- By Native News Online Staff
WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior said today it is working with states to formally designate Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas and the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) in New Mexico as voter registration agencies under the National Voter Registration Act.
The designation of the two higher education institutions will facilitate voter registration opportunities for enrolled students and members of the communities, according to a statement from the DOI.
The announcement follows the release of the White House’s Native American Voting Rights Report, which chronicles the barriers Native voters face and recommends actions for policymakers at every level to help break these barriers down.
“Tribal nations have played a significant role in influencing the contours of American democracy, yet systemic barriers continue to disenfranchise Indigenous people and impede a free and fair electoral process,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement. “The Interior Department is committed to defending the right to vote, which includes increasing access to voter registration and engaging young people in our democratic system.”
To help make the report accessible to a wide audience across Indian Country, the Assistant Secretary’s office is spearheading an effort to translate the report into six Native languages: Navajo, Yup’ik, Ojibwe, Cherokee, Lakota and Native Hawaiian.
“Today’s announcement helps further the Administration's goals of increasing voter outreach, education, registration and turnout in Indigenous communities. Haskell and SIPI serve as important touchpoints in their respective communities,” Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland said in a statement. “Designating these schools as voter registration agencies is an important move that will allow more Native people the opportunity to register to vote.”
More Stories Like ThisWATCH: Native Bidaské with Domestic Violence Prevention Specialist Kayla Woody Discuss the Dangers of Stalking
Native News Weekly (January 29, 2023): D.C. Briefs
7-Year-Old Boy Dies from Dog Attack on Fort Hall Reservation
Navajo Nation Elects Its First Female Speaker
WATCH: Indigenous Chef Crystal Wahpepah on Native Bidaske
Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news?
For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW), the attacks on tribal sovereignty at the Supreme Court and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Please consider a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10 to help fund us throughout the year. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.