- By Levi Rickert
A journalist asked me recently: What’s the one thing that mainstream media often get wrong about your community?
My answer was brief: Unfortunately, the media still speaks about Native Americans in the past tense.
The truth is: We are still here.
That’s part of the reason Native News Online was founded in 2011. Because the media often portrayed Native people in a negative light: high levels of alcoholism, poverty or as all being rich because of Indian casinos.
In our newsroom, we work to present a balanced and accurate portrayal of Native people living in contemporary times. We write about Native people as we are now, and the issues that actually matter to us.
We report on — and occasionally celebrate — Native people who, in 2022, are reaching new heights in art, science, business, and public service.
They’re not just doing great things in Indian Country. They’re doing great things that affect the entire country — and well beyond our borders, as well.
Throughout the month of November, Native News Online will highlight some of the Native Americans who have made “immeasurable contributions to the country’s progress,” as President Joe Biden noted in his proclamation about National Native American Heritage Month yesterday. We’ll share stories of Native Americans who have helped shape culture in Indian Country, the United States, and around the world.
We are still here, and our presence is growing. In advance of recognizing Native American Heritage Month, the U.S. Census Bureau released the following facts about American Indians and Alaska Natives:
The nation’s American Indian and Alaska Native population alone in 2020. This population group identifies as AI/AN only and does not identify with any other race.
The projected population of American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination with other race groups on July 1, 2060, about 2.5% of the projected total U.S. population.
The number of distinct, federally recognized American Indian reservations in 2022, including federal reservations and off-reservation trust land.
The number of federally recognized Indian tribes in 2022.
The number of single-race American Indian and Alaska Native veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces in 2021.
We are still here. We have been since time immemorial. And we plan to be for generations to come.
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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) 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. Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $25 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. 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.