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One of several billboards across the state of Arizona to mobilize Native voters in the 2020 Election. (MK Titla)

Among Arizona’s Indigenous electorate, the biggest support for Biden came from a county no one’s talking about.

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For Native voters, this election year has dealt us one disappointing data dilemma after another. It began weeks leading up to Election Day when journalists casually cast us off as a “low voter turnout” population but with little modern evidence to support these claims. On Election Night, we were quickly othered into a “Something Else” category with nearly zero attention paid to the small but significant impact Native voters, everywhere, have had in past elections. …


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One of several billboards across the state of Arizona to mobilize Native voters in the 2020 Election. (MK Titla)

In Arizona, significant support for Biden came from an Indigenous electorate no one is talking about.

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For Native voters this election year, we’ve been dealt one disappointing data dilemma after another. It began weeks leading up to Election Day when journalists casually cast us off as a “low voter turnout” population but with little modern evidence to support these claims. On Election Night, we were quickly othered into a “Something Else” category with little attention paid to the small but significant impact Native voters, everywhere, can have in an election cycle. …


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Candidate Jackie Fielder (D) campaigning for California’s State House District 11 seat in San Francisco, Oct. 12. (@JackieFieleder/Instagram)

A total of 146 Natives are in races big and small, making their voices heard nationwide and in 10 states.

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A record number of Indigenous candidates, including a historic number of Native women, could be elected to offices nationwide on Tuesday, in what would close the gap on the invisibility of Indigenous issues in government affairs.

An unprecedented 146 Native candidates are running as Democrat, Republican, Independent, and of the newly formed Aloha ʻĀina Party, for seats available across the House of Representatives and the Senate, and onto less-observed political contests that could have a significant impact for Indian Country. …


In political races that may end with the narrowest of victories, the nation’s Indigenous electorate is playing a key role

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Supporters hold “Lumbees for Trump” signs as President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Robeson County Fairgrounds in Lumberton, North Carolina, Oct. 24, 2020 (Chris Seward)

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Lumberton, North Carolina might not seem like the kind of place influential enough to sway one of the most important outcomes this election year. But in the state’s pivotal U.S. Senate race, the contest is casting light on a little-known but critical Native American swing vote: the Lumbees of Robeson County.

One of the most diverse electorates predictably voting Democrat, the Lumbees went red in favor of Donald Trump in 2016. …


Four in five Native women experience violence in their lifetime. Now, healing and reconciliation are top of mind for voters.

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The day my mother told me my abusive father would be moving out, I fake cried to mask my happiness. At eight-years-old, I was a victim of repeated domestic violence, although I didn’t see myself that way. I was just a Native kid growing up in the early 1980s when society mostly ignored such cases of chronic abuse. The story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Seymour Hersh, is a testament to these times. He knew that President Richard Nixon beat his wife in 1974 but didn’t report it. “I was obtuse to the notion that it was a crime,” Hersh told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! in 2018. …


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The Indigenous Delegation arrives at the Geneva conference, 1977. (John Curl)

More states and cities are adopting Indigenous Peoples Day since it was first proposed in 1977

Indigenous Peoples Day 2020 falls on October 12.

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In 1977, dozens of delegates from across Indian Country traveled to the UN Geneva, to make the first declaration for Indigenous Peoples Day. Forty-three years later, this nascent attempt at narrative change is now a trend that’s wildly catching on in America.

This Monday, October 12, will mark the thirtieth anniversary since the first state in the Union formally replaced Columbus Day with a day to acknowledge a more accurate representation of American history— one that involves those who were actually here. …


Native Americans die from police violence more than any other American, a fact that is chronically overlooked.

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Jacob Blake (left) was shot seven times by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey, Sunday, Aug. 23. Brandon Laducer, a Turtle Mountain tribal citizen was reportedly shot by police an unknown number of times on the reservation the same day. (Photos: Obtained from Facebook)

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In the early morning hours of Sunday, August 23, Stephanie Laducer found herself on the Turtle Mountain Indian reservation outside the home where her nephew, 38-year-old Brandon Laducer, had just been shot by the police. Minutes before he died, Stephanie said he spoke what would be some of his last words. “He said, ‘I love you auntie, you are one of the best people I know,’” she reportedly told Native News Online.

Days later, Stephanie, 48, would turn to Facebook to openly grieve. Brandon, she wrote, was like a son to her. …


How an Iñupiat Trump Official, Tara Sweeney, is challenging everything you know about Indigenous environmentalism

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A 2017 newsletter cover of the Iñupiat-owned Arctic Slope Regional Corp. after Congress opened part of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration.

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It was late-February, 2001 when a doe-eyed Tara Sweeney, then 27-years-old, joined members of Congress and others to promote drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. President George W. Bush had been in office barely a month. Expanding the reserve for oil exploration had been one of his top campaign issues. A year earlier as Governor of Texas, Bush rallied to reduce America’s dependency on foreign oil. …


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Voting rights advocate Lucy Nicolar Poolaw of the Penobscot Nation casts the first Native American vote allowed on a reservation in Maine, 1955. (Danny Maher, Bangor Daily News)

The feminists in the (unfinished) battle for suffrage in Indian Country

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It took the better part of a century to pass a law saying American women had the right to vote. It took even longer to deliver this right to Indigenous women — which really short-changed all Native Americans. For the longest time, the word “suffrage” has been aligned with the historic passage of the 19th Amendment, a decree ratified a century ago, this week, outlawing discrimination of voters on the basis of their sex. But in reality, such shorthand, couched in twentieth-century white feminism, was exclusionary. …


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Harlan McKosato (Sac and Fox) longtime broadcaster and columnist who addressed modern Indigenous issues passed away Tuesday, July 21, 2020. He was 54. PHOTO: Harlan McKosato’s Memorial Fund, GoFundMe

Reckoning with the life and death of a Native American journalist

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The last time I saw Harlan McKosato was too long ago, the summer of 2011. I was in Santa Fe for a weeklong documentary film workshop that turned out to be a disaster. I recall meeting Harlan, my Sac and Fox journalism colleague, at the end of that awful week. Together we lamented about how hard it is to be Native in the white world of media. …

About

Jenni Monet

Journalist and media critic reporting on Indigenous Affairs | Founder of the weekly newsletter @Indigenous_ly | Kʰɑwɑjkʰɑ (@LagunaPueblo ) jennimonet.com

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