Recently in Native News

Our nation is experiencing a pivotal moment in history as people across the country stand up against the injustices that communities of color continue to endure. We’re sharing a compilation of news from the month of June around the related challenges Native Americans are facing today, from coronavirus to the 2020 presidential election. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and stay up to date with the latest headlines all year long.

American Indian tribes thwarted in efforts to get coronavirus data via POLITICO

  • “Federal and state health agencies are refusing to give Native American tribes and organizations representing them access to data showing how the coronavirus is spreading around their lands, potentially widening health disparities and frustrating tribal leaders already ill-equipped to contain the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has turned down tribal epidemiologists’ requests for data that it’s making freely available to states. Authorities in Michigan and Massachusetts since early spring have also resisted handing over information on testing and confirmed cases, citing privacy concerns, and refused to strike agreements with tribes on contact tracing or other surveillance, eight tribal leaders and health experts told POLITICO. In some instances, officials questioned tribes’ legal standing as sovereign entities.”

Vote-by-mail systems could offer challenges for Native Americans via CBS News

  • “As the coronavirus has ravaged the country, killing 100,000 Americans and leaving 40 million without jobs, states are beginning to consider voting by mail as a safer alternative to in-person voting. However, while voting by mail may make it easier for some voters to cast their ballots, it isn’t a universal solution. For Native Americans living on reservations, implementing vote-by-mail policies could actually create barriers to voting. Many Native Americans living on reservations have ‘nontraditional addresses,’ meaning that they do not receive mail to their houses but instead get it from a P.O. box. Natalie Landreth, senior staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund, said that it was more likely for people living on tribal lands to have ‘descriptive addresses’ like ‘last house on the left,’ instead of a specific address like ‘123 Main Street.’”

Missing and murdered Native Americans: How to combat the worsening crisis in the U.S. via Fortune

  • “The U.S. is home to 574 federally recognized tribes with approximately 6.9 million Native Americans and Alaska Native citizens. But despite their population size and their vast and thriving communities, Natives often suffer problems silently, invisibly, without the benefit of public outcry or media attention. Their problems can no longer remain in the dark: American Indians and Alaska Natives are facing a crisis of their own going missing or being murdered. Our government is finally beginning to tackle the issue. The next step is for all Americans to join in on the efforts to end this ongoing tragedy.”

Native American tribal nations take tougher line on COVID-19 as states reopen via The Hill

  • “Native American tribal nations are imposing stricter lockdown and social-distancing measures than their neighboring states, creating tensions with both governors and the federal government. Many Native American leaders are worried that the recent surge in cases could disproportionately impact tribal members, just as they did in April and May. In response, some tribal governments have exercised their sovereignty to reinstate lockdowns and travel bans as neighboring states move in the opposite direction. ‘It’s a greater challenge for us to deal with knowing that just right across the borders, everyone else is doing things different,’ Cheyenne River Sioux chairman Harold Frazier told The Hill.”

Nestlé to change ‘out of step’ Red Skins and Chicos brands via CNN

  • “Nestlé is rebranding its Red Skins and Chicos sweets, saying that their controversial names — which feature offensive racial overtones — are ‘out of step’ with the company’s values. The products, which are sold in Australia, have prompted complaints for several years. Allen’s, the Nestlé (NSRGF) brand that produces the sweets, said in a statement posted to Facebook on Tuesday that the decision to rename the products was made to avoid marginalizing its friends, neighbors and colleagues.”
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