Native American News Roundup 13-19 November 2022

Here’s a recap of some of the top Native American stories in this week’s US news:

Some wins, some losses for Indigenous candidates in mid-term vote

More than 90 Indigenous candidates ran in Tuesday’s US midterm elections, including 11 congressional candidates.

Republican Markwayne Mullin, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, will represent Oklahoma in the US Senate, becoming the first Native American to serve in the Senate since former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a Republican from Colorado, retired in 2005.

Rep. Sharice Davids, a Kansas Democrat, won a third term in the US House of Representatives.

Republican US Rep. Tom Cole of the Chickasaw Nation will serve an eleventh term in Oklahoma’s fourth congressional district.

Republican Governor Kevin Stitt, a Cherokee citizen, won the Oklahoma governor’s race.

Lynnette Gray Bull, a Democrat of the Northern Arapaho and Standing Rock Sioux tribes, lost to Republican Harriet Hageman in the fight for Wyoming’s seat in the US House of Representatives.

Democrat Mary Peltola, a Yu’pik native of Alaska, is leading Republican congressional candidate Sarah Palin for a permanent seat in Congress. However, because the state is using a new ranked voting system, the final results may not be announced until later this month.

Native News Online follows the candidates; read more here.

FILE - Patrons of the San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino play slot machines June 8, 2006 on the San Manuel Indian Reservation, California.

FILE – Patrons of the San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino play slot machines June 8, 2006 on the San Manuel Indian Reservation, California.

California Tribes retain exclusive gaming rights

California voters overwhelmingly rejected two measures that would have legalized sports betting.

Proposition 26 would have legalized sports betting in tribal casinos and allowed them to offer craps and roulette. Proposal 27 would have allowed online and mobile sports betting.

Tribes supported Proposition 26, which would have expanded their gaming activities, but rejected Proposition 27 because it would have allowed online sports betting outside of Native American lands and reduced their gaming exclusivity.

Today, 76 California Indian gaming casinos are owned by 73 of the state’s 109 tribes, making California the nation’s largest Indian gaming state with combined annual revenues of nearly $9 billion.

Read more here.

Members of the Indigenous Youth Council pray during a ceremony marking the return of sacred artifacts to the Lakota people, Sat. Nov. 5, 2022, Barre Mass.

Members of the Indigenous Youth Council pray during a ceremony marking the return of sacred artifacts to the Lakota people, Sat. Nov. 5, 2022, Barre Mass.

After two decades of waiting, the sacred Lakota artifacts are home

A delegation from Oglala and Cheyenne River Lakota and members of the Wounded Knee Survivors Association traveled to Barre, Massachusetts to retrieve more than 130 artifacts from a museum that has housed them for more than a century.

During a public ceremony at a local school, descendants spoke of their ancestors who were killed or wounded in the 1890 massacre that claimed the lives of hundreds of supporters of Miniconjou Lakota leader Spotted Elk as they made their way to the Pine Ridge traveled to the reserve.

In 1992, a local anthropologist alerted the Wounded Knee Survivors Association about the artifacts being kept at the Barre Museum.

“I was shocked,” said Alex White Plume, a former Oglala president who was among a group of Lakota who traveled to Barre to see the items and ask for their return.

“We went to the museum and you could just feel the spirits,” he told VOA. “I’ve seen baby clothes totally beaded in just beautiful designs. And then I would look at the back and there would be a big black hole where the bullet went through.”

If these things stayed in the museum, White Plume said, their spirits would “remain captive on this earth.”

Back at Pine Ridge, the artifacts will be held at Oglala Lakota College until the 130th anniversary of the massacre on December 29, where they will be honored in a ceremony and distributed to the tribes.

Read more here.

Native American protesters stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the court hears disputes over the Indian Child Welfare Act, Wednesday, November 9, 2022, in Washington.

Native American protesters stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the court hears disputes over the Indian Child Welfare Act, Wednesday, November 9, 2022, in Washington.

Tribes Hopeful Indian Child Welfare Law will endure

This week the US Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could not only decide the future of many Native American children but ultimately compromise the sovereignty of Native American nations.

Brackeen v. Haaland began as a lawsuit challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act, a 1978 law designed to prevent states from placing Native American children in non-Native American families, a practice many Native Americans believe is a continuation of historic efforts about forced assimilation is .

The lawsuit was first filed in 2016 by three groups of potential adoptive parents, all non-Native Americans who foster Native American children. They were joined by the states of Texas, Indiana and Louisiana, with support from the conservative Goldwater Institute, to take the US government to court to try to overthrow ICWA.

Now in the nation’s highest court, the lawsuit argues that states should decide child welfare cases, not the federal government. Proponents say the law discriminates against non-native families based on their race, violating the constitution’s equal protections clause.

The US Constitution gives Congress, not the states, full authority to deal with issues affecting Native American tribes.

“Here’s the truth,” Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement about the suit. “The US Constitution recognizes tribes as sovereign nations, and courts have repeatedly recognized tribal citizenship as a political classification. This may be an uncomfortable fact for those trying to convince the court that ICWA violates the Constitution’s equal protections clause, but neither the facts nor the precedent are on their side.”

Tribes worry that amending or repealing the ICWA could pave the way for constitutional challenges to other federal laws and policies that affect tribes, such as: B. Criminal Justice, Casino Games and Tribal Mineral Rights. The court’s decision is expected next June.

Legal analyst and Supreme Court observer Amy L. Howe notes that the court appeared divided.

“After more than three hours of hearings, several judges expressed doubts about certain provisions of the sweeping law, although they appeared reluctant to scrap the law in its entirety,” she wrote. “Wednesday’s reasoning pointed to an outcome that, while not what the federal government and tribes want, may not be the disastrous outcome they feared either.”

Read more here:

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