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Greetings, relatives.

A lot of news out there. Thanks for stopping by Indian Country Today’s digital platform.

Each day we do our best to gather the latest news for you. Remember to scroll to the bottom to see what’s popping out to us on social media and what we’re reading.

Okay, here's what you need to know today:

Tiffany Crutcher was worried.

Oklahoma lawmakers had passed a new measure stiffening penalties for protesters who block roadways and granting immunity to drivers who unintentionally hit them. The state NAACP, saying the law was passed in response to racial justice demonstrations and could chill the exercising of First Amendment rights, filed a federal lawsuit challenging portions of it. But the new law was only weeks from taking effect.

Crutcher, an advocate for police reform and racial justice, was moderating a virtual town hall about it, featuring panelists who brought the lawsuit. At the end, she asked a question that went directly to the stakes.

Under the new law, “is it safe for the citizens of Oklahoma to go and do a protest?”

The three men on the panel were silent.

Five seconds ticked by.

Crutcher asked again.

“Would you all advise against it, the way the law is written, or should we continue, knowing that it’s our constitutional right to speak out, to assemble?” And, her voice anxious, she continued to press. READ MORE. — Carrie Levine, The Center for Public Integrity

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Indigenous chef Crystal Wahpepah places sliced venison tenderloin into the large pot on her stove and stirs. Already simmering in the pot is hominy corn, Hubbard squash and other ingredients.

She stirs some more. The Kickapoo chef wants it to be perfect.

Bright yellow and green walls, photos and different spices sit in a line on the shelves inside. A large sign welcoming customers is posted above the cooking area inside the restaurant.

Chef Crystal Wahpepah, Kickapoo, of Wahpepah's Kitchen in Oakland, California. (Photo by Dalton Walker, Indian Country Today)

“Wahpepah’s Kitchen is looking to reclaim, transform and sustain changes to the food system through utilizing an Indigenous food sovereignty model in Oakland, California and beyond,” reads a part of the sign.

The soup is almost ready and it smells delicious. Or maybe it’s the bison meatballs, or the cedar salmon sweet potato tostada being prepared? Or maybe it’s the blue corn waffles? Perhaps, the only real answer is that it’s all of the above. READ MORE.Dalton Walker, Indian Country Today

Opponents of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 oil pipeline replacement across northern Minnesota are suing on behalf of wild rice.

On Dec. 16, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in Minnesota heard arguments, MPR reported.

An appeals court ruling is expected in the coming year.

A 4-year-old boy who was reported missing Friday on the Tohono O’odham Nation in southern Arizona was found safe Saturday, tribal police said.

Law enforcement personnel found the boy shortly after noon, the tribal Office of Emergency Management said in a brief statement. “The boy is receiving medical treatment at this time.”

Officials said previously the boy was reported at about 10 a.m. Friday in the San Isidro area of the Schuk Toak District of the reservation west of Tucson.

“Community members should continue to expect a large law enforcement presence and should avoid the area while law enforcement continues its search for the boy,” the earlier statement said.

The boy’s identity was not released and no information was immediately available on the circumstances of his disappearance. — The Associated Press

Aliyah Chavez, ICT's anchor, recently won an award from the Women's Media Center.

Journal-isms' Richard Prince wrote that Chavez spoke "an uncomfortable truth."

"Chavez, from Kewa Pueblo, formerly known as Santo Domingo Pueblo, noted that there were no Native American anchors at any major television network. It wasn’t a subject that the networks were eager to discuss. CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN did not respond on the record to an inquiry from Journal-isms about Chavez’s concern."

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Entrepreneur Cece Meadows gives insight on her success at Prados Beauty. Plus, ICT's Vincent Schilling tells us more about his next chapter following his announcement that he will be leaving after 16 years.

Watch: 

Federal authorities say 15 historical artifacts stolen almost a half-century ago from a number of Pennsylvania museums have been returned to the institutions.

The FBI art crime team and other law enforcement agencies repatriated the 18th- and 19th-century rifles and pistols as well as a Native American silver concho belt in a ceremony Friday at the Museum of the American Revolution.

FBI art crime agents and detectives from the Upper Merion Township Police Department recovered the artifacts as part of an investigation into the 1971 theft and 2018 sale of a rare 1775 rifle made by Pennsylvania master gunsmith Christian Oerter, officials said.

Receiving the repatriated items were the American Swedish Historical Museum, the Hershey Story Museum (formerly the Hershey Museum), the Landis Valley Museum (formerly the Pennsylvania Farm Museum), the Mercer Museum, the Museum of the American Revolution, and York County History Center. READ MORE.The Associated Press

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#ICYMI: Top 10 Indian Country stories for week

What you, our Indian Country Today readers, read most each week

  1. ‘Reservation Dogs’ nominated for a Golden Globe
  2. ‘Echo’ in ‘Hawkeye’ is a huge Native deal
  3. Fearless filmmaker seeks to heal a troubled history

For the entire list, click here.

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We want your tips, but we also want your feedback. What should we be covering that we’re not? What are we getting wrong? Please let us know. Email dwalker@indiancountrytoday.com.

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