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WASHINGTON — In a letter released Monday, U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland (D- NM, 1st District) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ (3rd District) asked for the release of American indigenous rights activist Leonard Peltier from federal prison.  

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EAGLE BUTTE, S.D. — Two days after a deadline set by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem expired, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Oglala Sioux Tribes still have their roadside checkpoints in place and wait for Noem’s next move. 

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WASHINGTON — The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Interior has launched an ethics probe into a senior official’s handling of $8 billion in CARES Act funding for tribes, as well as allegations that the DOI improperly released sensitive tribal government information.  

Mark Lee Greenblatt, Inspector General U.S. Department of Interior.

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Monday Update: 82 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths reported, 

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The HuffPost on Monday pointed out the Navajo Nation “marked a grim milestone on Sunday, recording more coronavirus cases per capita on its reservation than any of the 50 U.S. states.”

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JUNEAU, Alaska — The state of Alaska is mourning the passing of Bryon Mallott, a tribal citizen of the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, who served as the state’s lieutenant governor from 2014 to 2018. Mallott died unexpectedly on Friday after suffering a major heart attack on Thursday. He was 77.

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PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION — Oglala Sioux Tribe President Julian Runner Bear reacted to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s Friday letter in which she threatened legal action against the Oglala Sioux Tribe if 10 checkpoints into the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation were not removed within 48 hours.

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz.    On Sunday evening, the Navajo Nation reported reported 149 new cases of COVID-19 for the Navajo Nation and an addition of two more deaths for a total of death toll of 100.  A total of 18,153 COVID-19 tests have been administered with 13,665 negative test results.

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Opinion

This past weekend, the national news was all over the unfolding showdown between the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem who on Friday threatened the two tribes with legal action if they did not take down their checkpoints within 48 hours. The checkpoints were put up to curtail traffic into their reservations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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LAWRENCE, Kan. — The teepee erected to honor the spring graduates at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas was not a mere reminder of housing of our tribal ancestors. It was meant to remind graduating students that “you stand on your own,” according to Jared Nally (Miami Tribe of Oklahoma).