Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
The Navajo Nation has by far the largest landmass of any Native American tribe in the country. Now, it’s boasting the largest enrolled population, too. Navajos clamored to enroll or fix their records as the tribe offered hardship assistance payments from last year’s federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. That boosted the tribe’s rolls from about 306,000 to nearly 400,000 citizens.
The figure surpasses the Cherokee Nation’s enrollment of 392,000. But it, too, has been growing, said tribal spokesperson Julie Hubbard. The Oklahoma tribe has been receiving about 200 more applications per month from potential enrollees, leaving Navajo’s position at the top unstable. The numbers matter because tribes often are allocated money based on their number of citizens. Each of the 574 federally recognized tribes determines how to count its population. Navajo, for example, requires a one-quarter blood quantum to enroll. Cherokee primarily uses lineal descent.
Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.
Tribal governments received $4.8 billion from the CARES Act based on federal housing population data for tribes, which some said was badly skewed. The Treasury Department recently revised the methodology and said it would correct the most substantial disparities.
The Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, one of three tribes that sued the Treasury Department over the payments, said it’s satisfied with an additional $5.2 million it’s set to receive. The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians in Florida and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in Kansas would get $825,000 and $864,000 under the new methodology. Both said those amounts didn’t make sense when broken down to a per-person figure. They plan to continue their fight in court.
“We just cannot accept this as it is,” Carol Heckman, an attorney for Prairie Band, said in a court hearing last week. “We’re happy to keep talking about it, but Treasury would have to sweeten the pie.” The Miccosukee Tribe amended its lawsuit Wednesday to reflect the latest arguments.
The Treasury Department will avoid much of the problems it encountered with CARES Act funding in the distribution of the $20 billion for tribes under the American Rescue Plan Act. The department said it will use tribally certified enrollment figures to pay out $12.35 billion and tribal employment data for $6.65 billion. Another $1 billion will be divided equally among eligible tribal governments, the Treasury Department said. Alaska Native corporations, which own much of the Native land in Alaska under a 1971 settlement, aren’t eligible for any of the $20 billion in funding. The U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether the corporations will get a slice of the CARES Act money.
The Treasury Department set a Monday deadline for tribal governments to submit their enrollment information online for the American Rescue Plan funding. It acknowledged that no formula perfectly can capture the needs of tribes, which have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic. Tribes also won’t be under as tight of a deadline to spend the money as they were for the CARES Act and will have more flexibility. They can spend the money to replace lost revenue and improve water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure that often lags behind the rest of the U.S.
The Navajo Nation is on track to get the largest share of the enrollment-based funding. About half of its members live on the vast 70,000-square-kilometer reservation that extends into New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. The tribe opened the hardship assistance program in November, up against an initial deadline to spend federal virus assistance by the end of the year. It required that applicants be enrolled as Navajo citizens. The response was huge, with the tribe paying out more than $322 million to more than 293,000 applicants, the tribal controller’s office said. Adults received up to $1,350 and children up to $450.
On the American Rescue Plan Act funding, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez questioned the fairness of awarding more money to tribes that enroll people with less than one-fourth blood quantum. “Here on Navajo, we verify blood quantum, and that’s a requirement,” he told The Associated Press. “If they had that same requirement, one-quarter Cherokee, just imagine.”
The U.S. Census reflects higher numbers for Native Americans than tribes’ enrollment records because it allows people to self-identify as Native American and Alaska Native and report ties to multiple Indigenous groups across North America, Central America, and South America. Not all of those 5.2 million people are eligible to enroll in tribes. The 2010 count put the Cherokee Nation around 820,000 and Navajo at 332,000.
Cherokee Native Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said the recent higher enrollment figure from the Navajo Nation government shows Natives are strong and an important force for economies, education, and the environment. “It’s truly a positive anytime our citizenship grows and thrives,” he said in a statement. (VOA/JC)
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
ALSO READ: Can You Drink Coffee While You're Pregnant?
"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
ALSO READ: The Importance of a Good Mattress for Pregnant
"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.
Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.
ALSO READ: Emoji- A Choice for Interracial Couple
Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.
"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
ALSO READ: Apple Previews Selection of Emojis on World
This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)
Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.
Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.
ALSO READ: Jeff Bezos Used To Review Products On Amazon
After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin
Sirisha flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.IANS
Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk, and other passengers are set to liftoff from west Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space on July 20. Blue Origin announced this week that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate from the Netherlands, would join the crew.
Oliver is the son of millionaire Joe Daemen, Founder, and CEO of the Dutch investment company Somerset Capital Partners. Blue Origin, however, did not reveal how much Daemen paid for his son's trip to space. Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
ALSO READ: “We are Tiny”: Elon Musk to NASA
The launch site for Blue Origin's first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, from where the firm had launched New Shepard for previous flights. Blue Origin has received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space.
On July 12, Bandla touched the edge of space with three others, including Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson. Bandla vaulted into space onboard VSS Unity 22. After the successful spaceflight, Branson carried the Indian-American on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space, at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (IANS/KB)