Indigenous peoples


Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt announced Thursday that he signed two new gaming compacts with the United Keetoowah Band Of Cherokee Indians and the Kialegee Tribal Town. The compacts were signed Wednesday and sent to the U.S. Department of Interior for approval.

Ryan Red Corn

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited more than 800 artists to join as members of the organization. One of them is Oklahoma's own Sterlin Harjo.

Despite pending lawsuits in both state and federal court, two new gaming compacts will go into effect.

On Monday, the Department of Interior published the agreements in the Federal Register for compacts signed at the end of April between the state of Oklahoma and the Comanche Nation, and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe.

The University of Oklahoma announced two new dance scholarships in honor of Osage ballerinas Maria and Marjorie Tallchief, considered to be two of the greatest dancers of the 20th century.

Maria catapulted to success after performing in George Balanchine's "The Firebird" in 1949 in New York City.

The Shawnee Tribe in northeast Oklahoma has filed a federal lawsuit claiming the Trump administration undercounted the tribe, costing them millions of dollars in CARES Act funds.

The lawsuit was filed last Thursday, June 18 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma and claims that the Trump administration used inaccurate data from an Indian Housing Block Grant which says the tribe's population is zero. The Shawnee responded by saying that is a "practical impossibility."

More than three months into the pandemic, it can still be tough to get a coronavirus test, especially if you live in some of the country's more remote tribal communities.

Montana is finally trying to change that with "mass surveillance" testing events.

Until recently on the state's Flathead Reservation, you could only get a test if you were showing COVID-19 symptoms. So Eric Van Maanen was grateful to hear of a free day-long testing event in the parking lot of Salish and Kootenai College.

Next week, people will head to the ballot box to vote on whether Oklahoma will expand Medicaid through State Question 802. Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton with Oklahoma Engaged explores the impact expanding Medicaid could have on tribes.

The Sac and Fox Nation announced on Monday that two of their casinos would be temporarily closed.

The Nation received news that one of their gaming employees tested positive for COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, they are taking precautionary measures by closing the Black Hawk Casino in Shawnee and the Sac and Fox Casino in Stroud.

Both casinos will be cleaned and disinfected. No opening date has been set.

Shane Brown

As a weekend of Juneteenth celebrations and demonstrations approaches in Tulsa, African Americans and Indigenous People are coming together in Oklahoma to show solidarity against racism and police brutality.

Allison Herrera

When I visited Quapaw Nation's beef processing plant in 2018, it was less than a year old. The building was still pretty shiny and cattle and bison grazed on a vast field. They had a dozen or so employees and were in the process of getting one of the first Native Americans ⁠— a young Quapaw man ⁠— to be trained as a USDA meat inspector. Today, a lot has changed.