Native American groups condemn U.S. Supreme Court decision that halts the 2020 Census count early
This is national native news making camera in for Antonio. Gonzales the supreme. Court. On Tuesday granted a request by the trump administration to suspend an order by a lower court that would have allowed the twenty twenty cents count to continue through October the move was condemned by the National Congress of American Indians the native American rights. Fund. And the National Urban, Indian family coalition who said the administration is trying to end the twenty twenty cents his count early in order to control the apportionment numbers which determine the number of each state's congressional representatives. A group of Native American tribes, advocacy groups, cities, and counties had sued to maintain an extended deadline for the count originally put in place by the US commerce secretary in April because of the covid nineteen pandemic that was later reversed NCAA I said in a statement that the administration's efforts will quote result in incomplete numbers, effectively excluding non-citizens and suppressing the. Count of minority communities including American Indians and Alaskan natives. The Supreme Court's ruling puts the count on hold while the trump administration and advocates argue in a federal appeals court NCAA I is urging the legislative extension of deadlines warning stopping. The census will quote condemn Indian country to a loss of political representation and its fair share of resources for the next decade. This year, the FCC opened a window of opportunity for native Americans to secure rights to their own wireless broadband networks as Jacob. Resnick reports regional tribes such as Central Council of the Clinton and Haida Indian tribes of Alaska are working to establish an intertribal broadband network to improve internet connectivity across coastal Alaska Southeast. Alaska tribes have few communities connected by road, and while the Internet has helped bridge gaps from physical distances, it's often far from fast or reliable tribal vice president will make Lynn says it high is among hundreds of tribal entities nationwide to apply for a special wireless spectrum license to fill gaps in communities underserved by commercial carriers we don't have a profit motive, our motives. Delivery of service. I really be broadband is a an inherent right for our tribal citizens and That is made ever clear to me by the impacts of the covered nineteen. Where efficiencies and infrastructures became ever more apparent this year, the FCC made possible by offering a spectrum for wireless broadband to native communities. Any unclaimed bandwidth will be auctioned off later to private carriers, but I, the SEC will need to issue the licenses and when it does of tribes across the US are expected to have a unique opportunity to fill gaps in connectivity in underserved areas, which describes most of Rural Alaska. For National Native News. I'm Jacob Bresnik in Juneau Alaska. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled this week that people voting by mail will not need a witness to sign their ballots Katie Oh reported the Arctic Village Council and others had sued to block the signature requirement because of the covid nineteen pandemic. The Anchorage Superior Court ruled in their favor but the division of elections appealed it to the State Supreme Court Natalie Lander is with the Native American Rights Fund, and represented the plaintiffs. She told the court voters at a higher risk for the virus including Arctic village residents face a choice between their health and casting their ballots. It's not worth it to vote. I have to expose myself to this illness for another person and I think that's the problem, the unpredictability and the fear that we're putting voters. Now, the pandemic is not the state's fault but the requirement is. The attorney for the division of elections argued changing rules in the middle of the election will confuse voters and that the plaintiffs didn't prove getting a witness as a severe burden. The court will issue a full opinion at a later date. For National Native News I'm Megan Camera.