November 2020: The Vote

Native vote plays powerful role, especially in swing states

President Donald Trump, left, points towards Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, during the second and final presidential debate Thursday at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Election 2020

Oct 29, 2020

Voting advocates predict Native voters will come out in force despite challenges #NativeVote20

Mary Annette Pember 
Indian Country Today

Native American and Alaska Native voters have the power to determine the next president.

“Had Native voters turned out in 2016, we would likely have had a very different outcome in the presidential election,” said OJ Semans, executive director of Four Directions Inc., a Native American voting rights advocacy organization. Semans is a member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe.

Native voters stand to play a crucial role in the 2020 election, especially in swing states where they make up significant portions of eligible voters. States in which two major parties have similar levels of support and high numbers of electoral votes are also home to large Native populations.

The approximately 3.7 million Natives and Alaska Natives of voting age are represented in this election’s crucial swing states.

Swing states and percentage of eligible Native voters:

  • Arizona — 5.6 percent
  • Colorado — 2.5 percent
  • Michigan — 1.4 percent
  • Minnesota — 1.8 percent
  • Nevada — 2.5 percent
  • North Carolina — 2.1 percent
  • Wisconsin — 1.5 percent
OJ Semans is executive director of Four Directions Inc, a Native American voting rights advocacy group. (Photo courtesy Four Directions)
OJ Semans is executive director of Four Directions Inc, a Native American voting rights advocacy group. (Photo courtesy of Four Directions)

At first glance, it might appear that the numbers are insignificant; however, if President Donald Trump’s narrow margin of victory in several states during the 2016 presidential election is any indication, the Native vote stands to play an important role in this election.

“Trump won the state during the 2016 election by 0.7 percent. We could have very well have swung that election,” said Guy Reiter of Menikanaehken Inc., a grassroots organization based on the Menominee reservation in northeast Wisconsin. In addition to working to revitalize its community, Menikanaehken Inc. is working to increase voter engagement and registration.

In the 2016 presidential election, however, only 1.8 million Native voters turned out, about half of the eligible voters.

According to the National Congress of American Indians, the voter rate among Native Americans is five to 14 percentage points lower than that of other racial groups.

These low rates have been attributed to a number of issues, including barriers to voting such as lack of polling places near or on reservations, voter registration requirements that call for physical mailing addresses (many Native folks on remote reservations maintain post office boxes rather than receive mail at home) and a general history of disenfranchisement and distrust of the federal government that goes back generations.

COVID-19 is creating further barriers for Indian Country as many turn to mail in voting as a means to mitigate exposure to the virus that has hit Native communities such as the Navajo Nation and Wisconsin tribes hard. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a lower court decision rejecting a lawsuit brought by six Navajo voters seeking to allow an extra 10 days for ballots mailed from the Navajo Nation to be counted. Similarly, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Wisconsin voting laws rejecting efforts to allow absentee ballots to be counted sent back to election officials on or just before election day.

Despite these challenges, Native leaders and voting advocates are confident that this election will be a game changer.

According to the newly released Indigenous Futures Survey — directed by IllumiNative, the Native Organizers Alliance and the Center for Native American Youth — Native Americans, especially youth, are highly engaged in the political process. About 5 percent of youth respondents were not old enough to vote in the 2016 election.

A high level of engagement in the political process such as signing petitions, sharing political content online, participating in a community action group, attending a protest both before and after the death of George Floyd, are predictors of greater voter turnout, according to survey authors.

The survey was conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley from June 23 to Aug. 15, with responses from 6,460 Native people of voting age across the U.S. representing 401 tribes.

The survey was conducted online due to restrictions of the pandemic.

According to its findings, Native people living in battleground or swing states report higher voting rates than those in other locations.

Fifty-one percent of respondents identified as Democrats, 26 percent as independent, 9 percent as Democratic Socialist and 7 percent as Republican. The remainder identified as Libertarian, Green Party or Socialist.

The large number of Native candidates in local and state elections will also influence greater voter turnout, according to the survey’s authors.

Native voting rights advocates such as Reiter and Semans agree that more Native people will vote during this election, especially youth.

“There’s greater interest in this election cycle, especially among young people. They are really excited about voting; they are seeing the opportunity for us to make sure that Wisconsin goes in a way that represents Indigenous people,” Reiter said.

Maria Dadger is executive director of the Intertribal Council of Arizona. (Photo by Patty Talahongva)
Maria Dadger is executive director of the Intertribal Council of Arizona. (Photo by Patty Talahongva)

According to Maria Dadger, executive director of the Intertribal Council of Arizona based in Phoenix, Native youth have been especially responsive to the council’s social media voting outreach.

“The response from Native voters between 18-24 has been phenomenal,” she said.

Environmental quality, health and education are huge issues of concern for tribes, according to Dadger.

Indeed, researchers with the Indigenous Futures Survey found that health care, especially mental health, and the environment were among respondents’ top concerns.

Candidates take notice

Notably both the Biden and Trump campaigns are courting the Native vote; Joe Biden and Kamala Harris met with tribal leaders last month in Phoenix and later released their 15 page “Biden-Harris Plan for Tribal Nations.”

Joe Biden met with tribal leaders at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. (Photo by Carina Dominguez)
Joe Biden met with tribal leaders at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. (Photo by Carina Dominguez, Indian Country Today)

According to their plan, a Biden administration will fully fund the Indian Health Service and potentially make funding mandatory rather than discretionary. The Biden-Harris plan also commits to aim to achieve net-zero emissions and ensure that investments in clean energy reach Native communities. Biden has also promised to end fossil fuel subsidies.

Later in October, Trump released his three-page policy vision for Indian Country, shortly after his son Donald Trump Jr. launched the Native Americans for Trump coalition in Williams, Arizona.

In his “Putting America’s First Peoples First: Forgotten More!” plan, Trump promised to respect tribal sovereignty and self-determination, promote safe communities, build a thriving economy with improved infrastructure, honor Native American heritage, improve education and deliver health care.

The Trump campaign launched its Native American Coalition in Williams, Arizona. (Photo by Carina Dominguez)
The Trump campaign launched its Native American Coalition in Williams, Arizona. (Photo by Carina Dominguez, Indian Country Today)

In a follow-up email to Indian Country Today’s request for details about Trump’s plans to deliver health care, Jennifer Kelly, advisor for regional communications and Hispanic median engagement wrote: “The Federal government remains committed to meeting existing federal trust and treaty obligations. Unfortunately, politicians of both parties, including some who have been in Washington, DC for several decades have fallen short. Thankfully, President Trump is not afraid to tackle long-overlooked challenges, just as he has done with the issue of Missing and Murdered Native Americans. A few examples of elevating the commitment to the trust relationship in the plan surround the provisions to improve education and healthcare in Indian Country. President Trump’s FY 2021 budget, for example, proposed a $185 million (3 percent) increase for Indian Health Service (IHS) funding totaling $6.2 billion. The President also launched the IHS Task (Force) to tackle long overlooked abuses in the IHS.”

Trump also promised to empower tribes to pursue responsible energy development on their lands.

Trump’s record on the environment and support for fossil fuel development, mining and pipelines that frequently impact Native lands and communities, however, has not gone unnoticed in Indian Country.

Trump famously approved the Dakota Access Pipeline, the subject of months-long opposition, near the Standing Rock Reservation within a month of taking office. The president has been an enthusiastic supporter of oil and gas pipeline development, the coal industry, mining in areas such as the Boundary Waters in Minnesota and opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling. During his administration, the Environmental Protection Agency has streamlined the environmental review process and timeline for pipelines and mining projects.

According to Dadger, access to clean, safe water is paramount to Native people in Arizona; the fallout from coal and uranium mines continue to pollute drinking water on the Navajo reservation.

“In Arizona, water is gold,” Dadger said.

The state of Wisconsin repealed its mining moratorium during the Trump administration while the president has sought to fast-track mining projects, offering grants and loans to help companies pay for equipment.

Environmental health is a big concern for Native voters in Wisconsin, according to Reiter.

“I don’t think there’s a tribe here in Wisconsin that isn’t fighting some sort of environmental threat from mining or pipelines. As Indigenous people, we don’t have the luxury of relocating. This is our land,” Reiter said.

“If you still need an excuse to vote, I don’t know what world you’re living in,” he said.

Although voters in Indian Country continue to experience barriers, Semans is hopeful for this election.

“In a matter of a week, we registered 1,600 people in Minnesota, 1,700 in Arizona and 1,800 in South Dakota. I’m really excited for Indian Country,” he said.

Professor Arianne Eason of the University of California-Berkeley, a researcher with the Indigenous Futures Survey, agrees.

“We saw really high rates of civic and political engagement among respondents. That being said, there were still a lot of barriers that Indigenous people were facing, and some of it is really access to polling places. At the same time, we see that people really are taking very seriously what’s going on. And so when we look at what motivates people to vote, what people are really reporting, is caring about candidates’ platforms and their track record on Native and tribal issues.”

ICT Phone Logo

Mary Annette Pember, a citizen of the Red Cliff Ojibwe tribe, is a national correspondent for Indian Country Today.

Voting Information

Lakota Law

In this final week before the election, as we dive into the homestretch at Standing Rock to get out the vote here and in battleground states, we’re working harder than ever to make sure America hears our voices and counts our ballots. Lakota Law’s new video provides you with an inside look at our phone bank, as our Standing Rock members call into two states where the Native vote has the most potential to make a difference for Grandmother Earth: Arizona and North Carolina.

Phone bank leader Melanie Thompson demonstrates to Chase Iron Eyes exactly what a successful call to a 2020 voter looks like.

As part of this massive effort, we’ve dialed more than 55,000 numbers and had 3,000 meaningful conversations with voters in North Carolina. For example, we’ve spoken to almost 1,000 voters in Lumbee tribal territory — the counties of Cumberland, Hoke, Scotland and Robeson — who have already voted or committed to voting.

On Saturday, Oct. 24, following in the footsteps of former Vice President Biden, President Trump visited Robeson County and pledged to federally recognize the Lumbee — North Carolina’s largest tribe. It’s all part of a pattern of candidates increasingly courting the Native vote, after so many election cycles where the opposite was true. 

Of course, Native Americans still face many barriers to voting, and thankfully the press is helping to shine a light on our plight. Lakota Law’s Phyllis Young, phone bank leader Melanie Thompson, and I did interviews with the Associated Press last week, and the story dropped today. I urge you to give it a read

The bottom line is that we insist on Native voices being heard this election cycle — and it seems that the world has begun to listen in a new way, thanks in large part to the support you give to our Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and to the Lakota People’s Law Project. I cannot thank you enough.

Wopila tanka — it means the world that you stand with Standing Rock!

Terry Yellow Fat
Tribal Elder
Via the Lakota People’s Law Project
 

Lakota People's Law Project

Lakota People’s Law Project
547 South 7th Street #149
Bismarck, ND 58504-5859

The Lakota People’s Law Project is part of the Romero Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) law and policy center. All donations are tax-deductible.

Vote 2020

Lakota Law header

It’s an exciting week at Standing Rock as we’re in full swing with our Vote 2020 call center! On Wednesday, our media team hit the ground running, and we trained a full room of 25 Standing Rock members to call and activate voters around the U.S.


Watch our new video: Standing Rock members call potential voters in North Carolina.

It’s been said a thousand times: this is the most important election of our lifetime. With so much wrong in the world, we can turn the tide — right now. I’m confident that we’ll successfully combat attempts to disenfranchise Native people and make our voices heard loud and clear on Nov. 3. 

We’re encouraging everyone we speak with to vote — and whenever possible, we’re making sure they can do so early. This election offers us a chance to turn what is usually a particularly hard time of year for us in Native communities into a time of hope. While it’s always a challenge being Indian in America, as we go from October into November, our pain intensifies. Beginning with Columbus Day and continuing through Thanksgiving, the wider culture seems to constantly celebrate calls for erasure of Indigenous personhood.

That history is exactly why we’re calling on each other to speak truth to power, to envision who we want to be in the times to come. This election is a test: Who are we, really, when the going gets tough? As Americans, it’s critical we work together to be our best selves. Yes, this is a hard, trying time — but as Indigenous peoples and nations, this has always been the case. 

Standing Rock Protest Video
Callers celebrate a day of effective outreach.

Let me be clear: we believe in American ideals as much as anyone. We want liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So this November, we’re doing everything humanly possible to make sure the Earth is respected, fascism is rejected, and our democracy is protected.

Wopila — thank you, always, for your generosity and heart.

Chase Iron Eyes
Lead Counsel
The Lakota People’s Law Project

Voting Rights >Action Needed!

Voting rights are under attack across America. President Trump’s threat to withhold funding from the U.S. Postal Service is just the latest attempt to limit our power by blocking free and fair elections. Of course, to Native people like me, this is nothing new. That’s why, two weeks ago, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe voted unanimously to team up with the Lakota People’s Law Project, Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) to make sure Congress passes the Native American Voting Rights Act (NAVRA) as soon as possible.

You can help us realize this vision! Please use your voice to inspire lawmakers to prioritize and pass this bill right now. Use our brand new Action Center to send a letter to your congressional reps today, and tell them it’s critical to support NAVRA. All voices must be heard for the health of our democratic institutions to truly be respected.

Lakota LawWe Standing Rocked the Vote in 2018, and now, with your help, we’ll pass NAVRA and ensure fair elections are held throughout all of Indian Country.

You likely recall that, in 2018, North Dakota passed a voter ID law specifically aimed at disenfranchising Native citizens without street addresses. I remain grateful that you leapt into action at that time, helping us Standing Rock the Vote. Together, we put 100 tribal volunteers on the street, printed 800 new IDs, and doubled turnout over the prior midterm.

But other Indigenous communities around the U.S. aren’t so fortunate. Many face significant hurdles, such as remote or difficult-to-reach polling locations, language barriers, and no vote-by-mail option. NAVRA will address these concerns and more.

I also want you to know that we’re just getting started. We intend to engage the members of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association — the leaders of 16 tribes throughout North and South Dakota and Nebraska. We’ll also organize with tribal nations around the country to gain bipartisan support, and we’ll train a group of ambassadors from Standing Rock to phonebank and turn out the national Native vote, come election time. The tribe has also requested a congressional hearing.

Voter suppression within communities of color must end, right now. We have the opportunity to make a tremendous difference — not just for folks on reservations, but for the future of our nation. Please join us in what could be the most important action we’ve ever undertaken together.

Wopila tanka — my thanks for standing with Native voters!

Phyllis Young
Standing Rock Organizer
The Lakota People’s Law Project

P.S. No less than the fate of our democracy could be on the line if we don’t stand together to protect elections and the right of communities of color to cast our votes. Email your senator and congressperson and tell them to support — and pass — the Native American Voting Rights Act.

Lakota People's Law Project

Lakota People’s Law Project
547 South 7th Street #149
Bismarck, ND 58504-5859

The Lakota People’s Law Project is part of the Romero Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) law and policy center. All donations are tax-deductible.

Native American Voting Rights Act

I write to you from Standing Rock with encouraging news: despite losing a tough mayoral campaign in McLaughlin, South Dakota, I’ve been promised appointment to the city council. Given the profound hardships it took to get here, I’m pleased with this outcome.

Three months ago, my uncle Robert White Mountain shared my story with you — I was unjustly removed from the ballot as a mayoral candidate by McLaughlin’s majority white city council. Robert’s message triggered an article in our local paper, The Teton Times, which put City Hall on alert: the Lakota People’s Law Project — and supporters like you — would not tolerate violation of my right to run for elected office. The pressure worked, and I gained a last minute chance to re-enter the race.
Lakota Law
In Lakota Law’s new video, I talk about our mayoral race in McLaughlin and my plans, as a future City Council member, to provide for our youth.

While I couldn’t win with just days to campaign, an appointment to the council will still let me accomplish many good things for this town. Thank you for being part of the watchdog community who supported my right to run. More and more, we Indigenous people are seeking elected office throughout the United States, and we are casting more votes, too. But the trend of keeping us off ballots — or of not counting our ballots at all — remains a huge problem.

That’s why, just last week, the Lakota People’s Law Project forged a compact with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to support a nationwide campaign encouraging Congress to pass the Native American Voting Rights Act. Very soon, Lakota Law will give you an opportunity — via its about-to-be-launched Action Center — to make your voice heard on this critical topic.

As I prepare to join the city council here in McLaughlin, I plan to collaborate with the Lakota People’s Law Project to start a youth center where, as director, I will ensure that the children of our tribal nation have access to culturally enriching experiences, like sweat lodge, ceremony, and prayer songs. Because of the imposed poverty here at Standing Rock, far too many of our youth fall into substance use, gang activity, or suicide. As someone with a degree in social work, I intend to help solve this crisis.

Thank you for supporting our work here on tribal nations in the Dakotas. Please stay with us. We have much to accomplish together to protect Native voting rights and assist our youth.

Wopila tanka — my enduring gratitude for your care and attention!

Hoksila White Mountain
Via the Lakota People’s Law Project

More Good News!

I have great news: this morning, District Court Judge James Boasberg ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to be shut down within 30 days! In this momentous ruling, Judge Boasberg found that the Army Corps of Engineers failed to fully consider the environmental impacts of Energy Transfer’s crude oil pipeline, and that there were too many safety concerns to allow its continued operation. While this order only shuts DAPL down for 13 months while the Army Corps completes additional environmental assessments and safety planning, there is a good chance that when the oil is drained in 30 days, that oil will never flow again!

Lakota LawShares in DAPL’s parent company—Energy Transfer Partners—dropped 7% today.

We commend the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and their legal team at EarthJustice for years of dedication and persistence in this struggle to defang the Black Snake. And we are proud of the amicus brief that our legal team submitted in the lead up to this decision. We’re also elated that Judge Boasberg cited many of the questions we and our allies have raised since the beginning of the NoDAPL struggle. First, that it’s simply wrong to conduct an environmental assessment of a pipeline after it’s already been built. Second, that DAPL’s leak detection abilities are so poor it could be leaking more than 6,000 barrels of oil every day without detection, and Energy Transfer’s abysmal pipeline safety record raises that risk even further. Third, that there is no proper cleanup plan for a wintertime spill, when freezing Dakota winters make response the most difficult. Boasberg even went one step further, concluding that the drop in oil demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic makes shutting down the pipeline now less harmful to North Dakota’s economy.

So what comes next? First, Energy Transfer has to drain and shut down DAPL by August 6th. The Army Corps of Engineers then has 13 months to further study potential pipeline leaks and the dangers they pose. This ruling could still be appealed in the Federal District Court of D.C., but our analysis tells us that such an appeal is unlikely to succeed.

Thank you to each and every one of you for your tireless support, and for staying with us throughout this journey.

Wopila tanka — Thank you for standing with us to protect our water, our land, and our families!

Madonna Thunder Hawk
Cheyenne River Organizer
The Lakota People’s Law Project

P.S. This has truly been a week of good news: just yesterday the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, slated to run from West Virginia to North Carolina, was canceled. In a joint statement, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy cited ongoing delays, expected cost increases, and legal challenges from environmental and other groups as threats to the project’s viability. The trend away from fossil fuels is becoming stronger with each passing day, thanks to your activism and the support of so many others like you.

 

More about this:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2020
CONTACT:
Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association
NCAI Press
Mauda Moran
Great Plains Tribes Win Important Legal Fight to Protect Tribal Water and Treaty Resources
The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association (GPTCA), the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), and the National Congress of American Indians Fund (NCAI Fund) applaud the D.C. District Court’s decision today to vacate the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Lake Oahe easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline, and to require the removal of all oil flowing through the pipeline by August 5, 2020. This decision ensures that the treaty-reserved rights of the plaintiff tribes – the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Yankton Sioux Tribe, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe – are adequately addressed, along with any other land and natural resource considerations, in a full-fledged and well-documented environmental review process.
GPTCA, NARF, and NCAI Fund participated in a coalition of Native organizations submitting an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff tribes during the latest proceedings in the D.C. District Court and are encouraged by this outcome. We hope that this decision helps pave the way for full and proper environmental impact studies as well as meaningful consultation with tribal nations that have direct or indirect stewardship over the lands under review. Our organizations will continue to work to ensure that every time tribal lands and resources are at stake, the environmental review processes meet all legal standards and respect the federal government’s trust obligations to tribes set forth in federal laws.
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About the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association:
Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association is made up of the 16 Tribal Chairmen, Presidents, and Chairpersons in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Their purpose is to provide a forum for sharing information on matters of interest to its member Tribes, develop consensus on matters of mutual importance, assist member Tribes in their governmental and programmatic development consistent with their goals for self-determination, and self-sufficiency and provide for effective public relations and education program with non-Indian communities. For more information, please visit http://gptca.net/index.html
About the National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit www.ncai.org.
About the Native American Rights Fund:
Founded in 1970, NARF is the oldest and largest non-profit dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and individual Indians nationwide. For the past 50 years, NARF has represented over 275 Tribes in 31 states in such areas as tribal jurisdiction, federal recognition, land claims, hunting and fishing rights, religious liberties, and voting rights. For more information, visit www.narf.org.

 

The Native Vote Intiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 28, 2020
CONTACT:
NCAI to Launch 2020 Native Vote Efforts with Star-Studded Virtual Rally
WASHINGTON, D.C. | On Thursday, May 28th, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. EDT, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) President Fawn Sharp and DJ Emcee One will co-host the Native Vote Taking Action in 2020 Virtual Rally. This event will serve as the official kick-off for NCAI’s Native Vote initiative for 2020 and will stream live online via NCAI’s Facebook and YouTube channels to launch voter engagement in one of the most important years for civic engagement in Indian Country.
The evening’s lineup features appearances by:
·        Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM)
·        Mark Trahant, Indian Country Today and The Trahant Report
·        Natalie Landreth, Native American Rights Fund
·        OJ Semans, Sr., Four Directions, Inc.
·        Shelly Diaz, Native Vote Coordinator, Minnesota
·        Nichole Donaghy, Native Vote Coordinator, North Dakota
·        Jasha Lyons-Echohawk, Native Vote Coordinator, Oklahoma
·        Lindsey McCovey, Native Vote Coordinator, California
·        Teresa Melendez, Native Vote Coordinator, Nevada
·        Travis Lane, Native Vote Coordinator, Arizona
·        Anthony Tamez-Pochel, Youth Board Member, Center for Native American Youth
Native Vote is a legacy, nonpartisan voting initiative of NCAI which focuses on the key pillars of Voter Registration and Get-Out-The-Native-Vote (GOTNV), Election Protection, Education, and Data Collection. To read more about the Native Vote initiative, visit www.nativevote.org.
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About the National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit www.ncai.org.
National Congress of American Indians
Embassy of Tribal Nations
1516 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

Important Online Meeting!

https://350org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_LUAGAezKT6-xZvgneKG9Og

Organize to Win in 2020
Description

We’re hosting an urgent call to provide updates on the status of Keystone XL, what we’re doing to fight back in the midst of COVID-19, and how we can win in November.

Sign up below to join our call on Thursday, May 14th at 8pm ET/5pm PT to hear from Bill McKibben, key partners, and members of the 350.org team about what’s next.

If you can, please have some paper and a marker or pen available to participate in a quick activity during the call.

Time

May 14, 2020 07:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Montana, Navajo-owned company reach deal on sovereign immunity

https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/montana-navajo-owned-company-reach-deal-on-sovereign-immunity-g-y4lyhK0UGjTLyqturwCw

The Associated Press

Matthew Brown

Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana regulators have reached a deal allowing the state to enforce environmental laws at a large coal mine bought by a Navajo-owned company, officials said Thursday.

For months, executives from the Navajo Transitional Energy Company and state officials had been unable to resolve demands the company waive its immunity as a tribal entity from future lawsuits.

The mine shut down briefly in October when the dispute over sovereignty first emerged. Thursday’s agreement came a day before a temporary waiver agreement was set to expire.

The Navajo company bought the 275-worker Spring Creek strip mine along the Wyoming border and two mines in Wyoming last year from bankrupt Cloud Peak Energy.https _images.saymedia-content.com_.image_MTcxMTA1NzUzODk2MDY5MTA1_ap_20007830298569