Arctic issues on the rise

Raina Thiele joins the show Tuesday, she has worked in the White House and planned President Obama’s trip to the Arctic, the first ever by a sitting president. She has also worked at the Office of Management and Budget. Ducheneaux is the first Native American to head this agency within the Agriculture Department. To put this appointment into perspective, we reached out to Janie Hipp. She is the president and CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund.
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President Joe Biden and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met and discussed a number of issues facing the two countries. The two leaders put out a statement on the importance of Indigenous people and the significance of the Arctic in a changing climate.

Raina Thiele has worked in the White House and planned President Obama’s trip to the Arctic, the first ever by a sitting president. She has also worked at the Office of Management and Budget.

She is Dena’ina Athabascan and Yup’ik.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the appointment of Zach Ducheneaux as administrator of the Farm Service Agency.

Until recently Ducheneaux was executive director of the Intertribal Agriculture Council, the largest, longest-standing Native American agriculture organization in the U.S. He has been a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s council and he operates a family ranch in South Dakota.

It goes without saying that Ducheneaux is the first Native American to head this agency within the Agriculture Department. To put this appointment into perspective, we reached out to Janie Hipp. She is the president and CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund.

A slice of our Indigenous world 

  • The Biden administration is pulling back an environmental review that cleared the way for a parcel of federal land that Apaches consider sacred to be turned over for a massive copper mining operation in eastern Arizona.

  • As many as 10 death row inmates in Oklahoma, more than one-fifth of the state’s prisoners condemned to die, could escape execution because of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling concerning criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country.

  • One of the second to last known fluent Little Shell Chippewa/Ojibwe speakers in Montana has died.

  • The city of Phoenix is officially installing new signs for two streets whose names have long been considered offensive.

  • A new program launched by South Dakota State University in partnership with the Indian University of North America focuses on ecosystem sustainability from a Lakota perspective.

Some quotes from today's newscast 

Raina Thiele

“If you look at their joint statement, they talk a lot about Indigenous peoples and their involvement, both in climate solutions and inclusivity of Indigenous groups. They talked about conservation led by indigenous peoples. They also talked specifically about Indigenous peoples in the build back better initiative, which of course president Biden has made a cornerstone of his administration. And so just to see the acknowledgement and inclusion of indigenous peoples in that statement was incredibly encouraging. And also of course, seeing that they really centered their commentary and their commitments around climate solutions around protecting our biodiversity. To me, it was a very encouraging statement.”

"We have we're seeing out-sized impacts from climate change, especially in the Arctic. We see that the shipping routes are opening up in the Arctic oceans. And I think it's incredibly encouraging that president Biden was able to reinstate the executive order, creating the Bering Sea Climate resilience area, which is of course a tribally led and elder led initiative, which is incredibly encouraging. We also saw that the two leaders talked about ANWR and they are both interested in protecting ANWR and ensuring that the Porcupine Caribou herd is helping to the future. So I think it just between the two statements in between their sort of shared commitments around the environment and climate, that we are going to see a very, very different approach to governance, their bilateral relationship going forward.”

Janie Hipp 

"It is extremely significant. I have to remind everyone that, the farm service agency at USDA is one of two banks at USDA and the other bank is over at rural development, and they do all rural economic development. The other, the bank that is over on Zach's side of the house now, which is wonderful to say, is the bank that deals with farm lending. And they do literally, lending for ownership of agricultural operations farms and ranches. And they do operating loans for people all over the country. They'd been around since the beginning of that department. And it's not lost on me that, that the Native American Ag Fund came about because of discrimination in lending. And there was the Keeps Eagle case that was brought on all native farmers and ranchers behalf that knocked around in the, in the litigation arena for almost 20 years."

"Covid showed us again how critical these linkages are between where food is grown and what's grown and how do we get to it and how can we get it to people? And, you know, we don't know some of us live in that crisis all the time, but some of us don't, and Covid showed us that, that we've got a lot of work to do in these spaces. And, you know, Zach knows the inner workings of how those disconnects can happen. He's, you know, if you ever have followed, I follow him around. And several other people, we see it at meetings when we used to go to them."

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

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