Indigenous peoples

Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma

In February, the United States passed the grim milestone of 500,000 deaths from COVID-19. The pandemic has hit Indigenous communities particularly hard. In some tribal nations, the virus has taken first language speakers and the culture bearers who hold knowledge that marks the tribal nation's identity. That's especially true for the Kiowa Tribe in Southwest Oklahoma.

"I loved you before I met you. Before I held you in my arms, I sang you down from the stars."

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University and the tribal nations of Choctaw Nation, Chickasaw Nation and Cherokee Nation have been chosen by NASA to create a STEM program that includes Native American culture in the curriculum.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Health Department

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation will lift the state of emergency they declared last year at the start of the pandemic. But even without the order, some safety measures will remain in place.

Cherokee Nation / Provided

Tribal nations throughout Oklahoma continue to expand vaccine access to non-Native Oklahomans and beyond in a collective effort that has helped the state reach one of the country’s highest vaccination rates. 

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and Civil Rights Attorney Ryan Kiesel about the 9,000 correspondences to Governor Stitt from citizens and businesses regarding lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic and the state's response to a lawsuit over its plan to purse managed Medicaid care without input from the legislature.

 

Updated at 7:13 p.m. ET

The House approved with bipartisan support a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a popular 1994 law that protects and provides resources for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. The measure passed 244-172.

As a senator, President Biden played a lead role in passing the landmark law, which he recently called "one of my proudest legislative achievements."

Quese IMC is a Native American hip-hop artist and citizen of the Pawnee and Seminole Nations. He has been part of the hip-hop scene in Oklahoma for many years and helped organize Culture Shock Camp, one of the early hip-hop summits to help establish what Oklahoma and Native American hip-hop looks like today.

U.S. Department of Energy

Many tribal nations rely on oil and gas for economic independence. They hope Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will make it easier for them to extract fossil fuels despite her past opposition.

Deb Haaland, a member of New Mexico's Laguna Pueblo, has become the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history.

The Senate voted 51-40 Monday to confirm the Democratic congresswoman to lead the Interior Department, an agency that will play a crucial role in the Biden administration's ambitious efforts to combat climate change and conserve nature.

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