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Indigenous communities

  • On Friday, victims advocates held a walk in downtown Phoenix to raise awareness about predatory sober living homes targeting Indigenous communities like the Navajo Nation and the Ute Mountain Ute tribe in Colorado. Advocate Reva Stewart, whose cousin was taken by a group home recruiter from New Mexico to Phoenix, Arizona, says that recruiters often look for unhoused people in tribal communities, or those struggling with substance abuse. But Stewart says that a change made last week to Arizona’s Medicaid program closed a loophole that the group homes were exploiting. And today is the last day of Colorado’s legislative session.
  • The US House of Representatives passed legislation that may help provide Arizona with more water. And the Colorado Department of Natural Resources recently awarded a one million dollar grant to the Ute Mountain Ute tribe and three local conservation groups.
  • The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled late last month that Canadian-based Resolution Mining Company can build a copper mine on sacred Native American land east of Phoenix. And Utah has opened a new state office dedicated to professional licenses.
  • A change in policy by the Biden administration to give tribal voices more of a seat at the table has led to a controversy about proposed changes at Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff.
  • The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality recently granted an aquifer protection permit for a uranium mine near from a tribal community in the Grand Canyon, but the Havasupai Tribe still has concerns about the quality of its water. And avian influenza is suspected in Montezuma County.
  • The growing global debate over an energy source with a deadly past is playing out amidst the sweet sage and pine trees of the forest right by the Grand Canyon. Uranium prices are climbing again and Arizona has cleared the way for a once-stagnant mine to resume operations.
  • Two recent moves aim to benefit water access for tribal communities in the Colorado River basin. And the League of Women Voters of Utah is standing by its lawsuit challenging the state’s new congressional maps.
  • Around the country, native groups and supporters have joined prayer runs to raise awareness for missing and murdered indigenous people. A multi-day run over hundreds of miles ended in San Juan County, Utah late last month. From KZMU in Moab, Justin Higginbottom spoke with participants about the crisis.
  • This month, an indigenous woman facing federal charges for blocking border wall construction in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona was found not guilty. The verdict is hailed as an unexpected victory for Native American religious freedoms. From the Fronteras Desk in Tucson, KJZZ's Alisa Reznick reports.
  • President Biden ended his predecessor’s border wall project almost a year ago. But the trial continues for one indigenous protestor who faces federal charges for blocking construction machinery at a site in Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. From the Froteras Desk in Tucson, KJZZ’s Alisa Reznick reports.