Indian Country Today

Happy Thursday. Here’s a look at what’s happening today:

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Asteroid named after Chickasaw astronaut

One of the 27 asteroids named after pioneering astronauts includes the first Native in space.

An asteroid was named after John Herrington, Chickasaw, who spent 14 days aboard the International Space Station and performed three spacewalks during the mission.

The Minor Planet Center, an organization affiliated with the International Astronomical Union, announced the namesake asteroids in February. Each asteroid is located between Mars and Jupiter.

Bonus:

Watch: Interview with John Herrington originally aired in April 2020.

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Sports-betting venues opening at 2 western at Cherokee casinos

CHEROKEE, N.C. (AP) — The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is ready to open sports-betting venues at its two western North Carolina casinos.

Thursday’s sports book openings at the Harrah’s Cherokee casinos in Cherokee and Murphy come nearly two years after the General Assembly gave the federally recognized American Indian tribe the authority to offer this type of gambling.

Patrons can bet on pro and collegiate sports, as well as on off-site horse races.

To read more, click here.

Bay Mills Indian Community elects new leader

Whitney Gravelle was elected as the new chairperson of the Bay Mills Indian Community in Michigan, according to Bay Mills News.

Gravelle received the most votes in this week’s election in a three-person race.

The special election took place after Bryan Newland resigned to become the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs.

Tribal cases swamp US prosecutors

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department’s to-do list was already daunting, especially with this year's flood of pandemic-delayed federal cases. And now two very different legal concerns — insurrection cases in Washington and tribal land disputes out West — are threatening to totally swamp the department.

Together, the unprecedented investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and court decisions giving the federal government sudden jurisdiction over crimes on more Native American lands have put enormous pressure on the Justice Department, creating an immediate challenge for new Attorney General Merrick Garland. And defendants could be waiting a long time - some of them behind bars - for their day in court.

To read more, click here.

Another powwow canceled

Coeur d’Alene Casino has announced the cancellation of this year’s Julyamsh powwow. Held annually in July, the event is one of the largest powwows in the nation bringing the best drums from across the U.S. and Canada, and dancers from across the continent.

To read more, click here.

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