skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Electric bus movement looks to accelerate; Macron says he has not ruled out using Western troop to help Ukraine stand-up to Russia; two rural Iowa newspapers saved from extinction; BLM announces added protections for sensitive Oregon landscape.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Speaker Johnson commits to avoiding a government shutdown. Republican Senators call for a trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. And a Democratic Senator aims to ensure protection for IVF nationwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

ND Activists: Lack of Tribal Inclusion in Redistricting Runs Deep

play audio
Play

Thursday, June 3, 2021   

BISMARCK, N.D. - As redistricting takes shape in North Dakota, lawmakers are pressured to give tribal communities a fair shake in the process. Those trying to establish more inclusion say the impact of previous maps still is being felt, and worry it will happen again.

When state leaders redraw political boundaries after each census, they're required to ensure districts have equal populations so representation is fair. But Cheryl Kary, executive director of the Sacred Pipe Resource Center in Mandan, said reservations have been gerrymandered many times.

She said a number of tribal nations feel they don't have elected officials who are aligned with their concerns.

"On Fort Berthold, for example, there's quite a few tribal members that are very concerned about the environmental degradation of fracking," said Kary. "And the representative that represents the area voted completely contrary to any concerns that they had."

Activists point to North Dakota electing state representatives through at-large seats as opposed to single member districts as part of the issue. They say the maps dilute the voting power of tribal nations, while deterring community members from seeking office.

Rep. Bill Devlin - R-Finley - who is poised to sit on the redistricting panel, says he's open to hearing these concerns, but says delays in getting census numbers could limit chances for additional meetings with tribes.

Samantha Kelty is a staff attorney with the Native American Rights Fund, which is assisting North Dakota activists in accessible redistricting. Aside from hearings on reservations, she said she wants the state to adopt more criteria, including communities of interest.

"For example, when its members may live within a 30 mile radius outside of the reservation - that may be a community of interest," said Kelty. "Or, there may be a nearby town that, while it doesn't consist of Native Americans, they may share some of the same cultural beliefs."

As for census numbers, which are used as a guiding tool in redistricting, Kary said it underscores the need for inclusion because last year's outreach for counting Indigenous residents was severely impacted by the pandemic.

"I do think there was likely an undercount, typcially there is," said Kary. "But I think in the pandemic, that created some additional barriers."

She said she worries that a larger-than-usual undercount will hurt tribal nations even more when the maps are redrawn.

Next week, members of the redistricting committee are likely to be selected. Because Republicans control the Legislature, they will oversee much of the process.

The maps will be voted on later in the year.




get more stories like this via email
more stories
A new report from California Competes outlined four main areas of action for colleges to take to reengage, reenroll, and propel comebacker students to completion. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

Social Issues

play sound

More than 6 million Californians stopped out of college before getting a degree and a new report has laid out a plan to bring them back on campus…


Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's public school system is facing a crisis, according to the recently released "Public Schooling in America 2024" report. It ranks the …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Advocates say Colorado legislative leaders are working to make the state a leader in addressing the youth mental health crisis. At least nine bills …


According to America's Health Rankings data, Georgia ranks 19th in teen suicide. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A coalition of organizations in Georgia is joining forces to combat the rising rate of suicide among children and teenagers. According to national …

Health and Wellness

play sound

A House bill aimed at increasing access to mental health care in Michigan could go to a vote on the House floor at any time. Rep. Felicia Brabec…

During the 2004 general election, Arizona voters approved Proposition 200, which requires "verifying the identity of applicants for state and local public benefits," according to the Arizona attorney general's website. (Mark Breck / Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Rep. Ben Toma, R-Peoria, Speaker of the Arizona House, has introduced legislation with hopes to curtail illegal immigration and save Arizonans big in …

play sound

Most school and transit buses on the nation's roadways these days are still powered by diesel engines but in Wisconsin and elsewhere, there is hope …

Social Issues

play sound

By Jay Gabler for Arts Midwest.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Arts Midwest-Public News Service Collabo…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021