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U.S. Catholic bishops encourage government search for boarding school graves

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U.S. Catholic bishops encourage government search for boarding school graves

By Brad Brooks

(Reuters) – Two influential U.S. Roman Catholic Church bishops are encouraging their peers to cooperate with a federal investigation into abuses committed within the former Native American boarding school system.

In a letter sent to all U.S. bishops in November, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, who heads a church committee on domestic justice, and Bishop James Wall of Gallup, New Mexico, who leads a church committee on Native American affairs, asked fellow bishops to hand over records investigators may seek and allow access to property where the unmarked remains of Native American students may lie.

Coakley’s office confirmed in an email Wednesday that he and Wall sent the letter, which was seen by Reuters.

The U.S. Department of the Interior has said it will release a report on its investigation in April of next year. That report “will likely bring to light some very troubling information,” Coakley and Gallup wrote.

For over 150 years, beginning in 1819, Native American children in the United States were forcibly removed from their tribes and sent to such schools, many operated by Catholic and other churches on behalf of the government. Many children were abused at the schools, and tens of thousands were never heard from again, activists and researchers say.

Coakley and Wall urged bishops to reach out to Native Americans to understand “where reconciliation is needed and what form that might take.”

Christine Diindiisi McCleave, head of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and a descendant of school survivors, told Reuters that “churches can participate in truth telling, but they do not get to lead the healing for Native people.”

Churches must use caution that any conversations do not add to trauma for survivors, she added.

Conditions at former Native American boarding schools gained global attention earlier this year when tribal leaders in Canada, which modeled boarding schools on the U.S. system, announced the discovery of the unmarked graves of 215 children at the site of the former Kamloops residential school for indigenous children.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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EPA withdraws Trump Oklahoma environment order after input from tribes

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EPA withdraws Trump Oklahoma environment order after input from tribes
© Reuters. A woman from Dancing Eagles dance troupe from the Osage and Creek tribes performs a dance at an Indian relay race over Memorial Day weekend in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, U.S., May 29, 2021. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

By Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Wednesday it plans to withdraw and reconsider a Trump administration decision to grant Oklahoma authority over environmental issues on tribal land after consulting with the state’s 38 tribal nations.

The agency would reverse a decision made in October 2020 by then-EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who approved a request from Republican Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt to allow the state rather than tribal nations to regulate environmental issues on land inside historical tribal reservation boundaries.

Stitt’s had requested the authority in July 2020 after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the landmark McGirt v. Oklahoma case that a large part of eastern part of the state would be considered Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation land. The McGirt v. Oklahoma case focused on a question of criminal jurisdiction.

“Our sovereign Tribal partners continue to have significant concerns with EPA’s previous decision and the consultation process used in reaching that decision,” said Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs Jane Nishida. “Today’s action reflects careful consideration of their concerns and our commitment to ensuring robust consultation on all policy deliberations affecting Tribal nations.”

The Biden administration began informal talks with Oklahoma tribes over whether they should have a bigger say over a range of environmental regulations in the eastern half of the oil-rich state in April. It began formal government-to-government tribal consultations in June.

Tribes had complained that they had not been consulted with before the Trump administration made its decision.

Oklahoma Republican government sources told Reuters in April that it was concerned the state risks losing control of a big tax base and about regulation of natural resource extraction and industry if jurisdiction remains with tribes.

Most of Oklahoma’s oil and gas production is in the western part of the state, but some fields are in the eastern part of the state.

The EPA will take comment on its withdrawal proposal until Jan. 31, 2022.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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China bars four from U.S. panel on religious freedom in response to sanctions

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China bars four from U.S. panel on religious freedom in response to sanctions
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chinese and U.S. flags flutter outside a company building in Shanghai, China November 16, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) -China has barred entry to four people from a U.S. commission on religious freedom, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday, following U.S. sanctions this month against Chinese people and entities over accusations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

The four people, from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), would be banned from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.

Their assets in China would also be frozen and Chinese institutions and citizens would be forbidden from dealing with them, Zhao said at a regular briefing in Beijing.

“We are not surprised to see the Chinese government impose additional baseless sanctions in response to growing concern over its egregious human rights and religious freedom violations,” said USCIRF chair Nadine Maenza, one of the people China barred entry to, according to an online statement.

The United States had said that its Dec. 10 sanctions were in response to human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region, where Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are alleged to have been unlawfully detained, mistreated and forced to work. China denies abuses in Xinjiang and says its policies there help combat extremism.

The USCIRF is a federal government entity which evaluates and suggests policies for countries where religious freedom is deemed to be endangered.

Apart from USCIRF’s chair, the sanctions would also affect the vice chair and two commissioners at USCIRF, Zhao said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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White House says action on legislative agenda is urgently needed

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White House says action on legislative agenda is urgently needed
© Reuters. Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a media briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 14, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin remain on friendly terms despite Manchin’s decision to oppose Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday.

Psaki said action on Biden’s legislative agenda is urgently needed. She said she would not “relitigate” Manchin’s announcement of opposition on Sunday and her subsequent statement that was sharply critical of him.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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