A symbol of faith and fulfillment

Aliyah Chavez has more on Deb Haaland's first trip back to New Mexico in her position as Interior secretary. Holly Cook Macarro is back to tell us more about what is happening in D.C. And Eileen Briggs is on the show to talk about how foundations can work with Indian County.
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Interior Secretary Deb Haaland makes her first visit to her home state of New Mexico, with her new role. Reporter-producer Aliyah Chavez joins the show with more on that story. 

Plus Holly Cook Macarro, who is Red Lake Ojibwe, is a partner with Spirit Rock Consulting and she joins us now to give us some perspective on several topics. 

And more on how foundations can help bridge the wealth gap for American Indians and Alaska Natives. For that we’ll talk to Eileen Briggs, who is Cheyenne River Sioux, from the Bush Foundation. 

A slice of our Indigenous world

  • A divisive and confusing decision by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to the Indian Child Welfare Act.
  • North Dakota is one step closer to requiring state schools to teach Native American history.
  • Jade Begay is now serving on the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. 
  • Indian Health Services is starting social media promotions for the COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • The city of Denver is gifting buffalo to several tribes that traditionally hunted and relied on buffalo.

Find more details on these stories at the top of today's newscast.

Some quotes from today's show.

Aliyah Chavez:

"I think what turned into a visit by secretary Haaland with Pueblo leaders actually ended up being quite a rare opportunity for Pueblo governors. As you mentioned secretary Haaland held a listening session with nine Pueblo governors and the state's governor showed up. And just what I heard from public leaders was that it was a really unique opportunity for them to just grab the ears of those top ranking officials and tell them what their concerns were."

"A lot of the conversations that happened yesterday, included Pueblo governors speaking in their Native languages. A lot of them had the opportunity to get up and talk. And when all of them did, I counted that every single one of them spoke in their language. Just listening to what these governors had to say, a lot of them had prayers for her of strength. Other people had words of encouragement and it was just a really powerful moment to hear that."

"There was one really powerful moment that I wanted everyone to know about. It came from the all Pueblo council of governors chairman, Wilfred Herrera, Jr. And he said a couple of years ago when you were running for congress, you came to this space and we gave you prayers to have a healthy journey and a good journey. And now this was sort of a coming home. And what he said was quote, today you returned home a symbol of our fulfillment of our faith, the answer to the prayers of our grandmothers and grandfathers over many generations that prophetic time has come and we are grateful."

Holly Cook Macarro:

"The tribal leadership around the country has been engaged in consultation on president Biden's executive memorandum, reinforcing president Clinton's original consultation requirements the executive order on consultation with tribal governments. And so there's a round of consultation that has been going on with that. So every agency on that one, on the consultation executive order is, has scheduled and continues to hold consultations with tribal leaders."

And importantly, the implementation and formula methodology for distributing the $31.2 billion in the American Rescue Plan. The coronavirus relief bill, the current version of it. The consultation has been going on for that as well. So Interior head consultations for their portion, the portion of the funds that will be going out through the federal agencies, HHS has had consultations."

"Now these consultations are critically important to hear the tribal voices and the input. We saw some of the issues with the use of the HBG data points and the distribution of the cares act that were so problematic, the inclusion of the agencies, both of which remained the subject of litigation. And so that input is critical at the same time. It has kept tribal leaders very, very engaged on all of this." 

Eileen Briggs:

"The wealth gap really this idea of the kind of wealth as we think about in this country, a lot of the challenges around whether people are actually have the wealth to pursue opportunities like going to college or buying a home or starting a business. And for us at the Bush foundation, we really did the research around this. And of course there's been disparities for many, many decades."

"And we know that for the typical black household in the United States that we have 13 cents of wealth for every dollar that a white American household has. And for Native Americans the last time, it was really researched this about 10 years ago in 2000, it was 8 cents of wealth for every dollar of a white household in the few in the country."

"I really think there is a really necessary understanding that there have been race-based policies that have created the conditions and the situations in which all of our communities are really facing in this point. Everything from, as we well know in Indian Country about the everything from the Dawes Allotment Act, all the way to the Homestead act. All of those federal policies have affected our communities today. "

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Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, is editor of Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @TrahantReports Trahant is based in Phoenix.

Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider

Aliyah Chavez, Kewa Pueblo, is a reporter-producer at Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter: @aliyahjchavez or email her at achavez@indiancountrytoday.com

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