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Helpful tips to stretch your stimulus

Host of the Natives on a budget podcast Shawn Spruce is on the show to help you balance your books and save for the powwow trail. Plus national correspondent Mary Annette Pember gives us more details behind two stories she's covered from Indian Country.

Having a budget may have proven difficult during this pandemic, Joining us today to talk about money matters is Shawn Spruce who is Laguna Pueblo. He’s a financial education consultant and has a podcast called, “Natives on a budget.”

And parents say their Native students are facing discrimination in the Ashland School District in northern Wisconsin. Plus Another tribe and another fight against mining. National correspondent Mary Annette Pember will give you details about both stories out now on our website.

A slice of our Indigenous world

It’s a first for North Carolina, the governor is taping a Native woman for a cabinet position. 
After the Mississippi Band of Choctaw lost 33 people to the coronavirus, tribal citizens came together to feed and protect one another. 
A beer sales project to raise funds for organizations that support Indigenous women is creating controversy. 
As the college basketball finals wind down, it’s time for high school athletes to gear up...for the chance to earn a basketball college scholarship.

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

Some quotes from today's show.

Shawn Spruce: 

"Obviously a lot of people have really struggled during COVID. A lot of people have lost jobs. They've been laid off. A lot of businesses have shut down. And a lot of people have been hurt by this, but a lot of people also have found themselves with a few extra bucks in their pockets. We're already into a third round of stimulus and people are sitting at home."

"They haven't had a lot of money to spend. They've got money in the bank and there's definitely a silver lining to that. So I think the biggest challenge right now is just preparing for when these lockdowns just kind of fully unwind. And we're pretty much back to normal. I think the mood is we're pretty much, around the corner of the pandemic. I think we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel."

"And I feel like it's almost like a big rubber band. It's been stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch. It's just stretched out and people have been waiting and they're not spending, they're not going to hotels. They're not going out to eat. They're not traveling. But when that green light comes on and we're finally able to just go out and start living again, I'm worried that a lot of people are going to run the risk of really overextending themselves because they just haven't had a chance to spend money so much."

Mary Annette Pember: 

"The Fond du Lac band had determined, like a number of other tribes had determined their own water quality standards, but they seem like they were the first tribe who is actually able to use what they call their rights as a downstream state to require the Army corps of engineers to revisit a water permit that they had granted to the PolyMet mine. So that's a really big deal."

"Particularly regarding these extractive industries such as mining. They have a long history in Minnesota and these copper mines have been really looking to get a foothold there. And they release a great deal of mercury. It can be really dangerous, particularly in like a fragile environment, such as the boundary waters up there in Minnesota. It also has, I think the impact, is I think forever."

"So she (former Republican Senator Cathy Stepp) was considered quite friendly to extractive industry. And while she was involved in while she was serving in region five for the EPA when they actually were accepted recommendations from the study for the EPA, she insisted that they read the study over the phone rather than have it submitted in print, and then it would have gone into public records. So that was quite the scandal. "

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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.

Mary Annette Pember, citizen of the Red Cliff Ojibwe tribe, is national correspondent for Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @mapember.

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