February 4th, 2023

KIPI News, August 19, 2022 – Part 1

Dozens of tribes and Seven Western U.S. states face a deadline from the federal government to come up with a plan to use substantially less Colorado River water in 2023. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is expected to publish hydrology projections next week that will trigger agreed-upon cuts for states relying on the river. States face the threat of proposing additional cuts or having them mandated by the federal government. Prolonged drought, climate change and overuse are jeopardizing the water supply that more than 40 million people rely on.

The Montana Supreme Court has found the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs can be held responsible for damages awarded to a Montana woman who became pregnant after an on-duty BIA officer used the threat of criminal charges to coerce her into having sex. The woman sued over the October 2015 sexual assault on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. A federal judge awarded her $1.6 million in damages, but said the BIA could not be held responsible because the coercion was outside of the officer’s duties.

Two local non-profits banded together to create the first-ever Sovereignty in Action awards to be given to local college students. The awards, totaling $10,000, were divided amongst four recipients. A total of six were nominated. The awards went to Joseph White Eyes, Amber LeBeau, Austin Red Dog, and Tasina Sapa Wiŋ Smith. Each recipient received $2,500 in the form of a summer practicum. This allows students to utilize the funds to support their projects directly. Native Biodata Consortium (NDBC) and Tribal Ventures decided to create the Sovereignty in Action Awards to support the work of students who are already committed to doing this important work.