Welcome to the ASU American Indian Policy Institute's Official Blog.  The purpose of this blog is to provide an immediate way to get vital information out to Tribal Nations, to provide a more interactive space for information to get out to those working with Native Nations and to provide a more personal space for stories related. This is an educational space. Therefore, all writing is done by AIPI staff, will be vetted by leadership, and will have links or documentation to support concepts, ideas, and topics. If you have any concerns or suggestions about the blog please contact us directly.

As a result of the ongoing pandemic and the public health recommendations that come with it, ASU celebrated its Spring 2020 graduates in a virtual, online ceremony the week of May 11. Among those celebrated were many American Indian scholars who received this letter of congratulations from Laura Gonzales-Macias, American Indian Student Support Services Interim Director, and Bryan Brayboy, Special Advisor to the President on American Indian Affairs. Well done graduates, we’re excited to see all that you will accomplish!

While the Navajo Nation remains a hotspot for the virus, donations...

A group of ASU alumni organized an essential-needs drive for tribal communities affected by COVID-19 . The group sent a 21-foot moving truck full of essentials to the Navajo Nation last week and is planning more donation drives in the future. Planned donation drives include help for other tribal nations, including the Hopi and San Carlos Apache, as well as an unnamed Pueblo in New Mexico. Check out the First People’s COVID-19 Resource Drive site for more information on any upcoming drives and requested donations.

In Western Arizona, the Cocopah and Quechan...

Coronavirus in Indian Country - A Roundtable Hosted by the  House Natural Resources Committee Democrats

In the fight against COVID-19, tribal nations face many of the same health, education, and economic public policy challenges as non-Native state and local governments. However, they are further hindered by an obstacle course of red tape and administrative misapplications from the federal government that prevents tribes from fully utilizing their sovereign authority and hamper their pandemic defense and recovery strategies. This is an area that some U.S. representatives feel deserves the full attention of Congress and the Administration.

The House Natural Resources Committee Democrats hosted a virtual roundtable discussion this morning in which members of The House of Representatives listened to leading experts from Indian Country about how...

Stories of Resilience in Indian Country

Illuminatives and NDN Collective: Native Americans & Covid-19 Town Hall (May 1, 2020)

Illuminatives, in partnership with NDN Collective and Indian Country Today, hosted the Native Americans & COVID-19 Town Hall on April 30. The multi-panel discussion covered the impact of COVID-19 on health in Indian Country, tribal governments and economies, and the disproportionate impacts on native peoples and communities of color. Panelists also discussed resilience and community building in the time of COVID-19 and “pathways forward for resilience, health and transformative change.” One of the main takeaways of the town hall meeting is that we, meaning Indian Country and the United States...

AIPI Blog Top Banner - closing the digital divide

A new bill announced today by the co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus would give tribes emergency authority of broadband spectrum over their lands, in an effort to greatly increase internet access for tribal nations grappling with COVID-19 pandemic response.

“Broadband has been an issue…in Indian Country, for a very long time,” Haaland said in an interview with The NM Political Report. “The pandemic has pulled back the blanket and the sun is illuminating these disparities.” She added that internet access should be viewed as a basic necessity, like home electricity.

“Tribal Nations have been hit...

AIPI Blog Top Banner - serve students
Posted by
Dr. Traci Morris
Director, AIPI

As the school year comes to a close and we all begin another month in some stage of quarantine, it is hard to believe how much our world has changed. And yet, some things haven’t changed; rather long-standing disparities are only just now coming to the forefront of public attention. The unfortunately vast gulf in internet access between indigenous people and the rest of the United States has been opened up for all to see as Native nations are hit harder than other populations by the virus and the economics of the situation. One of the topics that we at AIPI have been researching for years (and...

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Today is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Day of Awareness . You may have seen the hashtags: #MMIWG #WhyWeWearRed #NoMoreStolenSisters #NotInvisible You may have seen your colleagues posting pictures of themselves wearing red or with a red hand-print on their faces. We do this because we can’t march to show our solidarity. We do this to bring attention to the injustices indigenous women continue to experience in the 21st Century.

As tribal nations continue to wait for federal aid set aside for them over a month ago , we are seeing tribal members dying from COVID-19 at higher rates than people in...

Pueblo of Pojoaque

Image Credit: Pueblo of Pojoaque website

As the world grapples with the realities of living in a new normal, tribal governments are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with agile governance and innovative management practices in ways that often pay homage to centuries of wisdom and cultural teachings.

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) hosted a panel discussion April 30, titled “NCAI Forum: Tribal Governments in Action,” to ask leaders what their tribe is doing to provide government services in response to COVID-19.

“The strategic approach we took was based on [our] cultural values,” said Yurok Tribe Chairman Joe James....


Indian Country’s resilience was on display again last week. Despite uniquely adverse times, state and tribal governments and partners alike continue to find ways to donate money and resources to those in need. Many of these stories are highlighted below, along with opportunities to contribute, if you are able.

The Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund continues to raise money rapidly, as the fund has now surpassed $1.1 million. Last week, Jason Momoa, a Native Hawaiian famous for his roles in Game of Thrones and Aquaman, sent a massive truck carrying 28 pallets with more than 1,500 cases...

Tribal governments throughout Indian Country continue to generously donate supplies and resources to aid their communities through the challenges presented by COVID-19. Today, we are happy to bring you many examples of this generosity in the face of adversity. If you would like to join donation efforts, more opportunities to contribute are included below.

Since schools in North Dakota were closed on March 16, the Standing Rock district has been distributing sack lunches to students and families at the schools or delivering them through the neighborhoods in school buses. Last Friday, The Muscogee (Creek) Nation ...



5-14-2020: PDF iconSummary of HEROS Act

5-14-2020: PDF iconTribal Provisions in HEROS Act

5-13-2020: HEROS Act HR6433

5-12-2020: HR 6819-116th Congress PDF iconSpectrum Over Tribal Lands Bill

5-11-2020: Tribal Organizations PDF iconCOVID-19 Infrastructure Recovery Legislative Proposal (Phase #4)

5-6-2020: Congressional Native American Caucus: PDF iconCOVID-19 House Emergency Package for Fourth Appropriations Supplement 

5-5-2020: PDF iconWhite House Response and Support to Indian Country COVID-19

5-5-2020: Urban Indian Health CoalitionPDF iconBest Practices for American Indian and Alaska Native Data Collection

4-29-2020: NCAI Policy Research Center: PDF iconCOVID-19 Data-Situation Summary

4-21-2020: Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University: Roadmap to Pandemic To Resilience

4-14-2020: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: States Need Significantly More Fiscal Relief to Slow the Emerging Deep Recession (includes analysis  on the needs of tribal governments)

4-10-2020: Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development: Letter to Treasury