Native American

Shelby Kleinhans / Source NM

 


 

Let’s Talk New Mexico 10/21 8am: It’s still unclear exactly how many cases there are in New Mexico of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Relatives. People from Arizona and Utah are also wondering about what happened to their family members since tribal jurisdictions hit heads with federal, state, tribal and city investigators. Even though public officials express concern, the families of people gone missing or found dead have experienced ineptitude by the criminal legal system and police, who have said that jurisdiction issues can impede their efforts.

At least 19 people have died in tribal jails overseen by the federal government since 2016, according to an investigation by NPR and the Mountain West News Bureau. As part of our ongoing coverage of mistreatment of inmates on reservations, the bureau is highlighting some of the victims and the circumstances around their deaths, which reflect decades of mismanagement, neglect and poor training.

At least 19 people have died in tribal jails overseen by the federal government since 2016, according to an investigation by NPR and the Mountain West News Bureau. As part of our ongoing coverage of mistreatment of inmates on reservations, the bureau is highlighting some of the victims and the circumstances around their deaths, which reflect decades of mismanagement, neglect and poor training.

Courtesy: Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

 

Tribes in the Mountain West reached resolutions in two long standing environmental disputes this week. The victories for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and the Navajo Nation could signal a shift toward accountability for corporate polluters operating on tribal lands.

About a week before Election Day, as the Wind River Reservation was bracing for snow, Wyoming state Rep. Andi Clifford squeezed in some roadside campaigning outside of a community hall in Arapahoe.

"Normally we would've been inside," she said. "But we can't, so we're out here."

CUNY Mapping Service

After COVID-19 hit, federal officials initially gave extra time to Census collectors to count every person living in the United States. But then they decided to end the survey a month early, increasing the risk of an undercount that could cause New Mexico to lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars for housing, food assistance, childcare, transportation and more. Native Americans living in rural areas are historically undercounted, and the pandemic has made data collection even harder. Reporter Shaun Griswold, who publishes at New Mexico In Depth for Report for America, has been keeping an eye on how the Census is reaching Native populations in the state and he gave KUNM an update on that process.

Lately I've been spending my Wednesday mornings in Riverton City Park. With COVID-19 cases on the rise, it's safer to interview people outdoors, and I've been asking everyone I run into the same question: Is Riverton, Wyo., on the Wind River Reservation?

John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

Tribal communities in New Mexico have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus, due to deep social and economic disparities resulting from colonization. Now, the pandemic threatens to make those disparities worse by hindering the 2020 Census count that will affect how much federal funding goes to tribes over the next decade. Shaun Griswold, urban Indigenous reporter with New Mexico In Depth, reports tribes are playing catch-up after public health shutdowns along with geography and other factors have led to low Census response rates so far. He told KUNM’s Hannah Colton that an undercount could mean a difference of millions of federal dollars going to basics like housing and education.   

Ribona Weermeijer via Unsplash / Unsplash license

Studies about kidney disease in the United States have historically left out Native Americans, but a pair of researchers at the University of New Mexico have won a $3.5 million grant that they hope will make way for more equity in health care research. 

Celia Raney/KUNM

Officers from 18 Native American law enforcement agencies from across the country met at the Santa Ana Star Casino last month to do a week-long training. It's designed for conservation officers who do things like police remote areas and protect wildlife.

Acoma Pueblo Feeling Effects Of Federal Shutdown

Jan 10, 2019
Scott Catron via Flickr / Creative Commons


 As many as 800,000 federal employees aren’t getting paid during the partial government shutdown. And at least one local tribe is feeling those effects.

Megan Kamerick

Native Americans have long objected to their treatment by popular culture. They're often not represented at all, and when they are, they're cast as sidekicks or caricatures. So Native people are working to tell their own stories in films and comics.

Recently, many of these makers gathered for the second annual Indigenous Comic Con at Isleta Resort & Casino near Albuquerque.

UNM Gets $7M Grant For Behavioral Health Research

Sep 29, 2017
Allan Ajifo, CC 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico’s flagship university has received a $7 million grant to open a new behavioral health center. Researchers will work directly with people in communities dealing with addiction and mental health issues. 

UNM Teen Pregnancy Prevention Research Cut Short

Jul 19, 2017
abhijit chendvankar / Flickr via Creative Commons

New Mexico has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation, and now that the Trump Administration has slashed funding for teen pregnancy prevention projects, researchers here say it’s like the rug has been pulled out from under them.

Rippy and the Sillyettes

This week we had a live performance from the band Rippy and the Sillyettes from Gallup, New Mexico. The girls in the band performed their original music, including a song about the late Ashlynne Mike. Great music, a family events calendar, the KUNM Kids Birthday Club and the fabulous KUNM Kids Crew. Join us from 9 to 10am every Saturday! This show was broadcast live from KUNM on September 3, 2016.

Native Activist Talks Police Violence

Jul 14, 2016
Melissa Tso member of the Red Nation and the Party for Socialism and Liberation

Police violence against people of color has been at the forefront of national debate in recent months. And in New Mexico, a group advocating for indigenous concerns called the Red Nation has been active on this issue since the killing of James Boyd two years ago.

Searching For Answers On Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Oct 7, 2014
Ed Williams-KUNM

Terry Trujillo’s family has been facing an ordeal that would be familiar to a surprising number of Americans. Holding back tears, she remembers the moment she had to explain to her adopted nephew that his severe learning disabilities, memory problems and behavior issues were the result of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

“The little boy would say ‘Well what’s that, what do you mean?’ And it’s hard to sit there and tell a child it means that your mother drank alcohol while you were in her stomach, and to see their face. Because they know it’s wrong,” Trujillo said.

Homeless In New Mexico

Aug 13, 2014
cinocino via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 8/14 8a: The recent brutal murders of two Navajo men in Albuquerque have brought questions about homelessness in New Mexico into the national spotlight. We'll take a look at what policy and social changes are needed to improve the health and well-being of people without shelter.

We'd like to hear from you! Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments online, or call in live during the show. 

Guests: 

Native American Cancer Rates Remain Static

Jan 7, 2014
National Cancer Institute

New statistics released by the American Cancer Society show that nationally there's been a 20 percent decrease in risk of death from all cancers. For breast and colon cancer, that rate of decline is closer to 35 percent. However, in the Southwest, there's a slightly different picture.

Debora Cartagena, CDC

Native Americans have the highest rates of smoking before, during and after pregnancy than any other ethnic group in the nation. That’s according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.

According to the CDC, 55 percent of Native American women smoked before pregnancy. During pregnancy, that rate dropped significantly to 26 percent. However, that rate was still the highest of any racial or ethnic group in the nation.

Centennial Care Tribal Opt-Out Clears Committee

Feb 14, 2013

A bill that would allow Medicaid eligible tribal citizens in New Mexico to opt-out of the states Medicaid plan, Centennial Care, has taken it’s first steps in the legislature. HB 376, which gives Native Americans the ability to opt-out of Centennial Care has passed out of committee.

Under the states proposed Medicaid program entitled Centennial Care, all Medicaid enrollees in the state would be required to enroll in one of four managed care organizations (MCO) to receive healthcare.

For New Mexico’s tribal population, this proposal is causing problems.