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Organizations supporting Native American’s right to vote are trying to educate people about the upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court Election.
WXPR’s Katie Thoresen reports.
Abortion access, voting districts, and voting access are likely to come before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the coming years.
And while those issues impact everyone, they’re more likely to disproportionately effect Native American communities says Native American Rights Fund staff attorney Allison Neswood.
But she stresses that this doesn’t mean that all Native people feel the same way about each issue.
“But it means that they should have the same voice that other Americans or other Wisconsinites have in selecting who makes the decisions on those issues.”
To that end, the Native American Rights Fund and the Wisconsin Native Vote program are working to educate Native Americans on the Supreme Court, what’s at stake, and making sure they know their voting rights.
Neswood is focused on educating people on the judicial system itself, like the oath Wisconsin judges take to administer justice with respect to persons or essentially the concept of justice is blind.
“This is great concept, but it’s not always inline with how communities experience the court system. A couple examples of that, evidence shows that even among people who commit of similar severity people of color are receiving longer sentences, more jail time than white folks.”
Wisconsin Native Vote Manager Dee Sweet wants to make sure Native Americans have all the information they need to make an educated vote.
She says things like minimal or lack of broadband connectivity in rural reservations can be another barrier for Native Americans to exercise their right to vote.
“I’m not saying they’re left out of modern day technology and society they just don’t have the kind of broadband or kind of technology to support that.”
Neither organization endorses candidates.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Election is April 4.
The organizations along with the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa are hosting a dinner and discussion event at Red Cliff Legendary Waters Casino on March 7.
You can learn more and register at conservationvoice.org.
The U.S. Interior Department recently unveiled plans to bolster the number of wild bison herds across their native grasslands.
Aaron Bolton reports.
U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced the formation of federal working group that will outline how the federal government can help tribes and conservation groups bolster herd numbers and gain training to manage herds.
Holland also announced a $25 million investment to establish new herds, fund tribal bison transfers, and co-management of herds with tribes.
The department currently manages 11,000 bison on public lands across 12 states.
Tribal college and university students from across the country are preparing to take home awards after three days of competing in more than 20 events including archery, speech, chess, and hand games.
More than 1,000 people gathered in Albuquerque, NM this week for the 2023 American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) conference.
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College student Joanna Cooley (United Houma Nation) spent time Monday presenting her scientific poster to judges, students, and other AIHEC attendees.
Cooley says for the last year and a half she’s been part of a food sovereignty program in Mount Pleasant, MI.
Her poster describes how to decolonize diets and teach people how to preserve food from their gardens.
“We can teach our people to garden, but if they don’t know how to preserve for future use it’s not very good. Along with the gardening, we’re also doing food preservation workshops and classes. We have a full state of the art mobile food preservation kitchen that will be onsite this spring so that community members and students can harvest their vegetables and go straight into the classroom and learn how to preserve them themselves.”
Cooley says she worked on her poster for about four to six weeks.
She hopes not only will the judges appreciate her work, but that the information will be shared with other tribal communities.
Awards will be given out Tuesday night.
There are more than 30 tribal colleges and universities across the U.S.
Check out Joanna Cooley’s scientific poster:
Check out some of the 2023 AIHEC Art Competition:
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