News: AIM has new leadership; U.S. tries to force Indian schools to reopen during coronavirus, and more

In this blog:

  • American Indian Movement (AIM) has new leadership
  • U.S. Bureau of Indian Education tries to force Indian schools to reopen, despite coronavirus concerns
  • Indian Country’s take on Kamala Harris
  • California Tribe sues Trump administration, saying border wall would desecrate traditional burial site

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News: Line 3 appeals coming; former Trump aid gets mask contract for Navajo hospitals, and they might not work; and more

In this blog:

  • Line 3 appeals coming
  • Former Trump aid gets contract to supply masks to Navajo hospitals, and they might not work
  • Holding online public hearings to review new oil and gas projects could undermine Indian Country involvement
  • 3 dozen democrats back Standing Rock’s attempt to shut down DAPL during new environmental review
  • The Four Invasions: Nick Estes on Indigenous resistance and the vision of a better future

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News: MN Supreme Court upholds Bde Maka Ska name change, Alberta tar sands workers spread COVID-19, and more

In this blog:

  • Minnesota Supreme Court upholds Bde Maka Ska name change
  • Tar sands workers in Alberta spread COVID-19
  • Pandemic closes casinos, causing economic harm in Indian Country
  • Pine Ridge locks down after first two confirmed COVID-19 cases found

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Walz says he prioritizes safety of most vulnerable communities during pandemic, but would he intervene to stop Line 3?

Gov. Tim Walz

Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan issued a “Coronavirus Response and Preparation” update Friday that said: “As COVID-19 has exacerbated racial, economic, and educational inequities, the Walz-Flanagan Administration has prioritized the safety of our most vulnerable workers, families, and communities.”

Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge, has said he believes construction on Line 3 could start this summer. Yet the pandemic isn’t going to be over by the summer. An influx of workers risks bringing more coronavirus cases to northern Minnesota. Line 3 runs near the White Earth and Red Lake reservations and through the Fond du Lac Reservation. Those communities have more than their share of health problems and their members would be more vulnerable to the virus.

In the worst-case scenario where Enbridge gets all the state permits it needs, the Walz administration needs to intervene to stop construction. With the current oil glut, there’s no public urgency for Line 3 construction to move forward.

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News Wrap: Coronavirus toll on Indian Country; Judge cancels key Keystone XL permit; and more

In this blog:

  • Videos: The coronavirus toll on Indian Country, interviews with Native leaders
  • Judge cancels key Keystone XL permit, Native Nations press to stop construction due to coronavirus dangers
  • Montana passes law that makes it harder for Native Americans to vote
  • Nonprofit Quarterly series lifts up Native American voices, highlighting environmental justice issues in Indian Country and how philanthropy could more effectively support Native-led work

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White Earth to Walz: Live up to your pledge of ‘meaningful consultation’

Michael Fairbanks, chairman of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, has written Gov. Tim Walz reminding him of his promise of “meaningful consultation” with Native Nations, and urging him to intervene on a key Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline permit. In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, he’s asking Walz to direct the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to deny Line 3’s water quality permit, allowing Enbridge to refile after the health crisis passes. This would allow time for meaningful engagement.

It’s the latest example of efforts to stop environmentally damaging projects that are moving forward while much of the country is being required to stay at home. Continue reading

Amid health crisis, Trump administration finds time to attack Indigenous rights and the environment

With the coronavirus dominating the daily news, with much of the country in virtual lock down, with the federal government struggling to coordinate an effective pandemic response, the Trump administration is quietly attacking Indigenous rights and the environment. Continue reading