Native Americans

A federal judge in Wyoming has struck down the Obama administration's regulations on hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management doesn't have the authority to establish rules over fracking on federal and Indian lands.

In the ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said Congress had not granted the BLM that power, and had instead chosen to specifically exclude fracking from federal oversight.

Teresa Trumbly Lamsam is the newest addition to the Osage News editorial board. She's also the executive editor of the Native Health News Alliance. The Osage News is one of a handful of newspapers and media outlets existing in Indian Country with a free press act in place. Osage News editor Shannon Shaw Duty talked to her about the importance of a free press and what's being done to foster and environment where reporters and editors are unembedded with the tribal government.

Colleen Thurston

All audio and photos by Colleen Thurston.

More than 1500 people from Oklahoma and beyond participated in the annual Choctaw Trail of Tears walk beginning at the council house grounds in Tvshka homma, Oklahoma. Tvshka homma means  Red Warrior in the Choctaw language.

Princella P. RedCorn

The film Medicine Woman by Princella RedCorn portrays the life of the first Native American doctor—Susan La Flesche Picotte—an Omaha woman who became a doctor in the late 1800's. She rallied for basic health care and was a passionate prohibitionist. She practiced medicine at a time when very little was available to doctors like herself.

A Republican state lawmaker said Thursday that a plan to expand beer and wine sales in Oklahoma would disproportionally affect Native Americans because they are "predisposed to alcoholism."

The comment from Rep. Todd Russ of Cordell during a debate over the measure, which passed on a 61-30 vote, drew a sharp rebuke from the chairman of the House Native American Caucus.

The resolution calls for a statewide vote on proposed changes to the Oklahoma Constitution needed to allow wine and cold, strong beer sales in grocery and convenience stores.

Cody Pedersen and his wife, Inyan, know that in an emergency they will have to wait for help to arrive.

Cody, 29, and his family live in Cherry Creek, a Native American settlement within the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in north central South Dakota.

The reservation is bigger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. But Cherry Creek has no general store, no gas station and few jobs.

UPDATE: This program aired on Friday, April 15. You can hear it in full below.

Frank Waln is a rapper and member of the Sicangu Lakota. He grew up on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Waln has rapped about the Keystone XL Pipeline, his battle with depression, and the modern Native American experience.

Waln joins Here & Nows Jeremy Hobson to talk about his new album, Tokiya, which comes out this year, and his efforts to be a role model for young Native Americans.

Shane Brown

Every culture uses satire and humor to deal with hard times, and Native Americans are no strangers to telling jokes when it comes to life on and off the reservation.

Today, one modern Native comedy troupe is taking it a step further.


Sixteen Oklahoma-based Indian tribes have received more than $11.8 million in federal grants to improve housing conditions and encourage construction projects and local jobs for low- and moderate-income families.

The grants by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development support a wide range of community development and affordable housing activities.