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WASHINGTON — In addition to news already covered during the previous week, each Sunday Native News Online provides an overview of activity in Washington, D.C. that impacts Indian Country during the past week.

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The Blackfeet Nation is mourning the passing of Earl Old Person, who served as tribal chairman of the tribe for 50 years. Old Person was a Blackfeet Nation Honorary Lifetime Chief. The Blackfeet Nation announced on Wednesday evening that Old Person passed away at the Blackfeet Community Hospital after a long battle with cancer. Chief Old Person was 92.

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On Thursday October 14, nearly 50 people, mostly Indigenous, occupied the Department of Interior building in Washington, D.C. as part of a weeklong series of demonstrations demanding the current administration declare a climate emergency and stop approving fossil fuel projects. 

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Fawn Sharp was re-elected to serve as president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the largest national American Indian organization in the United States, on Wednesday, October 13, during the virtual NCAI 78th Annual Convention.

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In keeping with the status quo of a diverse department, the U.S. Department of the Interior on Wednesday announced the appointment of two new tribal citizens.

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SAN FRANCISCO — In pre-dawn hours of Monday, October 11—Indigenous Peoples’ Day—hundreds of people boarded ferries at Pier 33 in San Francisco for a short ferry ride to Alcatraz Island, where they participated in the Indigenous Peoples’ Day Sunrise Gathering.

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On Monday, October 11, a physician employed by the Cherokee Nation was arrested in Chicot County, Arkansas for first-degree murder of a nurse also employed by the tribe. Both were non-tribal members. 

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RANDALLS ISLAND, New York—The word “recognize” doesn’t exist in the Shinnecock Nation language, according to tribal member Chenae Bullock. She is one of the organizers of the seventh annual New York City Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration on Randalls Island, a small island located in the East River, between Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens. 

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Once every 10 years federal and state districts are drawn up from data released by the U.S. Census. In New Mexico, the state’s legislature will vote in December to approve new redistricting maps.