Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins is a former Michigan Advance reporter. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service.

Trauma, healing and hope as stolen Native remains return home

By: and - June 17, 2023

“Nothing is sacred if it is old and non-white. Especially if it is buried in the ground,” reads a 1972 Nishnawbe News article featured alongside a photo of an uncovered mass gravesite. Written for the Native-run Northern Michigan University newspaper 50 years ago, the student author’s piece describes a public display in St. Ignace in […]

Lawmakers plan to address PFAS in products, support for impacted communities and more

By: - May 9, 2023

A group of lawmakers and advocates gathered in Lansing Tuesday to announce the anticipated rollout of a large set of bills targeting toxic “forever chemicals,” which have long plagued Michigan’s drinking water, soil and air. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are man-made substances, often byproducts of manufacturing, that pose threats to public health. The Michigan […]

Experts say pandemic is ‘not at all’ over while grappling with gaps in COVID-19 data 

By: - May 9, 2023

It has now been more than three years since COVID-19 threw the world into upheaval — but with reported cases falling in Michigan and a general sense of pre-pandemic normalcy back, many entities have ramped down their reporting methods for new COVID-19 cases and deaths. Because of this, the Advance will no longer report weekly […]

Odawa tribe in West Michigan continues fight for federal recognition

By: - May 8, 2023

A state-recognized Anishinaabek tribe in West Michigan says it has been “poring over historic documentation” in the last several months to make a stronger case to the federal government for recognition. The Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians (GRB) has been striving for 30 years to become Michigan’s 13th federally recognized sovereign tribal nation. In […]

Hundreds march for missing, murdered Indigenous relatives in Grand Rapids

By: - May 6, 2023

With the bright, blooming greens of springtime juxtaposed against a sea of red shirts and dresses, and tribal flags blowing in the breeze above them, hundreds of Indigenous citizens marched through Grand Rapids on Friday to amplify the nation’s epidemic of missing, murdered and Indigenous people (MMIP). “Violence against Indigenous people is an epidemic. And […]

U.N. panel on Indigenous issues asks Canada and U.S. to shut down Line 5 pipeline

By: - May 4, 2023

In a final report issued Friday, an Indigenous-led United Nations panel recommended that Canada and the United States shut down the controversial Line 5 oil pipeline that transports oil through tribal treaty lands and waters in Michigan. “The permanent forum calls on Canada to reexamine its support for Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline that jeopardizes […]

House Republicans want Haadsma to lose chairmanship amid claims he ‘covered up’ sexual assault

By: - May 2, 2023

Updated, 2:18 p.m., 5/3/23 with additional comments A group of House Republicans are calling for punitive measures against state Rep. Jim Haadsma (D-Battle Creek), who they say helped “cover up” an alleged sexual assault by a prominent former union lobbyist. “A serious allegation has been made, and [Haadsma’s] involvement is suspicious,” state Rep. Jamie Thompson […]

University of Michigan graduate workers protest during commencement weekend

By: - April 29, 2023

Updated, 8:12 a.m., 4/29/23, 8:06 a.m. 5/2/23 It has been six months since bargaining began between the University of Michigan and its unionized graduate student workers. And still, on a Friday afternoon in April, workers are picketing on the street in freezing rain — days before their contract expires. Negotiations with the university are “frustrating” […]

Biden names Whitmer as reelection campaign co-chair

By: - April 28, 2023

Alongside his Tuesday announcement that he will be running for reelection, President Biden also named Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as one of his national reelection campaign co-chairs. Whitmer is the only governor on the panel. She joins U.S. Reps. Lisa Blunt-Rochester (D-Del.), Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Veronica Escobar (D-Texas);U.S. Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Tammy Duckworth […]

Line 5 opponents urge Biden’s solicitor general to intervene in Nessel v. Enbridge

By: - April 27, 2023

With an appeals court now weighing whether to keep Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Line 5 battle in federal court or send it back to state court — either of which would significantly sway the final outcome — dozens of local Democratic party leaders have sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging his administration’s legal […]

All House Republicans vote against resolution recognizing librarians

By: - April 26, 2023

Among the routine introductions of commemorative resolutions in the House on Tuesday was one that was met with surprising partisan pushback: A House resolution to declare April 25, 2023, as Librarian and Library Worker day in the state of Michigan. House Resolution 81 recognizes libraries as “cultural institutions at the heart of every Michigan community […]

Michigan lawmakers, AG unveil bills to crack down on targeted hate violence

By: - April 26, 2023

Flanked by more than a dozen state lawmakers on Wednesday, state Rep. Noah Arbit (D-West Bloomfield) and Attorney General Dana Nessel announced a package of bills that would update Michigan’s “outdated” and “woefully inadequate” laws to protect against hate crimes. House Bills 4474-4477 would enact the Michigan Hate Crime Act and the Institutional Desecration Act, […]