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Nez Perce face challenges head on

We check in with the chairman of the Nez Perce Tribe. Plus we're taking a closer look at the news coming out of the Interior Department.

Samuel N. Penney is the chairman of the Nez Perce tribal executive committee. His tribe, Nez Perce, has faced challenges during the pandemic. The tribe's large department of fisheries resource management has more than 200 employees and an annual budget of $20 billion in a three-state work area — north-central Idaho, northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. All are in Nez Perce ancestral homeland. 

John Tahsuda III is a regular contributor to Indian Country Today. He’s worked as the staff director for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and he is also a former principal deputy assistant secretary for Indian Affairs. Today he is a partner with Navigators Global which is a company that provides political services to several industries including tribes. John joins us today to talk about policy and the impact on Indian Country.

A slice of our Indigenous world

  • Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, said the Interior Department will conduct a comprehensive review of what she calls, “the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies.” 
  • After a long year of staying home because of COVID, children are happy to return to a “traditional teachings” summer camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Reporter Aliyah Chavez has more. 
  • Alaska Natives and several tribes are applauding President Joe Biden’s plans to revive a ban on road-building in the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska.

You'll find more details on these stories at the top of today's newscast.

"The (Indian boarding) schools are now really steeped in providing a culturally appropriate education. They try to weave in sort of a spiritual background relevant to the kids that are in their school. I think they have really come a long ways from what they used to be in the positive part of the overall Indian education structure in our country now." — John Tahsuda III

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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

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