Friday, April 3, 2020

Mask wars: 3M versus Trump

By The Associated Press - April 03, 2020 at 08:28PM

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said essential health supplies and workers flow both ways across the border, and blocking exports of 3M masks would be a mistake



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Amid crush of PPP applicants, Wells Fargo asks Native and other small businesses to file online

By Native News Online Staff - April 03, 2020 at 08:56PM

(Photo Courtesy Wikipedia Commons)

SAN FRANCISCO — Banks nationwide struggled to meet the surging demand from small businesses trying to apply for loans and grants under the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  

Wells Fargo & Co., one of the largest national lenders that serves Indian Country, was among those saying they weren’t ready for the crush of applications and were grappling with lack of detailed guidelines from the government, according to Bloomberg News

As the day progressed, the San Francisco-based bank urged small business clients, including Native-owned small businesses, to use its online portal to file PPP loan applications. 

Wells Fargo sent the following statement to Native News Online this afternoon: 

“Our customers are experiencing challenges during the COVID-19 crisis and we want to help during these unprecedented times. Wells Fargo is working as quickly as possible to be ready to assist small business customers as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We will update our  Paycheck Protection Program website as soon as possible, so we encourage customers to check our website often.  Applications will only be accepted via our online portal to ensure our small business customers get the support they need as quickly as possible.”

A core aspect of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus relief package, the Paycheck Protection Program allocates $349 billion to the U.S. Small Business Administration to loan to businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The loans provide 2.5 times a company’s average monthly payroll and SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. 

Wells Fargo has long standing relationships with tribal governments and American Indian/Alaska Native customers. In 2017, the banking company announced a five year, $50 million commitment to AI/AN communities to help address their unique economic, social and environmental needs.

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Coalition calls on Montana Gov. Bullock and TC Energy to halt pipeline activity due to Coronavirus threat

By Native News Online Staff - April 03, 2020 at 08:27PM

A coalition of Native American, rural and environmental groups have called on Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Canadian company TC Energy to halt all work on the Keystone XL pipeline project due to the COVID-19 public health threat. (Photo from Wikipedia Commons)

Lake Andes, S.D. — A coalition of Native American, rural and environmental groups have called on Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Canadian company TC Energy to halt all work on the Keystone XL pipeline project due to the COVID-19 public health threat. 

The Promise to Protect coalition today delivered petitions by email to Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed by 44,598 people, urging the Canadian corporation and elected officials in the U.S. to take action immediately to halt construction during the coronavirus public health emergency. 

TC Energy recently announced plans to go forward with the controversial pipeline project, despite ongoing lawsuits and its potential to intensify the spread of coronavirus in rural communities across Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.  

“It is unethical and down right dangerous for TC Energy to send hundreds of workers into rural communities during this pandemic,” said Dallas Goldtooth, campaigner for Indigenous Environmental Network. “Native communities are already at risk for sexual violence associated with transient oil company workers, and now add in the risk of Covid-19 infection? We have to draw the line in defense of our families.”

According to Promise to Protect, TC Energy plans to send hundreds of workers into rural communities to build a half dozen “man camps” across Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska — temporary housing where hundreds or even thousands of pipeline workers live together in close quarters throughout months of pipeline construction. Residents fear that the close proximity to very rural towns, and reservation and treaty lands could create additional public health risks, according to the group.   

Rural hospitals and Indian Health Service facilities along the proposed route are already straining to serve tribal citizns and community members with the coronavirus public health threat. The Keystone XL, which Promise to Protect calls a clearly “non-essential” construction project, would create additional strains and threats as thousands of out-of-state workers move close to the work sites.  

Over the past weeks, several cities and states have instituted bans on construction projects, including Boston, San Francisco, and New York. In Pennsylvania, construction on a Shell ethane cracker plant and further construction of the proposed Mariner East pipeline have been halted. 

“TC Energy is putting their workers and our communities at risk by recklessly moving forward with construction on the Keystone XL pipeline amid this public health crisis, when experts are urging us to isolate in order to protect people’s lives,” said Summer Nelson, Director of the Sierra Club Montana Chapter. “TC Energy executives aim to ram this disastrous tar sands project forward without addressing the many concerns of communities and tribes along the route, and at a time when we need everyone to work together to protect our communities. It is time for them to stand on the right side of history and abandon this costly, polluting project and protect public health.” 

Promise to Protect also launched an online petition urging the Canadian corporation, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, and other elected officials in the U.S. to take action immediately to “Cancel KXL.”

 “This is public endangerment,” said John Harter, Board Chair of Dakota Rural Action. “Not only is the pipeline itself a danger to the public, but with the current coronavirus emergency it is doubly so. Bringing in workers to build a pipeline creates a pipeline for the virus to enter and spread in our rural communities.” 

Native News Online reached out to TC Energy for comment, but did not hear back prior to press time. 

The post Coalition calls on Montana Gov. Bullock and TC Energy to halt pipeline activity due to Coronavirus threat appeared first on Native News Online.



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‘Worried sick’ about spreading virus during pipeline construction

By Indian Country Today - April 03, 2020 at 07:53PM

Breaking: CDC urges everyone to wear a mask in public (but president says it's voluntary and he won't do that)



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Join the #NativeNerd Netflix Party for ‘Badland’ at 8 pm EDT

By Vincent Schilling - April 03, 2020 at 05:55PM

Netflix Party is a group viewing of a movie where you can chat and discuss it online and view it in-sync. Besides, Wes Studi is in it



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Both Democratic Party Presidential Candidates Say They “Stand by Mashpee”

By Native News Online Staff - April 03, 2020 at 04:32PM

Former Vice President Joe Biden in Grand Rapids, Mich. Native News Online photographs by Levi Rickert

Published April 3, 2020

WASHINGTON— Both Democratic Party presidential candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), released statements in support of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s fight to retain its trust land.

The statements were issued in response to a call made last Friday to Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Chairman Cedric Cromwell from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. During the conversation, the bureau informed Cromwell that the U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt was ordering him to disestablish the tribe’s reservation.

Former Vice President Joe Biden released this statement Tuesday:

This past weekend, in the midst of a pandemic, the Trump Administration chose to expend effort and resources to attempt to remove land that the Obama-Biden Administration put into trust for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and disestablish the Tribe’s reservation — before the Tribe had exhausted its ability to appeal in the courts. This is unacceptable and betrays an incredible disrespect for Mashpee rights.

U.S. policy has for too long broken trust with tribal nations. It’s time to choose a different path. One of the most important roles the federal government plays in rebuilding the nation-to-nation relationship is taking land into trust on behalf of tribes. It is critical for tribal sovereignty and self-determination. It preserves tribal histories and culture for future generations. It allows for economic development and helps support the well-being of tribal citizens. It helps to right the wrongs of past policy, including the dispossession by the U.S. government of 90 million acres of tribal land, nearly two-thirds of all tribal land. The Obama-Biden Administration recognized this vital responsibility and took more than half a million acres of land into trust for tribes — including for Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

The Supreme Court’s Carcieri decision made fulfilling that responsibility harder by restricting the federal government’s ability to put land into trust. When I served as Vice President, our Administration asked Congress to enact a clean fix of the Carcieri decision. We also included language in our budgets to make clear that addressing this decision was a priority. Our Department of Interior developed a post-Carcieri framework to determine if tribes were under federal jurisdiction before 1934, and our Department of Justice used this framework to defend the process of taking land into trust. Indeed, courts that reviewed decisions under that framework embraced Interior’s analysis. But the Trump Administration has callously reversed the Obama-Biden policies, and abandoned our nation’s treaty obligations to tribal nations.

Upholding tribal self-governance and sovereignty, respecting tribal reserved rights in treaties, and supporting the federal trust responsibility to tribal nations should be the cornerstones of our federal tribal policy. That’s why, as president, I will support a clean Carcieri fix.

I stand with Mashpee — and with all of Indian Country.”


The following is Sen. Sanders statement:

I stand with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe in their fight to restore lands that belong to them, and I oppose the disgraceful decision by the Trump Administration to disestablish their lands held in trust by the Department of Interior.

For far too long, the federal government has adopted policies that take land away from tribes, ignore treaty rights and interfere with tribal management of their own resources. We must reset the partnership between the federal government and Tribal Nations by putting land – and control of that land – back in the hands of tribes.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking at Calder Plaza in Grand Rapids, Mich. Native News Online photograph by Levi Rickert

We need a clean Carcieri fix to reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for all federally recognized Indian tribes. A Sanders administration will prioritize that.”

The post Both Democratic Party Presidential Candidates Say They “Stand by Mashpee” appeared first on Native News Online.



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Both Democratic Party Presidential Candidates Say They “Stand by Mashpee”

By Native News Online Staff - April 03, 2020 at 04:08PM

Former Vice President Joe Biden looking for a win in Tuesday’s Michigan presidential primary. Native News Online photographs by Levi Rickert

Published April 3, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C — Both Democratic Party presidential candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), released statements in support of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s fight to retain its trust land.

The statements were issued in response to a call made last Friday to Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Chairman Cedric Cromwell from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. During the conversation, the bureau informed Cromwell that the U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt was ordering him to disestablish the tribe’s reservation.

Former Vice President Joe Biden released this statement Tuesday:

This past weekend, in the midst of a pandemic, the Trump Administration chose to expend effort and resources to attempt to remove land that the Obama-Biden Administration put into trust for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and disestablish the Tribe’s reservation — before the Tribe had exhausted its ability to appeal in the courts. This is unacceptable and betrays an incredible disrespect for Mashpee rights.

U.S. policy has for too long broken trust with tribal nations. It’s time to choose a different path. One of the most important roles the federal government plays in rebuilding the nation-to-nation relationship is taking land into trust on behalf of tribes. It is critical for tribal sovereignty and self-determination. It preserves tribal histories and culture for future generations. It allows for economic development and helps support the well-being of tribal citizens. It helps to right the wrongs of past policy, including the dispossession by the U.S. government of 90 million acres of tribal land, nearly two-thirds of all tribal land. The Obama-Biden Administration recognized this vital responsibility and took more than half a million acres of land into trust for tribes — including for Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

The Supreme Court’s Carcieri decision made fulfilling that responsibility harder by restricting the federal government’s ability to put land into trust. When I served as Vice President, our Administration asked Congress to enact a clean fix of the Carcieri decision. We also included language in our budgets to make clear that addressing this decision was a priority. Our Department of Interior developed a post-Carcieri framework to determine if tribes were under federal jurisdiction before 1934, and our Department of Justice used this framework to defend the process of taking land into trust. Indeed, courts that reviewed decisions under that framework embraced Interior’s analysis. But the Trump Administration has callously reversed the Obama-Biden policies, and abandoned our nation’s treaty obligations to tribal nations.

Upholding tribal self-governance and sovereignty, respecting tribal reserved rights in treaties, and supporting the federal trust responsibility to tribal nations should be the cornerstones of our federal tribal policy. That’s why, as president, I will support a clean Carcieri fix.

I stand with Mashpee — and with all of Indian Country.”


The following is Sen. Sanders statement:

I stand with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe in their fight to restore lands that belong to them, and I oppose the disgraceful decision by the Trump Administration to disestablish their lands held in trust by the Department of Interior.

For far too long, the federal government has adopted policies that take land away from tribes, ignore treaty rights and interfere with tribal management of their own resources. We must reset the partnership between the federal government and Tribal Nations by putting land – and control of that land – back in the hands of tribes.

We need a clean Carcieri fix to reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for all federally recognized Indian tribes. A Sanders administration will prioritize that.”

The post Both Democratic Party Presidential Candidates Say They “Stand by Mashpee” appeared first on Native News Online.



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