The Department of the Interior is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that the department incorrectly found that the tribe did not qualify for land-in-trust status. . . . U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman, at the time, said that the department’s 2018 decision that the tribe was not under federal jurisdiction in 1934 was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and contrary to law.” He sent the case back to the department for “thorough reconsideration and reevaluation of the evidence.” The judge also said the department could take no further action on disestablishing the tribe’s reservation until it correctly applied its guidelines on reconsideration. Read more here.
THE U.S. SUPREME Court issued a decision last week that altered the map of Oklahoma. The eastern half of the state, including much of Tulsa, is now, for legal purposes, Indian country. The Supreme Court decision was uncommon — Indigenous people have seen few victories so sweeping in the high court — but treaty violations like those that occurred in Oklahoma are not. . . . “As important and right on as this decision is, it does not give tribes anything new,” Sarah Krakoff, a law professor at the University of Colorado, told The Intercept. “There are these treaty promises and treaty rights, but tribes have to litigate to make them real, especially in the modern era, because from the time the treaties were negotiated until now, federal Indian policies abandoned commitment to treaties.” Rulings like the one in Oklahoma, she added, affirm a reality that has been routinely ignored: “Treaties are the law of the land.” Read more here.
But despite the fact the LNG terminal has been nixed, TC Energy isn’t giving up on its plan to build the pipeline. No other LNG terminals have been publicly proposed for the Prince Rupert area, but the company appears to be holding out hope that someone pitches one —and gets it built.
“Continuing to force communities, First Nations and stakeholders to spend their time and energy responding to ill-advised project extensions like this one is an exercise in futility and a waste of taxpayer and investment dollars,” he wrote in a letter to TC Energy. “You guys are like zombies, you keep trying to rise from the dead.”Read more here.
Leaders from Seattle Indian Health Board, Chief Seattle Club, and United Indians of All Tribes Foundation are calling for the acts of violence at Seattle City Councilwoman Debora Juarez’s home to end. Juarez, the first Indigenous woman ever elected to the Seattle City Council, has challenged a proposal to defund the Seattle Police Department by 50% because it lacks any plan for how to reallocate the resources and reinvest in marginalized communities. Construing her position as opposition, protesters have twice left materials on her doorstep and marched at her home on Sunday afternoon and evening and again late Wednesday evening. Read more here.
YES Omar and Sanders!!! Trying again to get something through Congress. End Polluter Welfare Act (Text of the bill at: https://omar.house.gov/sites/omar.house.gov/files/Bill%20Text%20-%20EPWA.pdf) "It is outrageous that the federal government has exploited a pandemic to throw even more public money at the industry that created and profited from the climate crisis," said Jiang. "A bill to end giveaways for the fossil fuel industry—which is saddled with debt and recklessly polluting Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities—is long overdue. It's time to shift our investments to protect people on the frontlines of the climate crisis and support fossil fuel workers in the transition to a world beyond fossil fuels." "Conservative estimates put U.S. direct subsidies to the fossil fuel industry at roughly $20 billion per year; with 20 percent currently allocated to coal and 80 percent to natural gas and crude oil. European Union subsidies are estimated to total 55 billion euros annually.Jul 29, 2019" EESI Study (https://www.eesi.org/papers/view/fact-sheet-fossil-fuel-subsidies-a-closer-look-at-tax-breaks-and-societal-costs) Additional info at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsmoor/2019/06/15/united-states-spend-ten-times-more-on-fossil-fuel-subsidies-than-education/#4a06bb9c4473 and https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/fossil-fuel-subsidies-must-end/ More info on the act itself: https://www.sanders.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/EPW_Act_fact_sheet.pdf
A federal judge has ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline to shut down and remove all oil within 30 days, a huge win for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and the other plaintiffs. In a 24-page order, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wrote that he was "mindful of the disruption" that shutting down the pipeline would cause, but that it must be done within 30 days. The order comes after Boasberg said in April that a more extensive review was necessary than what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had already conducted and that he would consider whether the pipeline would have to be shuttered during the new assessment. Read more here.
The U.S. Supreme Court handed another setback to the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline from Canada on Monday by keeping in place a lower court ruling that blocked a key environmental permit for the project. Canadian company TC Energy needs the permit to continue building the long-disputed pipeline from Canada across U.S. rivers and streams. Without it, the project that has been heavily promoted by President Donald Trump faces more delay just as work on it had finally begun this year following years of courtroom battles. Monday's order also put on hold a previous court ruling out of Montana as it pertains to other oil and gas pipelines across the nation. Read more here.
A growing number of tribal nations and intertribal organizations have adopted climate assessment and adaptation plans, according to the National Congress of American Indians. In Washington State, several tribes have included relocation as one of their adaptation strategies. . . . NRDC senior policy analyst Anna A. Weber, who studies the impacts of climate change and climate adaptation policies, says other factors also contribute to positioning Indigenous peoples like the Quinault Indian Nation on the front lines of our climate crisis. “The people who are the most likely to be displaced by climate change are likely to be low-income families and families of color because of long-standing policies like redlining, which have disproportionately led to communities of color being located in areas that are more susceptible to environmental hazards,” she says. “Relocation is a challenging topic for anyone, but add to this the fact that you’re dealing with communities who have been living on their ancestral lands for perhaps thousands of years and the toll is just unimaginable.” Read more here.
For those of you with sociology, political science and psychology backgrounds:
In this time of pandemic and economic crisis, Congress is more out of touch than ever. With public health restrictions keeping lawmakers from meeting in-person in their communities, far too many are only seeing this crisis through the news. We at Town Hall Project are convinced that if our elected leaders were able to hold in-person town halls right now they'd see just how bad this crisis is -- and how much worse it could get. But in just four weeks, expanded unemployment benefits and other vital support will end -- unless Congress acts. So it's vitally important we lift up the stories of Americans at the front line of this crisis. If you, or a loved one, are unemployed and depending on expanded support to make rent, mortgage, or other basic needs, your story can make a real difference. Please: share your story today and we'll help elevate it -- in social media, in virtual town halls, and through the news media -- to make sure Congress understands.townhallproject.com mutualaidhub.org
Seattle’s history reveals many times when buildings have served as symbols for civil rights struggles. The current local movement, driven by Black Lives Matter demonstrators advocating for social and racial justice, echoes other times when multiracial coalitions claimed buildings and land as a form of direct action. Many such “takeovers” led to the creation of beloved cultural centers, including the Daybreak Star Cultural Center in Discovery Park, El Centro de la Raza on Beacon Hill and the Northwest African American Museum in the Central Area. Read more here.
Public Citizen Launching Democracy Defender Training Program to Protect the Vote - No Experience Required
While COVID-19 cases continue to rise in states across the country, too many states lack critical resources to ensure safe and accessible voting this fall. We know that ramping up vote-by-mail, expanding early voting, and offering safe in-person voting on election day is possible, but only if we secure resources and commitments from national, state, and local leaders. That’s why Public Citizen is launching our Democracy Defenders initiative, which will launch a coordinated effort to protect our elections from now through election day.
Apply now to become a Democracy Defender to receive training and resources to help you lead the local effort to protect our elections. No previous experience required!
Kimmons, who prefers to go by the name Queen, said what her neighborhood doesn't lack is pollution. Near North, where Queen lives, is one of several neighborhoods that make up north Minneapolis, an area that is predominately Black and is surrounded by a large number of polluting facilities and infrastructure, including roofing manufacturers, a trash incinerator, a metal recycling plant and several major interstate highways. St. John the Baptist Parish, which includes Reserve, lies within Louisiana's "Cancer Alley," a stretch along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans that is cluttered with petrochemical development and the pollution it brings. The Environmental Protection Agency's National Air Toxics Assessment, which uses emissions estimates to model health risks, estimates that the risk of developing cancer in Reserve is 50 times the national average, and that the five census tracts with the highest risk are all in the area. Bears Ears - The coalition's work focused on protecting red rock canyons and pinion-dotted desert containing hundreds of thousands of archaeological sites and areas of deep cultural significance to the Hopi Nation, Zuni Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe and Ute Mountain Utes.
While Montana as a state saw record primary turnout on June 2 — more than 389,000 ballots cast, compared with 293,000 in the 2016 primary, according to Montana Public Radio — the three counties with the lowest turnout were all home to Native American tribes including the Crow, Northern Cheyenne, Fort Peck, and Blackfeet. In Blaine County, primary turnout was just 46 percent, compared with 72 to 76 percent in some majority-white counties, according to the Montana Secretary of State’s office. (Williams said she doesn’t currently know whether one or both voting offices will reopen for the November general election, when turnout will surely be higher.)Read more here.