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A bill to ensure Native Americans are included in the renaming of the University of California Hastings College of Law is advancing in the California Legislature.
It passed the Senate Education Committee last week.
The college is named for a land speculator who built his fortune committing atrocities against Northern California tribes.
The bill (AB 1936) introduced by State Rep. James Ramos (D-CA) strikes the name “Hastings” from the school and creates a process for renaming.
Rep. Ramos says having Native people rename the college is restorative justice for Yuki people and the Round Valley Indian Tribes whose ancestors were killed by Serranus Hastings.
The California Legislature named the school in state statute in 1878 and because of the legislative action a state statute is now required to rename the campus.
In 2021, the college board approved changing the school’s name and has since been in discussion with tribes.
The bill passed the education committee with a 6-0 bipartisan vote.
It now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Members of the Native community in Lawrence, KS gathered last week to amplify their voices on the topic of abortion.
The panel titled “Indigenous Voices and Abortion Justice” explored the historical context of abortion bans and the possible impacts to the Native community with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
State Rep. Christina Haswood (D-KS) was among panelists expressing frustration. She says Native women already lack access to abortion health care pointing to a provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion.
“With the Hyde Amendment, we’ve always never had abortion care as accessible as maybe some other folks. It’s really concerning for the Native population because we depend on Indian Health Services, especially when we’re getting out of Kansas into rural areas as well, one to two hours for health care services, and we have the highest rates of mortality, morbidity for maternal and pregnancy related complications.”
Rep. Haswood says adding to the recent high court ruling is an upcoming vote on abortion policy in Kansas.
During the August primary, voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution to remove the right to abortion.
Rep. Haswood says she’s frustrated as a politician and a Native woman seeing Indigenous voices not really being heard at the state and national level.
“Thinking of my own health and if it were to come to that, would I die giving birth? It’s kind of a scary thought. Just how valuable the choice was and how the choice for me growing up has been so empowering.”
Rep. Haswood says she’s working with her team to organize this summer ahead of the August 2nd primary election.
Meanwhile, last week’s panel discussion included members of the Indigenous Community Center, which plans to host a second event to further the discussion on abortion from Indigenous perspectives.
The U.S. Department of Justice has opened the application period for federally recognized tribes to take part in the Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information.
It allows tribes to access and exchange data with national crime information databases.
Justice Department officials say it’s a tool for tribal police, governments and courts to investigate crimes, keep communities safe, and hold offenders accountable.
The program provides training, software, workstations to process fingerprints, take mugshots, and submit information to the FBI.
There are currently more than 100 tribes participating in the program.
This round of applications opened July 1st and closes at the end of August.
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