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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah legislator's proposed resolution discouraging schools from renaming mascots involving Native Americans has prompted a protest at the state Capitol. James Courage Singer, co-founder of the Utah League of Native American Voters, told a crowd of about 50 protesters Saturday that Native American mascots are dehumanizing. High school students in Cedar City in 2019 renamed their “Redmen” mascot to “Reds.” Republican Rep. Rex Shipp, of Cedar City, is sponsoring the resolution that discourages such renaming. Shipp expressed surprise at the protest, saying the resolution only offers a “blueprint” for communities struggling with such decisions.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Two students at a Utah military academy have died of influenza. Weber-Morgan Health Department officials say an epidemiologist confirmed the students tested positive for different strains of flu. Neither the school nor the health department identified the students. A GoFundMe page says an eighth-grader at the military academy came down with flu and pneumonia on Jan. 17 and was doing better until he was hospitalized with breathing difficulties Friday. The website says the boy died later that day.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. land managers say they will release by mid-March a priority list of federal lands that need but don’t have public access. U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials want people to nominate lands where the public could legally hunt, fish or pursue other recreational purposes, except the lands have no or limited access. The agency manages 383,000 square miles of land, primarily in western states. A representative of the National Wildlife Federation says the public access initiative is laudable but must be considered in the context of Trump’s broad rollbacks of environmental rules.
TUBA CITY, Ariz. (AP) — A movement to draw attention to Native American women and girls who have been killed or reported missing is expanding in some areas to include males. Margaret Bitsue's son is among them. The Navajo woman hasn't seen or heard from her youngest child in more than four years. She says a recent forum on the Navajo Nation that centered on males gives her hope that she's not alone in her search for answers. Late last year, the Trump administration announced it would dedicate more resources to all missing and slain Native Americans and Alaska Natives.