Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Why This Matters: Native American tribal governments must be treated fairly under the law. The Trump administration dragged its feet on disbursing the badly needed stimulus funds, which Senator Tom Udall called “inexcusable” at a time when native communities are being ravaged by the coronavirus due to their lack of adequate health care and basic needs like clean running water. And that it took drawn-out litigation to invalidate long-defunct oil and gas leases on Native American sacred lands is further evidence of systemic discrimination against them.
CARES Funding Foot Dragging
Tribes initially sued to gain access to the full amount of CARES Act funding because the Trump Administration had withheld it all while the Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) claimed they were eligible for it even though they are not recognized tribal governments but rather private corporations owned by Native Alaskans. Only after the same judge ruled in May that the ANCs cannot receive the funds (a decision which is being appealed now) did the Treasury Department disburse 60% of the CARES Funds intended for tribal governments. But they withheld a portion for the ANCs should they succeed, which the court just struck down now. This paves the way for the final nearly $700m to get to the tribal governments that desperately need it albeit months late.
The Blackfeet explained the significance of their court victory this way in an Earth Justice press statement. “Our traditional practices and traditional lands are the firm ground underfoot that we need to push off into the future,” said Tyson Running Wolf. Running Wolf is a Montana state legislator, former Blackfeet Tribal Business Council member, hunting outfitter, and leader among Blackfeet traditionalists. “This is how we heal ourselves, how we heal our communities, how we move forward into success. The Badger-Two Medicine is more than just land; it’s an entire way of life.”
A 21-year old woman from the U.K., Jasmine Harrison, became the youngest female to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean — she did it in just over 70 days — surviving capsizing twice and a near collision with a giant tanker ship. Why did she do it, you ask? She said on her website, “I […]
This week we wanted to learn about how to make our politics less divisive, particularly when it comes to making progress on climate change and environmental issues. So we reached out to Mo — an original Friend of the Planet — who has been studying civility in politics for years. In GU Politics’ most recent […]
According to the National Park Service, between 1870 and 1930, hundreds of thousands of white people, African Americans, and European immigrants came to West Virginia to work in the coal mines. For Black coal miners, this backbreaking work was an opportunity to escape the Jim Crow South and build a better life for themselves and […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.