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By Joe Byrd, Speaker of the Cherokee Nation Council

Opinion. Tribal nations facing the fallout from the pandemic are truly dealing with a Herculean task. The Cherokee Nation has been fortunate in that the Administration, Council, health services team and staff understood early on how important it would be to listen to the scientists and act accordingly.

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Opinion. Fifteen members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to President Joe Biden late last month asking that he withdraw the nomination of Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) as secretary of the Department of the Interior. Haaland, a tribal citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, will become the first American Indian to serve in a president’s cabinet when confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

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Opinion. When sports icon Jim Thorpe met with other founders over a century ago to establish the rules for what became the National Football League, he made one thing clear: the league was not going to jeopardize the careers of amateur athletes.

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Opinion. The way we learn Native history in the United States just doesn’t make sense. 

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Since his swearing in on Jan. 20, President Joe Biden’s moves have been favorable to American Indian and Alaska Native concerns.

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The Biden-Harris Campaign had an unprecedented outreach to Indian Country which made the difference in key battle ground states to retain Minnesota and turn Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada blue. Today, President Biden released his Presidential Memorandum reaffirming President Bill Clinton’s E.O.13175 which established Government to Government relations with tribes. 

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In the late 1990s, I testified before a joint legislative committee of the Michigan Legislature about the benefits of tribal gaming casinos on tribal citizens. Before I began, I introduced myself and noted I was a citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.

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Native Americans in California and across the country lost two giants on the same day at the end of December—Joseph Myers and Chairman Marshall McKay. Both were my longtime friends. Their influence and fierce protection of our culture and traditions were invaluable. Mr. Myers was a leader in fostering legal justice and a pioneer in tribal law and successfully helped  reverse the termination of 17 California Indian Rancherias. He passed away from long-term cardiac issues. Chairman McKay, who passed from the novel coronavirus, co-founded the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation on the board of the National Museum of the American Indian and served as the first Indigenous Chair of the Autry Museum of the American West and led his tribe to economic sustainability. Both accomplished much more than I can list here.

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Opinion. As Americans celebrate Martin Luther King Day on Monday, across America, many tribal, federal, state and local governments will be closed to honor the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Dr. King’s words uncannily depict today’s America

Opinion. At the end of 2020, most Americans – including those in Indian Country – breathed a sigh of relief and hoped aloud for a better year in 2021. The politics of 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic proved to be traumatic for Americans.