Indian Country

Preserving the force of Navajo language: Dubbing ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’

FLAGSTAFF – Star Wars: A New Hope” was dubbed into the 700-year-old language of the Navajo in 2013 and now streams for subscribers of Disney+. The museum director who launched the dub sees it as a method of language preservation, with parallels between the tribe and “Star Wars.


Attorneys, advocates reflect on new Native American Voting Rights bill

The Native American Voting Rights Act aims to address voting barriers related to addresses, IDs and delivering ballot in tribal areas.


Chickasaw woman gets USDA post, one in a string of Indigenous nominees

WASHINGTON - For the first time in history, an Indigenous woman is overseeing U.S. agriculture law - but Janie Simms Hipp is just the latest in a number of Native Americans nominated to top posts in the Biden administration, highlighted by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.


Oklahoma tribes prepare to pivot to booster shots in COVID-19 battle

WASHINGTON - Formal guidance from the Indian Health Service on how and when to give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots is still in the works, but some tribes in Oklahoma are not waiting but getting ready with the news that booster shot guidelines are on the horizon.


Solutions and struggle: COVID relief highlights complexity of issues facing Native people

The pandemic exacerbated different infrastructure issues in Indigenous communities across the country.


Shawnee language classes move online during COVID-19 pandemic

Only about 100 people speak the ancient language of the Shawnee people, which has motivated tribal officials to educate more young people. 2020 was supposed to be the Year of the Shawnee Language in Oklahoma, but COVID-19 forced educators online. There were some positives.


Nevertheless, she persisted: Woman keeps helping, despite COVID losses

She has lost 20 blood relatives and many more friends during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Kim Holmes keeps showing up for work as a property manager for the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma so she can be there for those who need help the most.


Yurok Tribe in Northern California grows solutions in soil of crises

The COVID-19 pandemic, record drought in Northern California that has decimated fish populations and the persistent washout of the main highway have awakened the Yurok Tribe to food insecurity in the area.


House rejects extra funding to help tribal courts after McGirt ruling

WASHINGTON - The House this week rejected a proposal that would have added $154 million to the Bureau of Indian Affairs budget to help tribal courts cope with an influx of cases after a 2020 Supreme Court ruling that expanded tribal jurisdiction.


Legislation to change Native American team names lacks momentum in Arizona

PHOENIX – Colorado and Nevada recently passed laws restricting team names and mascots that reference Native American culture. One former state legislator who tried to make progress in this area thinks changing Arizona will be a challenge.


‘We had to keep going’: After COVID setbacks, Navajo police chief looks forward

WINDOW ROCK – Navajo Police Chief Phillip Francisco reflects on a year of resilience after COVID-19 put the department’s limited resources to the test.


Q&A: How one warrior mobilized to deliver water to the Navajo Nation

PHOENIX – A year since its founding, a water access campaign on the Navajo reservation has delivered more than 250,000 gallons of water to those in need. Founder Zoel Zohnnie talks about how he has kept the effort going and lessons learned.