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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Native News Online, in partnership with Verizon Media and the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association (MMCA), is hosting a Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) live stream on Monday, October 19, 2020, at 7 p.m. – EDT.

This non-partisan event will feature Indian Country leaders talking about the crucial role American Indians and Alaska Natives will play in the general election on Nov. 3. 

Native News Online recognizes elections are important to American Indians and Alaska Natives because the election results produce elected officials who vote on policies and issues critical to Indian Country. However, the National Congress of American Indians reports that 1.2 million (34 percent) of American Indians and Alaska Natives are unregistered to vote. Native News Online wants to help change that.

“Beyond the issues that concern average Americans, Native voters view elections differently because so many elected officials make decisions that directly impact Native Americans, such as tribal sovereignty, water settlement rights and sacred sites. With that in mind, Native News Online wants to be a leader among Native publications in covering the upcoming 2020 general election,” Levi Rickert, Native News Online’s publisher and editor said.

Four Directions, a national American Indian voting rights organization, reports data from recent elections that support the notion that the Native vote could influence election results in seven major swing states: Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.

The U.S. Senate approves critical issues to Indian Country, such as the Supreme Court, congressional appropriations, and other issues, is being watched closely by political experts. Senate races in Arizona, Colorado, Michigan and North Carolina are viewed as competitive. The Native vote could possibly be the deciding factor in the November election.

The GOTV forum will be moderated by Levi Rickert (Potawatomi) and Native News Online’s Managing Editor Kyle Edwards (Anishinaabe), the live-streaming event includes Native congressional leaders and a panel that includes: 

  • Aaron Payment – First Vice President of National Congress of American Indians and Chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  • OJ Seamans – Founder and Co-Director of Four Directions
  • Yvette Joseph – Washington State Native American Caucus
  • Red Dawn Foster – South Dakota state senator (D)
  • Kevin Killer – former South Dakota state senator; currently president of Advance Native Political Leadership

The GOTV forum is part of Native News Online’s 2020 election coverage. Other events include: Native Voter Roundtable (Oct.15, 2020) and Election Night Coverage (November 3, 2020).

On Monday, Native News Online will also unveil the results of its landmark national survey of Native voters that highlights what’s at stake in the upcoming election and the issues that matter to voters throughout Indian Country.

Besides the support of Verizon Media and MMCA, other sponsors include the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa, Amazon, Rosette Law and Four Directions. 

Register for the GOTV forum: #NativeVote #EnergizetheNativeVote


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