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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.

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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. 

This month, support news coverage that inspires, uplifts, and informs Native Americans.

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:

3.7 million

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.

10.1 million

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.

324

The number of distinct, federally recognized American Indian reservations in 2022, including federal reservations and off-reservation trust land. 

574

The number of federally recognized Indian tribes in 2022.

120,944

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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Native News Weekly (May 19, 2024): D.C. Briefs
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First Lady Jill Biden 'Shows Up' in Indian Country
National Indian Gaming Commission Announces Sharon Avery as Acting Chair
The Jicarilla Apache Nation Mourns the Passing of President Edward Velarde

These stories must be heard.

This May, we are highlighting our coverage of Indian boarding schools and their generational impact on Native families and Native communities. Giving survivors of boarding schools and their descendants the opportunity to share their stories is an important step toward healing — not just because they are speaking, but because they are being heard. Their stories must be heard. Help our efforts to make sure Native stories and Native voices are heard in 2024. Please consider a recurring donation to help fund our ongoing coverage of Indian boarding schools. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi "Calm Before the Storm" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected].