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A century ago, Indigenous people in what is now known as the United States were not recognized as citizens.

A century ago, a New Mexico legislator tried unsuccessfully to pass a bill that would strip Indigenous nations in the state of their rights to water and land. Indigenous children were taken from their communities and placed in federal Indian boarding schools in an attempt to forcibly assimilate them into western culture. Today, these actions meet the United Nations’ definition of genocide.

This was the historical backdrop to the inaugural year of the Santa Fe Indian Market in 1922.

The yearly celebration of Indigenous art and culture has expanded since its inception, beyond what could have been imagined.

“In its beginning, Native American artists were not allowed to sell,” said Kim Peone, executive director of Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. “At that time, the goods were collected from tribes throughout the Southwest, the Plains and through the north, she said. “This was a collection by anthropological patriarchs who were collecting and coming. Their intent was not only to preserve, because they thought we were going to be extinct, but it was to create tourism in Santa Fe, New Mexico.” READ MOREPauly Denetclaw, ICT

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The latest: An artist/horseman wins top prizes in Gallup, a new book features a Navajo murder mystery, and Indian Market artists take over Santa Fe

ART: Diné artist picks up wins

A Diné artist and horseman has taken top prizes in the juried art show at the Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial this year, competing against himself with realistic portraits of his Aunt Dorothy and several of his horses.

Armond Antonio, of Gallup, New Mexico, won the first- and second-place prizes for his work.

“First and second place ribbons! Man, can’t believe it,” Antonio said in an Instagram post. “Thank you everyone for your support, I really appreciate it. I’ve gone a long way and inspired many. Ahehee Ntsaago.“ READ MORESandra Hale Schulman, Special to ICT

EL RENO, Oklahoma — The remains of the Concho Indian Boarding School have an aura of a long-past apocalypse that mysteriously snuffed out an ancient civilization.

Outlines of sidewalks and streets are barely visible through the densely wooded forest floor, and an old pedestrian bridge with rusty railings crosses a stream that leads to the abandoned site along the North Canadian River.

Built in 1903, the school served children from the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes whose lands are centered in the town of El Reno in central Oklahoma.

Many of them never went home.

“They tell us that’s where the children are buried,” said Rachel Mowatt, a special project manager for the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, pursing her lips, Native-style, in a gesture toward a small hill.

“Sometimes we hear the voices of children playing there.” READ MOREMary Annette Pember, ICT

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs can be held responsible for damages awarded to a Montana woman who became pregnant after an on-duty BIA officer used the threat of criminal charges to coerce her into having sex, the Montana Supreme Court has ruled.

The woman, identified by the initials L.B. in court documents, sued former BIA officer Dana Bullcoming and his employer for the October 2015 sexual assault on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation that resulted in the birth of a child, who is now 7, said her attorney, John Heenan.

“This is a woman that had the courage to report a federal law enforcement officer for sexually assaulting her and then had the courage to go through the entire process, including agents there to collect DNA when the child was born,” Heenan said Wednesday. She pursued the case on behalf of people living on reservations to show “that they should have the same rights as Montanans do on this issue.”

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters of Billings awarded the woman $1.6 million in damages in May 2020, but had ruled earlier that the BIA could not be held responsible for paying them because under federal law, the coercion and sex were outside the scope of Bullcoming's duties. READ MOREAssociated Press

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Anitra Warrior was named Woman of the Year at the annual “Inspire — Celebrating Women's Leadership Awards” in Lincoln, Nebraska. Warrior, a citizen of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, started Morningstar Counseling more than a decade ago. She talks about starting her practice.

Ojibwe citizen CC Hovie is the new Public Affairs and Communications Director for the Association on American Indian Affairs. Founded in 1922, the organization works to change the path of federal policy from assimilation, termination and allotment, to sovereignty, self-determination and self-sufficiency. Hovie previously came from the Strong Hearts Native Helpline.

A citizen of the Round Valley Indian Tribes in Northern California, is set to be the first Native American woman in space. ICT Editor Jourdan Bennett-Begaye interviewed Nicole Mann earlier this month.

The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts celebrates its 100th Native American Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico this weekend. Kim Peone is SWAIA’s executive director.

As part of the festival, you can catch a movie at the New Mexico History Museum. Let’s watch the trailer from the Native Cinema Showcase.

WATCH HERE

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The remains of Native American people who once lived in Alabama were dug up a century ago — often by amateur archaeologists — and given to the state along with the jewelry, urns and other objects buried with them.

The Alabama Department of Archives and History announced this week that it is beginning the process of returning the remains and funerary objects held in its collections to tribes as required by federal law. The department also announced it had removed the funerary objects from displays where the artifacts had sat for years, viewed by school groups and other visitors.

“The origins of those materials and the way they came into our possession is really quite problematic from today’s perspective. and we very much honor and agreed with Native perspectives on what is and isn’t a proper type of material to show in a museum exhibition," Steve Murray, the director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, said Thursday.

The funerary objects were,“the personal property of someone who was buried and then that burial was later disturbed without permission," Murray said. READ MOREAssociated Press

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