Department of Interior

Tribal citizens brace for trauma, hope for healing with federal report on boarding schools

BY: - May 26, 2022

A first-of-its-kind federal report published this month on the history of Indian boarding schools signals the “very beginning” of a long national process toward healing deep generational wounds in Michigan and beyond, advocates say. So-called Indian residential schools — in which thousands of Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes and placed in schools […]

Whitmer asks Interior secretary to decide on federal status for Grand River Bands 

BY: - May 24, 2022

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has asked the federal government to promptly decide a West Michigan Ottawa tribe’s federal status, in order to make a better informed decision on whether to grant a neighboring tribe’s request for a casino in Muskegon County. The federally recognized Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, originally descended from villages of the […]

Congress explores creation of truth commission for U.S. Indian Boarding Schools

BY: - May 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Survivors of a U.S. policy that forced Indigenous children to attend boarding schools where they were abused, or went missing, detailed to members of a U.S. House Natural Resources panel during a Thursday hearing the need for Congress to establish a truth commission dedicated to unveiling the traumas Indigenous children experienced at the […]

Interior Department report details the brutality of federal Indian boarding schools

BY: - May 12, 2022

Updated, 7:22 a.m., 5/11/22 The atrocities committed at boarding schools designed and run by the federal government to eradicate Indigenous people were outlined by the U.S. Interior Department for the first time in a report published Wednesday. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland held back tears as she described the scope of the investigation that identifies 408 federal Indian boarding schools […]

Feds set aside $466M for tribes to combat climate change impacts

BY: - April 15, 2022

A new funding opportunity is now available for tribal communities facing the impacts of climate change, with the U.S. Department of the Interior announcing this week that $466 million is being set aside for tribes who wish to become more climate resilient. Indigenous peoples are often the first to bear the brunt of climate change […]

House resolution urges feds to recognize Odawa tribe in West Michigan

BY: - March 3, 2022

A new House resolution urges federal recognition of an Anishinaabek tribe in West Michigan, bolstering a multi-decade struggle by the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians (GRB) to become the state’s 13th federally recognized sovereign tribal nation. House Resolution (HR) 246 was introduced Thursday by state Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids). It states that the […]

U.S. inspector general finds Zinke broke ethics rules, wasn’t honest about real estate dealings

BY: - February 22, 2022

An investigation by the inspector general of the Department of the Interior found that former Secretary Ryan Zinke, a native of Montana and current congressional candidate, committed multiple ethics violations and was not honest in disclosing real estate dealings while he served in the Cabinet of former President Donald J. Trump. The investigation, released Wednesday, […]

Biden administration cancels mining leases in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters

BY: - January 27, 2022

The U.S. Interior Department will not allow mining in two areas near the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area in northern Minnesota, the department said Wednesday. The decision is a reversal of a Trump-era legal opinion, giving conservation advocates hope that nearly a quarter-million acres bordering the wilderness area that include the mining areas may also be […]

Haaland to remove racist terms from federal lands, including 31 in Michigan

BY: - December 1, 2021

Updated, 6:50 p.m., 12/6/21, with additional comments from tribal leaders U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has formally ordered the removal of the term “squaw” from federal geographic features, including 31 in Michigan alone, marking a step forward to reconcile place names that are now widely understood as offensive toward Indigenous people. Historically, “squaw” has been […]

Interior Department calls for oil and gas leasing updates, but not ending production

BY: - November 29, 2021

The U.S. Interior Department recommended increased fees for oil and gas exploration on federal lands as part of a long-awaited report released Friday that environmental groups said didn’t go far enough in limiting fossil fuels and Republicans derided as an attack on domestic producers. The report, ordered by President Joe Biden during his first week in […]

‘We have a voice’: Biden administration hosts first Tribal Nations Summit since 2016

BY: - November 16, 2021

State, federal and tribal leaders came together during the White House Tribal Nations Summit on Monday to talk about commitments towards Indian Country and highlight the importance of the nation-to-nation relationship between tribal nations and the U.S. government. “The White House sits on the ancestral homelands of the Anacostan and the Piscataway people,” Secretary of […]

Biden blocks energy leases as Tribal Nations Summit meets

BY: - November 16, 2021

President Joe Biden on Monday said the administration will move to prevent oil and gas development for two decades near Chaco Canyon, an area in northwestern New Mexico that’s culturally significant to the area’s Native American communities and important for biodiversity. The plan was formally announced during the White House Tribal Nations Summit, the first […]