Native Americans

On Monday in the nation's capital, there is no Columbus Day. The D.C. Council voted to replace it with Indigenous Peoples' Day in a temporary move that it hopes to make permanent. Several other places across the United States have also made the switch in a growing movement to end the celebration of the Italian explorer in favor of honoring Indigenous communities and their resiliency in the face of violence by European explorers like Christopher Columbus.

Construction has begun on President Trump's border wall between Arizona and Mexico, and conservationists are furious. The massive barrier will skirt one of the most beloved protected areas in the Southwest — Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, recognized by the United Nations as an international biosphere reserve.

On a recent drive along the borderline, a crew was transplanting tall saguaro cactus out of the construction zone.

Nestled among turquoise blue waterfalls and cottonwood trees, the tiny Havasupai reservation is accessible only by foot, by mule or by helicopter. It's a five-minute flight from the rim of the Grand Canyon to Supai Village on the canyon floor, where 450 tribal members live in small homes made of panel siding and materials that can be easily hauled or lifted in.

It's no wonder Internet access has been a challenge. But recently, the Havasupai have had some help from the Oakland-based nonprofit MuralNet.

Cherokee Nation Names First Delegate To Congress

Sep 3, 2019

The Cherokee Nation has named its first delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. Former Obama appointee Kimberly Teehee's nomination was approved by the tribe's council on Thursday. Although the treaty that created this nonvoting position is almost 200 years old, it had never been filled.

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Caroline Halter / StateImpact Oklahoma

Sovereign Community School is new charter school in Oklahoma City with a focus on Native American culture and identity. It’s also part of a movement of tribes and tribal citizens using publicly funded, privately run schools to take control over the education of Native children.

It's been seven years since passing boaters found Dawn Day's body floating in a lake on the high plains of Wyoming. Sitting next to each other on the couch, a warm breeze coming in through the screen door, her dad Gregory Day and her aunt Madeleine Day miss Dawn's laughter.

"She was crazy," Madeleine Day says.

"Crazy in a good way, huh?" Gregory Day says. "Make you laugh."

"That's what she did. She always wanted everybody to be happy," agrees Madeleine Day. And she says it was trying to make people happy that kept Dawn from leaving an abusive boyfriend.

As the sun dips below the horizon, the colored lights turn on — bathing the Navajo Nation Council Chambers in rainbow hues as the crowd cheers.

On June 28, the Navajo Nation kicked off Diné Pride, a two-day event in Window Rock, Ariz., the capital of the Navajo reservation.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images


Native American actor Wes Studi has appeared in more than 80 film and television productions — including "The Last of the Mohicans," "Dances with Wolves" and "Avatar" — portraying Indigenous characters with nuance and authenticity.

Now, he's set to become the first Native American to win an Oscar.

Shawn Miller / Library Of Congress


The new poet laureate of the United States is also the first Native American appointed to the post. We'll talk with Joy Harjo.

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