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Gravel crunches underfoot as Ku Stevens glides across the Nevada desert. The muted brown tones of sagebrush-covered hills behind his family’s home turn gold, illuminated by the rising sun. Ku runs the same trail his great-grandfather did as a child, for a different reason. His great-grandfather ran to survive. Ku runs to remember.

Kutoven “Ku” Stevens, an 18-year-old Yerington Paiute tribal citizen, has always been told his legs would take him places. Running is in his DNA. At the age of 8, Ku’s great-grandfather, Frank “Togo” Quinn, used his own legs to escape the Stewart Indian School in Carson City, Nevada. The young boy ran 50 miles through the Nevada desert, finding the way back to the Yerington Paiute Reservation by memory alone.

Quinn ran that journey on three separate occasions before government agents gave up and let him stay home. Had he not run away when he did, Ku might not be here.

A report released in May by the U.S. Department of the Interior found “rampant physical, sexual, and emotional abuse” at the 408 boarding schools run by the government between 1819 and 1969. The investigation found burial sites at 53 schools so far — a number that is expected to rise. READ MOREJarrette Werk, Underscore News/Report for America

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There were two victories Wednesday for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission: a successful lift off from the Kennedy Space Center and into orbit, and sending the first Indigenous woman into space, mission commander Nicole Aunapu Mann.

The next challenge is docking the International Space Station Thursday. Dragon, the spacecraft the crew is on, is scheduled to dock the orbital laboratory at 4:57 p.m. EDT. A welcome ceremony for the crew is set for 8:15 p.m. EDT. Viewers can watch it live on NASA’s app or YouTube or below.

Mann and three other astronauts — pilot Josh Cassada, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina — will be on the space station for six months conducting scientific research around cardiovascular health, bioprinting, and fluid behavior in microgravity. READ MOREJourdan Bennett-Begaye, ICT

Kevin Locke, an acclaimed Native flute player, hoop dancer, cultural ambassador and educator, has died in South Dakota at age 68, according to his family.

A citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and from the ancestral line of Anishinabe, Locke died Friday night after returning to his hotel room in Hill City, his son Ohiyesá Locke said Monday.

The younger Locke said his father, who had been performing at the Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills, suffered an asthma attack and died while he was being taken to the hospital.

Ohiyesá Locke said he had been video chatting with his father several hours before he died.

“He was walking through the Black Hills and telling me how beautiful they were, and he talked about some of the history of the Lakota people,” he said. READ MOREAssociated Press

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In Brazil, two Yanomami children drowned after getting sucked into a dredging machine used by illegal gold miners. A 14 year old Pataxó child was shot in the head during a conflict over land in the northeastern Bahia state. A Guarani Kaiowá person was killed by military police during a clash over a farm the Guarani had reclaimed from settlers. “There has been an increase in the amount of conflict – socio and environmental conflict – in our lands,” said Dinamam Tuxá, of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), Brazil’s largest coalition of Indigenous groups. ”It’s destroying communities and it’s destroying our forests.”

Between 2011 and 2021, at least 342 land defenders were killed in Brazil – more than any other country – and roughly a third of those murdered were Indigenous or Afro-descendant. That’s according to a new report by Global Witness, an international human rights group, that documents over 1,700 killings of land and environment defenders globally during the same time period. The report says that on average, a land defender is killed every other day, but suggests that those numbers are likely an undercount and paints a grim picture of violence directed at communities fighting resource extraction, land grabs, and climate change.

“All over the world, Indigenous peoples, environmental activists, and other land and environmental defenders risk their lives for the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss,” reads the report. “They play a crucial role as a first line of defense against ecological collapse, yet are under attack themselves facing violence, criminalisation and harassment perpetuated by repressive governments and companies prioritizing profit over human and environmental harm.” READ MOREAssociated Press

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From one of the creative centers in Arctic Canada, Nunavut artist Jacob Okatsiak wants to inspire the next generation of Indigenous artists in the music industry. With a new single and an album on the way, Okatsiak combines tradition into his artistry. ICT producer McKenzie Allen-Charmley caught up with him while he was on the road.

The fall season means harvest time, and in New Mexico, Zuni students are learning to not only plant their food but to cook it as well. The Zuni Youth Enrichment Project is supported by a grant from the CDC's Tribal Practices for Wellness in Indian Country. Brittny Seowtewa, Zachary James and Kenzi Bowekaty are part of the crew.

Indigenous Peoples Day is four days away. So how are people celebrating? ICT’s Kolby KickingWoman has compiled a list of some of the major events happening across Turtle Island.

WATCH HERE

MANAUS, Brazil— In most democracies, citizens go to the polls. But in Brazil’s sparsely populated Amazon region, the polls often go to the voters.

Most people in the vast rainforest live in urban areas, but thousands reside in tiny villages several days from the nearest city by boat. Amazonas, Brazil’s biggest state, is triple the size of California yet has only about one-third the population of greater Los Angeles. More than half its cities can’t be reached at all by road, and some are hundreds of kilometers from the state capital, Manaus.

Logistics pose a challenge even in Manaus, a sprawling municipality of 2.2 million people. On Saturday, The Associated Press accompanied election workers setting up a voting place in the Bela Vista do Jaraqui community, a three-hour boat trip from the city.

“No candidate made an appearance here during this campaign,” João Moraes de Souza, a local fisherman and small farmer, told The Associated Press. “If nobody comes during the campaign, you can imagine afterward.” READ MOREAssociated Press

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