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WASHINGTON — In addition to articles already covered by Native News Online, here is a roundup of other news released from Washington, D.C. that impacts Indian Country during the past week.

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hosts “Public Safety in Native Communities” Roundtable

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hosted a roundtable on safety in Native communities. The main topic of discussion was understanding how effectively the Departments of the Interior and Justice and representatives from tribes and Native organizations are working together to strengthen public safety. 

In particular, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 2022, the Not Invisible Act and Savannah's Act, and the necessary aid to fully implement these pieces of legislation were discussed. These were all created to help provide the tools and resources needed for Native communities to keep people safe and provide justice for victims and their families.  

The roundtable panelists included many prominent figures in Indian Country: 

  • Tracy Canard Goodluck, Senior Advisor, Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.
  • Jason O’Neal, Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs - Office of Justice Services, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.
  • Robert E. Chapman, Acting Director, Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
  • The Honorable Eugena Charles-Newton, Chairwoman, Law and Order Committee, Navajo Nation Council, Shiprock, NM
  • Mark Kawika Patterson, Chair, Hawai‘i State Correctional Systems Oversight Commission and Administrator, Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility, Honolulu, HI
  • Michael Ford, Chief of Police, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Reno, NV
  • Lucy Rain Simpson, Executive Director, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Lame Deer, MT
  • Nikki Borchardt Campbell, Executive Director, National American Indian Court Judges Association, Boulder, CO
  • Alex Cleghorn, Sr. Legal and Policy Director, Alaska Native Justice Center, Anchorage, AK

Click here to watch Vice Chairman Murkowski’s opening remarks and questions to panelists.

Boundary Waters and Joint Hearing on the Bureau of Indian Education to be held on Tuesday

The Natural Resources Committee is holding two live streamed events next week. Both events will be held Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The first live stream, held by the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States, will start at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Led by Chair Teresa Leger Fernández, a joint oversight hearing led with the Committee on Education on Labor, Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. It is titled “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the Bureau of Indian Education”. 

Watch the livestream live here.

The second live stream will be held at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources is to hold a legislative hearing on H.R. 2794. It will be led by Chair Alan Lowenthal. 

H.R.2794, or the Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act, would provide for the protection fo the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and interconnected Federal lands and waters, including Voyageurs National Park, within the Rainy River Watershed in Minnesota. 

Watch this livestream here.  

Neely Bardwell (descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), a Michigan State University student who is interning with Native News Online, contributed to these briefs.

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You’re reading the first draft of history. 

November is  Native American Heritage Month in the United States. We feel like every month — and every day — is a reason for celebrating Native Americans and our heritage. That’s what we try to do here at Native News Online, with stories each day that celebrate, inform and uplift American Indian and Alaska Native people. Over the past year or so, we have been especially busy with three important reporting projects that are having an impact across Indian Country:

  • Indian Boarding Schools. We’ve reported and published more than 150 stories and special live stream video events to help shine a light on the dark era of boarding schools — and help create momentum for change.
  • Native Health Desk. Launched in January, this reporting initiative was created to heighten awareness of Native American health inequities and spotlight pockets of progress in Indian Country. So far we’ve reported and published nearly 120 stories and launched a monthly health newsletter that reaches more than 23,000 readers.  
  • Native Bidaske. In March, we launched this live stream interview program to highlight the work of Native Americans who are making news and leading change in Indian Country.  We have hosted guests from the federal government and Native rights advocates as well as Indigenous actors, comedians, journalists and models.   

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