Good News?

Since most news stories about indigenous peoples are about dislocation and legacies of colonialism, this special section includes more nuanced stories of resilience, legal gains, educational advancement, and positive projects of creativity, hope, and memorial.  Readers are welcome to contribute more examples from around the world.

Wonder about the fuss over Robin Wall Kimmerer’s best seller Braiding Sweetgrass ? See her 9/24/2023 NYTimes opinion piece “What Do We Owe Turtles?” While climate change is hardly good news, this piece makes you think and act.

Is this Indigeneity? Challenges of Identity and Asian Fusion by Hannah Beech (Malacca/ Malaysia).

Health and Politics

After huge losses in reservation communities due to COVID 19, the Indian Health Services has reversed policy of denying care to Black Natives (October 2021), Freedmen

Bolivian women in traditional dress using skateboarding to break barriers.

Employment in the US

US Bureau of Labor Statistics is making public previously hidden data on lagging Native American employment. A Brookings Institution 2022 report explains the contexts.

Land Rights

Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts have been restored — great news for the Inter-Tribal coalition of the Navajo Nation and the Hopi, Ute Indian, Ute Mountain Ute and Pueblo of Zuni Tribes that fought for this.

Whaling and Native Rights Issues

A Native Tribe Wants to Resume Whaling. Whale Defenders Are Divided. John Eligon of the New York Times (November 2019)

Joy Harjo Interview on PBS as She Opens Library of Congress Literary Season (PBS Sept 2019)

Joy Harjo Is the First Native American U.S. Poet Laureate Ron Charles of the Washington Post (June 2019)

Joy Harjo Is Named U.S. Poet Laureate Concepción de León of The New York Times (June 2019)

News From Cultural Survival

Cultural Survival appoints new Executive Director — Galina Angarova (Buryat).

Q&A with Cultural Survival’s New Executive Director: Galina Angarova

De-Colonizing Museums

“Putting History on its Head” at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York New York Times (December 20, 2019)

“The Story Box: Franz Boaz, George Hunt and the Making of Anthropology,” at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery in New York, a revisionist history collaborative project: Read about it in the Washington Post (April 2019)

Indian Beauty: Art of Native America The Metropolitan Museum of Art (October 4, 2018 – Ongoing)

Curated by Contemporary Artist Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke/Crow): Artistic Encounters with Indigenous America The Metropolitan Museum of Art (December 3, 2018 – May 13, 2019)

Polynesian Nature and Divinity: Atea: Nature and Divinity in Polynesia The Metropolitan Museum of Art (November 19, 2018 – October 27, 2019)

“What’s Wrong With This Diorama? You Can Read All About It” New York Times (March 2019)

Memorial to Honor Native American Veterans is Coming to the Mall Washington Post (March 2019)

US Supreme Court

Supreme Court Validates an American Indian Treaty (NPR, March 2019)

Youth, Education, Welfare

Updating the Indian Child Welfare Act: Who Should Get to Adopt Native American Children? (Lia Kvatum of the Washington Post, April 2019)

A panel at GU Law School chaired by Bette Jacobs and sponsored by the Native American Law Student Association, “Protecting Native Children: The Indian Child Welfare Act A Panel Discussion on the History, Impact, and Constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA),” was held March 28, 2019 For further information, contact

US Government report on inequality in “Native American” schools released, and presented as “limited school choice.” (US Goverment Accountability Office report, January 2019)

Brookings scholar Randall Akee covers Native American issues. (Brookings Institution, March 2019)

Tohono-Oodham Nation

People of the Tohono-Oodham Nation have lands straddling the US-Mexican border.  They are on the front lines of battles concerning the ramifications of building a physical barrier through their territories.  Schoolchildren pass between the two sides every day.  Here is important coverage:

“To Tribes Along Border, New Wall is a ‘Scar Across our Heart’” Simon Romero of the New York Times (February 2020)

‘Protecting’ a Wilderness, Trammeling It, Too Azam Ahmed of The New York Times (February 2019)

The Tohono O’odham and the Border Wall American Indian Magazine (Summer 2017)

use or abuse of sovereignty?

Indian Tribe Joins Big Pharma at the Supreme Court, Defending a Lucrative Deal Robert Pear of the New York Times (January 2019)

2018 Midterm elections

Native Legislators Tell Their Own Stories Via Social Media Indian Country Today (January 2019)

Indigenous Internationalism at Mexican Inauguration Ceremony

The recently installed President of Mexico López Obrador worked with indigenous communities in Chiapas before his rise to power.

“Very Special, a Huge Honor” Angela Kocherga, Albuquerque Journal (December 2018)

When Foes Become Friends

Climate Change and Indigeneity Case Studies: Indonesia, Peru, Guyana and others

“When Foes Become Friends: Indigenous Rights and REDD+ in Indonesia” William Savedoff, Center for Global Development (November 2018)

“What Will It Take to Stop Tropical Deforestation? Lessons from a Case Study of Indigenous Peoples and REDD+ in Peru” William Savedoff, Center for Global Development (August 2018)

“Competing or Complementary Strategies? Protecting Indigenous Rights and Paying to Conserve Forests” William Savedoff, Center for Global Development (July 2018)

Should We Contact Isolated Tribes?

“American’s Death Revives Evangelical Debate Over Extreme Missionary Work” Megan Specia of the New York Times (December 2018)

“Missionary’s Killing Reignites Debate About Isolated Tribes: Contact, Support or Stay Away?” Ernesto Londoño of the New York Times (November 2018)

“Developing Terra Nullius: Colonialism, Nationalism, and Indigeneity in the Andaman Islands” Uditi Sen, Comparative Studies in Society and History (October 2017)


This section highlights the advancements, achievements, and presence of indigenous peoples and their cultures in higher education environments. 

Jacob Rosales, the Red Cloud Indian School, Class of 2017

Jacob Rosales, a Lakota Indian recently graduated from the Red Cloud Indian School on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, has defied the odds. Fighting the negative statistics plaguing Pine Ridge Reservation, not only is Mr. Rosales attending Yale University in the Fall of 2017, but he has been accepted to seven of the Ivy League Colleges. Read more about this young Lakota man’s achievements: “Beating the Toughest Odds, New Graduate on the Pine Ridge Reservation Accepted to Seven Ivy league Colleges.” (June 2017)

First Nations, Canada

Nunavut Land Claim Agreement Act (1993)

A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Resource Development Principles (2015)

“Guardians of a Vast Lake, and a Refuge for Humanity:” First Unesco Biosphere Reserve led by indigenous community (2017)

Native American Activism and Recognition

The U.S. Once Forced This Native American Tribe to Move. Now They’re Getting Their Land Back Marisa Iati of the Washington Post (September 2019)

What Do Native Americans Want From a President? David Montgomery of the Washington Post (May 2019)

Ramapough Lenape Indians Fighting for Sacred Land in New Jersey: Native Americans Find Surprising Ally in N.J. Fight: Trump Administration Sarah Maslin Nir of The New York Times (April 2019)

Local history: “An Archival Hunt Uncovers Part of Washington’s Lost Native American History” Dana Hedgpeth of the Washington Post (November 2018)

“Images of the Osage, Made by the Osage” Thomas Ryan RedCord of the Washington Post (November 2018)

Former Vice President Joe Biden kneels before Native American Congresswoman-elect Deb Haaland = a classic no longer on Instagram.

“Meet the Native American Woman Who Beat the Sponsor of North Dakota’s ID Law” Maggie Astor of the New York Times (November 2019)

“Native Americans Score Historic Wins in Midterms After Years of Efforts” Simon Romero of the New York Times (November 2018)

“In North Dakota, Native Americans Try to Turn ID Law into a Gain” Maggie Astor of The New York Times (October 2018)

“Santa Fe Honors Its History — In Old and New Ways” Eduardo Díaz and Kevin Gover of the Santa Fe New Mexican (September 2018)

“American Indian museum comes of age by tackling this country’s lies:” Philip Kennicott of The Washington Post (January 2018)

American Indians March on Washington (March 2017)

“Honoring Our Patriots:” Kevin Gover on the National Museum of American Indian Honoring Veterans Project (Fall 2016)

Federal Recognition Process for Six Virginia Indian Tribes on the 400th anniversary of the burial of Pocahontas (March 2017)

Australia and New Zealand

Important 42,000 Year Old Ancestral Remains Returned from Smithsonian Tony Perrottet of Smithsonian Magazine; Photographs by David Maurice Smith (September 2019)

Outback Justice Questioned after suspected policy abuse: A Broken Skull, a Dubious Paper Trail: Australian Justice for One Aboriginal Man Damien Cave and Brook Mitchell of The New York Times (May 2019)

‘It’s Entirely Up to Me’: Indigenous Australians Find Empowerment in Start-Ups Isabella Kwai of the New York Times (January 2019)

Maori Language, Once Shunned, Is Having a Renaissance in New Zealand Charlotte Graham-McLay of the New York Times (September 2018)

Is This Good News? You Decide: “A Fading Maoori Town is Pinning All Its Hopes on a Marijuana Boom” Charlotte Graham-McLay of the New York Times (November 2018)

“Maori Language, Once Shunned, Is Having a Renaissance in New Zealand” Charlotte Graham-McLay of The New York Times (September 2018)

The Māori campaign to have the Whanganui River granted legal rights: The Guardian: “New Zealand River Granted Same Legal Rights as Human Being” (March 2017)
BioEdge: “New Zealand River Declared a Legal Person” (March 2017)
The New York Times: “In New Zealand, Lands and Rivers Can Be People (Legally Speaking)” (July 2016)


Brazil 2018 – A Glimmer of Hope in Difficult Times Forest Peoples Programme (October 2018)

“How Brazil Nuts are Helping Protect the Amazon Rainforest” PBS NewsHour (October 2018)