Things to know for Wednesday
Indian Country Today
RELIEF MONEY BEING DISTRIBUTED
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has told a federal judge that his agency plans to send out another $3.2 billion that it still owes tribal governments by June 5. That’s nearly six weeks after the law's deadline to distribute the money. The agency earlier this month began doling out $4.8 billion based on population data used for the Indian Housing Block Grant program. Another $162 million was withheld for Alaska Native corporations in case a judge decides they're eligible, according to Law360.
NATIVE HAWAIIAN MUSICIAN DIES
Hawaiian music icon Willie K has died after a lengthy battle with lung cancer, according to an announcement on his Facebook page. He was 59. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser described Willie K, born William Awihilima Kahaiali‘i, as a “Hawaiian music superstar” who was a multi-Hoku Award-winning singer, songwriter and record producer. He died Monday at his Wailuku home "surrounded by his ohana," the Facebook announcement said.
RED LAKE RIOT ANNIVERSARY, PLUS VOTE
An armed takeover on the Red Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota that resulted in multiple arrests and millions of dollars in damage happened 41 years ago this week. Three days of violence in what The Associated Press described as riots began after a tribal council dispute. A Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement center along with a half-dozen other buildings and 45 vehicles were burned, according to the AP. Property damage was estimated at $4 million. Five Native American men were sentenced to at least 10 years in prison on related charges.
In other Red Lake news, tribal citizens are voting Wednesday on whether to allow medical marijuana on the reservation.
Election officials say turnout has been looking strong in Idaho's first-ever entirely mail-in primary. Democrats' 2018 gubernatorial nominee, Paulette Jordan, Coeur d’Alene, and former congressional candidate Jim Vandermaas are vying for a chance to challenge GOP Sen. Jim Risch in November. In a Democratic U.S. House primary, Rudy Soto, a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation, faces Staniela Nikolova, a University of Idaho law student. Voters still have until June 2 to return their ballots to local county elections offices, and initial results won't be announced before then.
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