Thursday, June 1, 2023

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Native News Briefs: Brady elected president of Native American Church


On June 18, John “Pancho” Brady, Arikara/Hidatsa, was elected president of the Native American Church of North America.

Brady promised inclusion, openness and a spirited challenge to forces that would undermine peyote habitat.

Brady had been a pillar in the NACNA community for many years and vowed to return integrity, action and purpose to the organization.

Delegates and others representing more than 100,000 members of the Native American Church also elected Joe Holgate, from Shonto, Arizona, as vice president; Elroy Watson, also from Shonto, as treasurer; Jessica Powless, Oneida, as secretary; and Colleen Roan, from Steamboat Canyon, Arizona, as editor-in-chief.

The national convention was highlighted by a sense of urgency among the delegates to strengthen NACNA. By a near unanimous vote, a resolution was adopted that stressed executive officer loyalty to NACNA, preventing a duality/conflict of interest.

Other delegate action mandated the formation of an inaugural Legislative Committee, which will be chaired by Ryan Wilson, Oglala Lakota, and Communications Committee, chaired by Powless, enabling delegates to engage in policy development.

Finally, delegates voted to expand legal representation of NACNA in an effort to increase advocacy opportunities and strengthen internal governance of NACNA.

Fort McDowell, Betfred Sports to offer sports betting

FORT McDOWELL, Ariz. – The We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort and Betfred Sports have signed an agreement to bring sports betting to Arizona residents.

The companies will partner to build a state-of-the-art, Las Vegas-quality retail sportsbook at the recently opened We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort in Fort McDowell, while also launching mobile and online betting under the Betfred Sports brand.

“The partnership announcement with Betfred Sports marks a new chapter for We-Ko-Pa,” said Bernadine Burnette, president of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.

Mark Stebbings, Betfred Group chief operating officer, said, “Arizona is an amazing opportunity for Betfred Sports to continue its expansion in the U.S. after successful launches in Iowa, Colorado and Pennsylvania.”

The formal launch of retail and online sports betting is contingent on licensing and regulatory approval and is planned for late 2021.

Halaand talks climate impacts with NW tribes

TAHOLAH, Wash. — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said coastal communities face the increasing threat of rising seas, coastal erosion and storm surges.

“Our focus must be on bolstering climate resilience,” Haaland said. “The investments discussed today are central to the Biden-Harris administration’s all-of-government approach to building more resilient communities and protecting the natural environment.”

While visiting the Quinault Nation, Haaland and U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer met with leaders of the Quileute, Hoh, Makah, Lower Elwha Klallam, Jamestown S’Klallam, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Suquamish, Skokomish, Squaxin Island, Chehalis and Puyallup tribes.

The group toured the Village of Tahaloh, which is under threat from storm surges, flooding and tsunamis.

The Quinaults are relocating the village to higher ground.

Haaland also highlighted how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal – a central pillar of the Build Back Better Agenda – includes unprecedented investments in transition and relocation assistance to support community-led transitions for the most vulnerable tribal communities.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal includes a $466 million investment for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, including for transition and relocation assistance to support community-led transitions. These investments include:

• $216 million for tribal climate resilience, adaptation and community relocation planning, design and implementation of projects which address the varying climate challenges facing tribal communities across the country.
• $250 million for construction, repair, improvement and maintenance of irrigation and power systems, safety of dams, water sanitation and other facilities.
Haaland also highlighted federal investments to close the digital divide in Indian Country and ensure tribal communities have the resources they need to fully participate in today’s economy.

Earlier this year, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Haaland announced the availability of nearly $1 billion in U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration grants to expand broadband access and adoption on tribal land.

In September, the Interior Department and the Institute of Museum and Library Services are partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Service and the NTIA for the 2021 National Tribal Broadband Summit, taking place throughout the month of September as a virtual event due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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