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Utah county asks Biden to restore Bears Ears

The San Juan County Commission in Utah has passed a resolution calling on President-elect Joe Biden to make it a priority of his new administration to take “immediate action” to restore Bears Ears National Monument.

Created in 2016 by President Barack Obama, the monument was reduced to 15 percent of its original size by President Donald Trump in 2017.

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Bank of America joins big U.S. banks that won’t finance oil in Arctic refuge

Holdout Bank of America has officially joined other U.S. banking majors in refusing to finance oil and gas exploration in the pristine sector of Alaska that President Trump opened last month to drilling for the first time ever.

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San Francisco park could be part of American Indian district

Supervisor Hillery Ronen proposes San Francisco’s Dolores Park be included in an American Indian cultural district. The city has established a few designated cultural districts in the past few years, such as the LGBTQ and Calle 24 Latino cultural districts.

The American Indian cultural district already exists, but news of its creation in March was overshadowed by the pandemic. Ronen’s proposal would expand the district’s boundaries.

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Report: ‘Native youth are medicine’

In a year ravaged by a global pandemic, the Center for Native American Youth has aptly named a key annual report “Native Youth Are Medicine.”

Native youth authored each chapter of the 2020 State of Native Youth report, which shines a light on their priorities and issues they’re taking the lead on, such as climate change and social justice.

The nonprofit Center for Native American Youth, founded by former U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, is dedicated to improving the welfare of Native young people ages 24 and under.

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Colorado River Indian Tribes want to lease water

The Colorado River Indian Tribes in Arizona have the largest share of first-priority Colorado River water rights in the state. Now, the tribal council is proposing to lease some of its water for non-tribal use.

Chairman Dennis Patch said tribal water can be a valuable tool in Arizona drought mitigation.

“We have to take the use of water seriously, and by leasing water we’re measuring every drop that’s being leased," Patch told KJZZ.

Diné pianist, student infuses ancestry into musical arts

Renata Yazzie, Diné, is breaking down stereotypes about piano playing and composing being inherently European, male-centric occupations.

Yazzie is a graduate student at the University of New Mexico’s music department. She is pursuing dual concentrations in musicology with a focus on ethnomusicology and piano performance. Yazzie says she works to infuse her ancestry and culture into the musical arts.

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Watch: Evolution of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force

Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe citizen Sharon Day of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force joins Wednesday’s newscast to talk more about the work this grassroots group does and how they've evolved in years of programming.

Plus, Indian Country Today Associate Editor Vincent Schilling shares details about forced assimilation and labor of India's children.

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