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July is recognized as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Due to recent news from Canada that over 1,400 graves have been discovered on four different Indian residential schools, there has been a lot of sadness and anger that has emerged among Native communities across Canada and the United States.

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Throughout American history, the relationship between American Indians and the U.S. government has been fraught with mistreatment, oppression and disregard for the welfare of Indian people. The federal government has shown little regard for American Indians and callously labeled this country’s colonized inhabitants as the “Indian problem.”

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Non-Natives often wonder how American Indians celebrate the Fourth of July — or Independence Day — the day of the “birth” of the nation 245 years ago in 1776. As with any other group of Americans, Native people are not monolithic, therefore, the answer is there is no set way.

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While the emerging stories about Indian residential school cemeteries in Canada are shocking to many, they are not to many Native Americans and First Nation citizens. 

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This past Tuesday, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) addressed the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Mid Year Conference.

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Be aware that in an abusive relationship, violence is used as a tactic for the abuser to maintain power and control over the victim-survivor. The violence will continue and may escalate in intensity and frequency. 

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Native American mascots contribute to the oppression of Native Americans throughout our country, and they create an externality on all oppressed minorities by encouraging a culture of stereotyping. 

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My name is Lauren Peters. I am enrolled with the Agdaagux Tribe in the Unangax Nation in the land and waters that are now considered the Aleutian and Priblof Islands of Alaska. I am a first year PhD student in Native American Studies at UC Davis. I have a designated emphasis in Human Rights concentrating on Human Rights of the Dead. That emphasis is to reflect my work finding and documenting Alaska Native children who died and are buried in Native American boarding school cemeteries. One of which is my great Aunt Sophia from St. Paul Island who is buried at Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. We are rematriating her home to St. Paul Island this summer.

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President Joe Biden signed the legislation into law on Thursday that makes Juneteenth a national holiday. Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day, celebrates June 19, 1865, the date the people of Texas were informed slavery was over.

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The annual Tri-Council gathering of Cherokee leaders from the Cherokee Nation, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians is an opportunity to celebrate our shared values and culture, as well as our diverse histories. Our separate, sovereign governments are the only three federally recognized tribes of Cherokees. Together, we represent more than 420,000 Cherokee citizens.