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Carina Dominguez
Indian Country Today

Visual storytelling is my main focus as a multimedia reporter and producer at Indian Country Today, so I selected my Top 5 stories of 2021 by the number of views they had on social media. All of these video stories had sizable viewership and were exciting stories to tell. I hope you enjoy watching!

Here are my Top 5 stories of 2021.

Ex-MLB prospect chose Army over baseball

This story ran on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Navajo mother Marsha Begay Moon shared memories of her sniper son Christopher Moon, who died from war injuries at 20 years old.

He was a celebrated hometown hero from Tucson, Arizona, who had been drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2007. Moon turned down the offer from MLB to play college baseball at the University of Arizona. He went on to play one semester before deciding to enlist in the Army.

Even as a young boy, Moon was galvanized by 9/11.

“It did have an impact on him. I can remember that. I'd always find drawings of him doing military drawings of Saddam Hussein so it was definitely...I can tell...it was a big part,” Marsha said of his decision to enlist. ”It did not go away, it was one of the reasons why he really wanted to go and serve.” Read more…

Boxing’s first Native female world champion defends title

Kali “K.O.” Reis defended her World Boxing Association’s Super Lightweight title for the first time on Aug. 20.

She won the headline fight, which was streamed on UFC Fight Pass, by a majority decision against Diana Prazak and added the International Boxing Organization belt to her collection.

Her record now stands at 18-7-1, with five knockouts. She hails from the Seaconke Wampanoag tribe in Providence, Rhode Island. Indian Country Today profiled Reis last year after she first won the WBA’s women’s 140-pound title versus Kandi Wyatt on Nov. 6, 2020. Read more

Indigenous multi-genre artist Ty Defoe

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In New York City, Oneida/Ojibwe artist Ty Defoe operates at the intersection of various art forms to bring a much-needed, Indigi-queer perspective to projects.

Defoe challenged everyone to center two-spirit and other LGBTQ voices in conversations outside of Pride month. He’s worked on a Grammy award-winning album and is a dancer, actor, and writer.

“I would really appreciate and love if more folks begin to amplify stories and also invited and hosted two-spirit Indigi-queer individuals to create, to make, to just be part of the conversation,” Defoe said. Read more

Jerod Tate’s latest album is his most ambitious yet

Classical composer and pianist Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate merged traditional songs and sounds with a symphony orchestra in “Lowak Shoppala.”

He’s an Emmy award-winner who’s been composing for nearly 30 years.

He mixes Chickasaw language and traditional sounds with modern symphonic music in his latest album, which translates to “fire and light” in English.

“It was just unbelievable, the talent that came together… It was a blast. I had so much fun and everybody involved really had a great time,” Tate said earlier this year to Indian Country Today. Read more

Yaquis celebrate heritage, culture – and tamales

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe has been hosting the Tucson Tamal and Heritage Festival at Casino Del Sol’s AVA amphitheater for 16 years.

The community celebration of food and culture happens on the first Saturday of December. It’s a rich celebration of identity for many Yaquis, a tribe that the southern border crossed.

“I've been in all parts of the country, and the Southwest, people would say, ‘Well, you're not Native American.’ And I said, ‘Well in some parts, maybe not. We're Yaqui, that's all we've ever said. We're Yaqui, we’re Yoeme people,’” Chairman Peter Yucupicio said. Read more

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