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A lot of news is happening out there. Each day we do our best to gather the latest news for you. Scroll to the bottom to see what’s popping out to us on social media and what we’re reading.

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The Urban Indian Health Institute announced the two Indigenous evaluation reports centered on serving Native survivors of violence.

“As a leader in addressing violence against Native people with an emphasis on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) crisis, we at Urban Indian Health Institute stand with and support survivors of violence, always,” the institute said in a press release.

Both of the reports were published on Feb.17 and are titled “Building the Sacred, an Indigenous evaluation framework for programs serving Native survivors of violence,” and “Service as Ceremony: A Journey toward Healing.”

The Service as Ceremony: A Journey toward Healing report consists of 29 pages and focuses on 24 direct-service providers who work in gender-based violence programs in urban and rural tribal communities across the United States.

The Building the Sacred, an Indigenous evaluation framework for programs serving Native survivors of violence” discusses four places from which Indigenous evaluation is already taking place in violence prevention, response, and healing programs that have not yet been formally recognized in a culturally rooted evaluation framework. 

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The list goes on and on: The pandemic. George Floyd’s murder and the growing call for racial justice. Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and, at the same time, an orchestrated attempt to overturn a democratic election. Global protests over vaccines and masks. And now war. How does this make any sense?

“Could there be a symbiotic relationship between COVID-19 and conflict?” ask scholars Alexi Gugushvilil and Martin McKee. In a paper written in October 2020 for the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, UN Secretary-General António Guterres appealed for an immediate global ceasefire to enable the world to confront ‘a common enemy’ but his plea went largely unheeded,” the scholars wrote. “We argue that there is a bidirectional relationship between COVID-19 and conflicts: on the one hand, circumstances associated with wars may facilitate pandemic spread; on the other hand, COVID-19 has already heightened xenophobia and nationalism, which in turn can encourage armed confrontations.”

Gugushvilli is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Oslo. McKee is professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is also past president of The European Public Health Association and a health policy expert on the former Soviet Union.

“Wars and epidemics have a long and close history, going back at least to the well-documented Plague of Athens in the 5th century BCE,” the scholars wrote. And a common thread is when the national economies are shrinking. READ MORE. Mark Trahant, Indian Country Today

During her K-12 education, Jessica Lambert was usually the only Indigenous student in her grade. A citizen of the Choctaw Nation, Lambert often felt ashamed of her identity.

“Going through public education in a place where I was almost always the only Native kid in the school was horrible,” Lambert said. “I just never talked about being Native. It made me ashamed.”

Those days for Lambert are over. Currently, she’s the co-president of the National Congress of American Indians Youth Commission which headed a leadership summit that aimed to train and develop the next generation of Indigenous leaders.

Together with Vice President Jonathan Arakawa, the NCAI Youth Commission led the Native Youth Leadership Summit last week. The NYSL’s goal is to train advocates and policy leaders for the next generation of Native youth. READ MORE. Connor Van Ligten, Indian Country Today

Margaret Nakak, Inupiaq and Yu’pik, got her start sewing fur at an early age. Pointing to a picture of her toddler sister in her mother’s arms, she said, “My aunt, my mother's sister, made me a muskrat parka when I was a girl that age. I would always observe her sewing and it was embedded in my mind. And so presently sewing is just natural to me. It just happens.”

Margaret Nakak, Inupiaq and Yup'ik, wearing a muskrat parka trimmed with mink, fox, beaver, and wolverine, at Alaska Native Heritage Center, Feb. 9, 2022 (Photo by Joaqlin Estus)

Later she went to a missionary school where on Saturdays older girls showed beginners how to make dolls wearing fur parkas and mukluks (boots) using tiny, tight stitches.

“And that’s where I learned a lot of my expert sewing skills was at St. Mary’s mission during our Saturday sewing classes.” READ MORE. — Joaqlin Estus, Indian Country Today


Coming up on the ICT Newscast, a retired colonel breaks down Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and more on two US Supreme Court cases. Plus, a Crow Creek Sioux health expert virtually speaks with the White House.

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Robert Levi Jr., a citizen of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians and a retired U.S. history teacher at Upland High School, has been named the Elder/Culture Bearer In-Residence at Cal State San Bernardino.

The position is “to serve as a mentor to Native American students and as special consultant for the college on matters of importance for tribes in the region,” according to the school’s press release.

Levi hopes the position will create a community for Native students.

“Help the students find a place where they can come and just talk ‘Indian,’ talk about what’s happening on the rez. What happened with your aunties and your uncles? Tell a couple of wry Indian jokes. Make fried bread,” he said.

And also to encourage more Native high school students to consider higher education, especially those seeking to become teachers. 24 percent of 18 to 24-year-old Native American students are enrolled in college, according to the Postsecondary National Policy Institute.

Molly Springer, citizen of the Cherokee Nation/Osage and associate vice president, student success and educational equity in the division of student affairs, added that the university hopes to offer students opportunities to build meaningful relationships with tribes, tribal elders within the Inland Empire and create partnerships with tribally/Indigenous focused organizations.

“Our Elder/Culture Bearer In-Residence will be sitting on a variety of committees to support the work our campus is already invested in with regards to Native/Indigenous peoples,” Springer said. “(They) will support our thinking in what other initiates and partnerships must be created to grow in awareness and understanding of the needs of the regional tribal communities and urban Native communities.” — Indian Country Today


From social media:

  • Native American students at Columbia University approved for a brownstone to call home
  • Meet the teacher helping Native American kids succeed
  • The Indigenous artist helping women and non-binary poc reclaim their bodies

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