Indian Country Blog Posts

This month, we celebrate the resilience of all those who live with mental illness and those who have passed on after battling mental illness. Among other mental health concerns, the COVID-19 pandemic has been shown to increase stress and depression.  I am a Two-Spirit person living with bipolar and anxiety. I have acutely experienced the impact of the pandemic. I offer my story today to frame a discussion of mental health resources and Indigenous approaches to mental health.

It’s 2022; I am 28 years old and have been struggling my whole life with the aforementioned conditions. For me, these mental health issues came with suicidal thoughts and alcohol use. The...

We are getting ready for the second cohort of the ILA program! Please follow us for updates on application information. 

My next blog post deadline was coming soon… I could not for the life of me think of a proper topic. Graduation? Leadership? Business? I went for a walk where I do my best thinking, and inspiration struck! May is Get Caught Reading month which highlights the opportunity to raise awareness of the advantages of indulging in literature. I thought, what better way to feature the advantages of literature than to tap into the minds of the staff at the American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI). I admire and respect the...

This month is National wildfire awareness month, and it is an important time for those of us who live in regions prone to wildfires. Wildfires have been a threat to ecosystems, human life, and property, many Tribes live in areas that face regular wildfires such as forests, grasslands, and prairies. Here in the southwest, wildfires are intensified by the hot and dry conditions of ongoing drought. However, the threat is spreading to more areas around the world. According to a 2022 UN Environment Programme report, wildfires are burning more frequently and with greater intensity, and in areas that do not normally experience them.

Wildfires are part of the larger...

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) closely follows public policy analysis and research surrounding the systemic violence suffered by Indigenous women. In recognition of SAAM, AIPI would like to take some time and space to discuss the recent 2022 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and its projected effect on Indigenous communities. The reauthorization of VAWA reaffirmed the critical legislative focus on the domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking faced by Indigenous women in the United States. In a constant effort to destigmatize the disproportionate representation of violence against Indigenous women, this blog aims to create a safe space...

On Earth Day, we would like to highlight the deep relationship Indigenous peoples have to the land and how Indigenous peoples are responding to climate change around the world. It is an often-cited fact that Indigenous peoples are responsible for land that has 80 percent of the Earth’s biodiversity. Yet it is also true that Indigenous peoples face the brunt of climate change. Today, we focus on ways Indigenous peoples are planning for the future and highlight resources on climate change for Tribal Nations.

As inherent stewards of the land, Tribal Nations are already taking action. Yale 360 documented how the Swinomish are revitalizing their relationship with the ocean...

Saturday, March 26, 2022, marked the closing of the American Indian Policy Institute’s (AIPI) first-ever Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA). A bittersweet conclusion to a historic inaugural program, the cessation of ILA will leave a gap in AIPI’s weekly activities and those of us at AIPI will eagerly welcome the next cohort coming in the Fall of 2022. Although observing the completion of such a vigorous and successful program is a difficult task, there is now time for reflection on lived experiences and observations, which will in turn allow for continuous growth and advancement in what is a prominent Indigenous leadership program, now and in the future. As those of us...

Saturday, March 26, 2022, marked the closing of the American Indian Policy Institute’s (AIPI) first-ever Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA). A bittersweet conclusion to a historic inaugural program, the cessation of ILA will leave a gap in AIPI’s weekly activities and those of us at AIPI will eagerly welcome the next cohort coming in the Fall of 2022. 

Although observing the completion of such a vigorous and successful program is a difficult task, there is now time for reflection on lived experiences and observations, which will in turn allow for continuous growth and advancement in what is a prominent Indigenous leadership program, now and in the future.

Throughout the course of...

For Arizona State University, this week is shaping to be reflective, educational, valuable and cultural. April 4th through the 10th is Indigenous culture week (ICW) at ASU. Arizona State University is located on the ancestral homeland of the O’odham and Piipaash people. As part of Turtle Island (North and South America), Indigenous Culture Week seeks to celebrate the Indigenous people of this land and promote the Indigneous voices around the world. The goal of Indigenous Culture Week is to bring our community together to educate, celebrate and share ideas, values, and traditions across all four campuses. This year’s theme is “Past, Present, Future…Indigenous Forever” The ICW Committee put...

The 2020 Census undercount poses challenges to Tribes. The expanded outreach of the 2020 Census was no match for the obstacles created by COVID-19, and American Indians and Alaska Natives living on reservations were once again undercounted. This time by 5.6 percent. In 2010, the undercount was 4.9 percent. The 2020 Census is key to Tribal planning decisions and funding opportunities.

In an NCAI news release, President Fawn Sharp of the National Congress of American Indians stated, “Every undercounted household and individual in our communities means lost funding and resources that are desperately needed to address the significant disparities we face." 

Official population counts are used when applying for federal...

On the winter evening of February 25, 2022, Indigenous leaders from throughout Arizona sat down in front of their devices to commence module five of the American Indian Policy Institute’s (AIPI) Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA). The inaugural cohort had seen continuous growth in the previous four weeks in familiarity, inspiration, and knowledge. As the fifth ILA zoom meeting got underway, the momentum was palpable, and for good reason. With Geoffrey Blackwell as the guest speaker, the cohort was in for an exhilarating evening. 

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indigenous peoples paused on participating in many invaluable cultural events that focus on the importance of togetherness and community....

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