Reigning during the pandemic

Indian Country Today

2020's Miss Indian Rodeo Oriana Lopez talks about how events have changed since the pandemic. Editor Mark Trahant is breaking down Biden's cabinet picks. Plus correspondent Carina Dominguez is in New York with more on the Shinnecock Nation's legal battles with the state.

On today's newscast we have the reigning 2020 Miss Indian Rodeo Oriana Lopez from the Tohono O'odham Nation. She'll tell us what it has been like to hold her title during the pandemic.

And Editor of Indian Country Today Mark Trahant is breaking down all the numbers behind President-elect Joe Biden's cabinet appointments.

Plus Correspondent for Indian Country Today Newscast Carina Dominguez has more about the Shinnecock Nation's fight for economic prosperity against the state of New York. 

Some quote from todays show

12.14.20 guest image copy
Photo courtesy of Becenti Photography

Oriana Lopez:

"It was very consistent going to events, probably like every other weekend. I would say that since the pandemic occurred, we'd have kind of been at a halt. I recently just got back from Arlington, Texas from the NFR. So that was the event. I got the title in October and since then we've been going to local rodeos and events. In January I visited elders from the Tohono O'odham nation where I am from." 

"And during that visit I got to share who I was, where I came from and I got to sit down with each other and we had like arts and crafts and we balanced time cards and we played bingo. It was just a great time just spending quality time with them. And I think they really enjoyed it, just having people come in and speak to them. And especially the youth. They really like when the youth come in."

Mark Trahant:

"The appointment of Rep. Deb Haaland — or any tribal citizen — to a presidential cabinet would make history. Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, would be the first Native American to operate a cabinet level agency. but there is another story … by the numbers. The first cabinet in George Washington's time had only four members. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of War Henry Knox, and Attorney General Edmund Randolph."

"All white, large-scale property-owning men. That pattern continued from 1789 until 1921 when the vice president was formally added to the cabinet. Then Herbert Hoover's cabinet made history in 1929. It still was a group of men. But it also included Vice President Charles Curtis, Kaw, the only tribal citizen to ever serve in a presidential cabinet."

Carina Dominguez:

"Centuries of tension led the group, Warriors of the Sunrise, to set up Sovereignty Camp 2020. Allies joined them to demand the state drop its lawsuit against the tribe’s electronic billboard. They ended the 26-day camp by donating 500 bags of food to Southampton community members the day before Thanksgiving, which they call “the national day of mourning.” Tribal members call the electronic billboard a monument because it’s a testament to their sovereignty. Southampton town supervisor Jay Schneiderman opposed the monument at first."

"In the suit, the New York state Department of Transportation claims the monument poses a safety risk but Tela Troge, member of Warriors of the Sunrise, says the state has other intentions. The state is trying to sue the council of trustees instead of the tribe. The council of trustees is moving forward with an appeal regarding their claim to tribal sovereign immunity and requested to stay the proceedings until there’s a decision on the appeal."

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Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. She is also the anchor of the weekday newscast. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider. 

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

Carina Dominguez, Pascua Yaqui, is a correspondent for the Indian Country Today Newscast. She splits her time between Phoenix, Arizona and New York, New York. CarinaDominguez@indiancountrytoday.com, Twitter: @Carinad7, Instagram: @CarinaNicole7

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