‘We were always sovereign’: Hia-Ced O’odham seek federal recognition as a tribe

PHOENIX – In Arizona, 22 federally recognized tribes inhabit nearly every region of the state, but the Hia-Ced O’odham community isn’t one of them. Some members are working to change that, and others believe it may be too difficult to achieve.

Lourdes “Lulu” Pereira is a student worker at the Labriola Center and the official archivist for the Hia-Ced Hemajkam LLC, which was established in 2015 to work toward federal recognition and reclamation of ancestral lands. Photo taken Dec. 1, 2022, at Hayden Library in Tempe. (Photo by Campbell Wilmot/Cronkite News)

Statewide hotline to support mental health during and after pregnancy

TUCSON – A hotline expected to launch next spring seeks to help improve access to information and treatment options for perinatal mental health.

Allison, who asked that only her first name be used because of concerns about mental health stigma, sits in front of her home in Tucson on Nov. 3, 2022. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 18, Allison sought help from a perinatal psychiatrist when she decided to start a family. A new statewide hotline aims to help more people like her. (Photo by Laura Bargfeld/Cronkite News)

Arizona taking steps to combat maternal mortality, one doula at a time

TEMPE – A new doula advisory committee in Arizona is developing certification procedures for the nonmedical labor professionals. It will bring the state one step closer to increasing access to doulas – who, research shows, can help prevent pregnancy-associated deaths.

Latisa Ratliff holds her daughter in her living room in Tempe, Arizona, on Nov. 16, 2022. As a birth doula and a mother of three, Ratliff encourages her clients to find a health care provider who listens to their individual needs. “Listen to that mother’s intuition,” Ratliff says. (Photo by Laura Bargfeld/Cronkite News)

Tribal leaders welcome return of White House summit, administration pledges

WASHINGTON - For the first time in six years, leaders of federally recognized tribes from across the country gathered in Washington this week to meet with Biden administration officials in a gathering one Oklahoma leader called "extremely powerful."


Cronkite News changes name of topic category to ‘Indigenous Communities’

PHOENIX – Cronkite News is changing the name of one of our main topics – Indian Country – to Indigenous Communities. The reason: The term Indigenous is viewed by many as more inclusive.


Arizona students come to lobby as courts, Congress, fight over Oak Flat

WASHINGTON - A group of Arizona high school students and alumni was in Washington this week to lobby for a bill that would block development of a copper mine at Oak Flat, land that is sacred to the San Carlos Apache.


Appeals court gives Resolution Copper mine opponents another chance

WASHINGTON - A federal court said it will take another look at claims that the proposed Resolution Copper mine should be delayed because it sits on land sacred to the Apache and would violate their religious rights by destroying Oak Flat.


After long fight, tribal water bills get primary OK; still far from final

WASHINGTON - A trio of bills affecting water rights and infrastructure for Arizona tribes took a step closer to becoming law Wednesday, a move one official said his tribe has been waiting for since being forced onto the reservation.


Arizonans among those celebrating national memorial to Native veterans

WASHINGTON - A group of 51 Native American veterans from Arizona were in Washington for Veterans Day, part of a contingent of 1,500 Indigenous vets from across the country who were on hand for the formal dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial.


Justices grapple with legality of Indian Child Welfare Act in marathon hearing

WASHINGTON - Over the course of three hours Wednesday, the Supreme Court grappled with whether a law meant to keep Indigenous children with Native American families should be overturned as racist and unconstitutional, as critics charge.


Supreme Court asked to rule ‘gold standard’ of tribal adoption laws racist

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court will consider Wednesday whether the Indian Child Welfare Act is the "gold standard" of child welfare policy or a "outrageous and unconstitutional" law that has outlived its time.


Ride to the polls: Grassroots effort gets people out to vote on the Navajo Nation

KAYENTA – Protect the Sacred is a grassroots effort to find new and creative ways to engage with young Indigenous voters. Earlier this year, the group skateboarded to the polls for the primary election, and recently they gathered in Kayenta to ride horses to the polls ahead of Nov. 8.