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Haatiishaa ool yee? Autoimmune Disease (part 2)

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As we approach the 150 year anniversary of the treaty of 1868, a signing that would release the Navajo and other native tribes from imprisonment at Fort Sumner, it’s time to celebrate another form of freedom, freedom from disease.

Last week I wrote the column “Haatiishaa aaldi nei? (Autoimmune Disease)” and...

Senate Republican Health Bill Would Harm New Mexico’s Tribal Communities

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Report shows a 232 percent increase in Native uninsurance under Senate bill

ALBUQUERQUE—By slashing Medicaid and making marketplace coverage unaffordable, the U.S. Senate Republican health bill would have devastating consequences for New Mexico’s American Indians. The uninsured rate among Native Americans in New Mexico would jump an estimated 232 percent under the bill, according to a new report from the Washington, DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“The Senate Republican health bill would be devastating to Native American people living in New Mexico,” said James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children. “Our tribal communities are the...

Heinrich, Udall call on Trump Administration to consider public support for monuments

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich led a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol with U.S. Senator Tom Udall and a number of other Senate Democrats July 11, on President Donald Trump’s executive order that could unravel dozens of America’s national monuments despite the strong outpouring of support from across the nation. The Senators were joined by public lands and community coalitions who called on President Trump and Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to listen to the American people and keep existing monument protections in place.

The monument review threatens public lands and national monument designations including the Organ Mountains-Desert...

The real value of our public lands

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Camping is one of this nation’s great equalizers. Whether you camp with the latest, most expensive gear, or you hang a tarp and sleep in the bed of a pickup truck, there is a camping style to fit most every budget. It continues to be, for many families, one of the cheapest ways to vacation and enjoy the great outdoors. Camping is becoming an equalizer in a different way, as more and more racial and ethnic minorities are pitching tents.

A recent survey showed that of the one million U.S. households that went camping for the first time in 2016, nearly 40 percent were either Hispanic (13 percent), African American (12 percent) or Asian American (14 percent). Non-white campers now...

The vital role of NM Educational Retirement Board

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Both of my parents are retired educators, so my family understands firsthand the importance of secure retirement benefits for educational employees. The New Mexico Educational Retirement Board (NMERB) plays an important role in the lives of our 46,000 retirees and 60,000 active members. They and the Legislature have entrusted NMERB with providing secure retirement benefits to all of New Mexico’s public educational employees and their beneficiaries.

I consider this a sacred trust. Personally, I never want to diminish benefits for our retirees, nor do I like adjusting the plan.

The NMERB Board of Trustees and I have consistently taken a proactive position to ensure that future retirees...

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