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Voters Who Could Decide Close Elections in 2022: Natives are casting critical votes, as well as running for—and winning—local, state, and national offices.

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OJ Semans, Rosebud Sioux organizer of the Nevada forum and co-director of the voting-rights group  Four Directions. Photo by Justin Poole. This article appeared in Yes! magazine in August 2022.  [UPDATE: The September Georgia Tribes Native American Candidate Forum will present gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, who is running for re-election, among others. Set for 19th and 20th at Atlanta’s ZuCot Gallery, the event follows up on Four Directions’ June forum, described below. It will continue the voting-rights group’s efforts to increase voter turnout in Indian country, especially in battleground states, says Rosebud Sioux co-director OJ Semans.] Over the course of two days in June, a lively, engaged audience listened to federal and state candidates describe their positions and plans at a Native-run candidate forum at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, law school. These meetings are teaching moments, says OJ Semans, the Rosebud Sioux organizer of

Mining Companies Strike Gold by Destroying Public Lands: Indigenous tribes sound the alarm

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A slightly shorter version of this article first appeared in In These Times in June 2022.  Joseph Holley surveys mining damage.  Photo by Joseph Zummo T ribal chairman Joseph Holley, seen right, looks out over the magnificent sweep of Nevada hills and mountains where his Western Shoshone people have thrived for  millennia . Grey-green and bright-yellow shrubs embellish the carpet of golden fall grasses stretching to the horizon. As we traverse the area, driving and hiking, Holley points out scars on the cherished land. He shows me battered metal contraptions marking long-shuttered mines. Active mines are gigantic, step-sided craters; widely spaced bars cover their dangerously long airshafts.  ​ “ We keep our kids close by in these areas,” Holley says.  ​ “ They could easily fall through.” The access road to one mine destroyed stands of medicinal plants cultivated by an ancient Western Shoshone doctor. A mine’s crew gouged a trench across a hill where tribal members seek visions. Centu