Congress of American Indians is launching its Native Vote 2020 campaign with a “Native vote rally” Thursday. 

The campaign is designed to encourage American Indian and Alaska Native people to exercise their right to vote. 

The online rally includes the premiere of the campaign's first promotional videos for this year’s election cycle. 

More information: http://www.nativevote.org/

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SOUTH DAKOTA LAWMAKERS: CHECKPOINT GUIDANCE NEEDED

Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., speaks with reporters after a Senate Republican weekly luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., speaks with reporters after a Senate Republican weekly luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 19. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

South Dakota’s three Republican congressional delegates are calling on the federal government for guidance regarding highway checkpoints put in place by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sens. John Thune and Michael Rounds and Rep. Dusty Johnson on Wednesday sent a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Attorney General William Barr, citing Gov. Kristi Noem’s May 20 plea to President Donald Trump for federal intervention.

“As is noted in the letter, there remains disagreement about legal authorities in this matter," the congressmen wrote. "We would appreciate it if the Department of the Interior and Department of Justice would look into this matter promptly to provide additional guidance to both the state and the tribe.”

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CONGRESSWOMEN REQUEST UPDATE TO REPORT

Pictured: U.S. Representative Deb Haaland and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Haaland, left, with Warren (Photo: Office of U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland)

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico are requesting an update to a 2018 report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to include the pandemic's ongoing impacts on the country’s Native nations. 

The report, called “Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans,” found that federal programs designed to support tribal nations' social and economic well-being are chronically underfunded and often inefficiently structured. Warren and Haaland, both Democrats, wrote to the commission this week asking it to examine how these problems have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

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