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.


Taking AIM: Arizona hospitals band together to fight maternal mortality

PHOENIX – Pregnancy-related deaths have been rising in the U.S., especially among Black and Indigenous women. In Arizona, a new effort aims to address that by providing hospitals with standards of care to help spot complications before it’s too late.


Enduring trauma: Indigenous boarding schools will be investigated, Interior Secretary Haaland announces

PHOENIX – There’s a legacy of abuse-ridden boarding schools for Indigenous children in America. Recently, mass graves of Native children were found at boarding schools in Canada. U.S. Interior Sec. Deb Haaland announced the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative to identify boarding school facilities and burial sites across the country and review enrollment lists.


Shipping sage and praying on Zoom: How an Indigenous healing practice survived the pandemic

PHOENIX – For centuries, Native Americans have used talking circles to solve problems and provide healing. During the pandemic, these practices moved online and outdoors to help those in need.


Navajo have COVID-19 under control, but still leery of Delta variant

WASHINGTON - The Navajo Nation has yet to record a single case of the Delta variant of COVID-19, but now is not the time for tribe members to let down their guard, Navajo President Jonathan Nez said Wednesday.


Tribal leaders bring litany of needs to hearing on federal funding

WASHINGTON - To the Tohono O'odham, it's schools and health care. To the Hopi, it's a badly needed jail improvements. Those were among the laundry list of needs outlined at a hearing on federal facilities in Indian Country, a situation that one lawmaker called a "travesty."