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An Indigenous-directed film, “The Headhunter’s Daughter,” won a grand prize at the Sundance Film Festival, impressing jurors with its “poetic and dream-like” story of a woman who leaves home to pursue a career as a country singer.

The film, directed and written by Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan of the Philippines, was awarded the Short Film Grand Jury Prize. It was among nine films by Indigenous filmmakers selected for the acclaimed festival this year.

Navajo filmmaker Blackhorse Lowe, a previous Sundance winner who helped select this year’s short film winner, said jurors were impressed with Eblahan’s work.

Two other films with Indigenous themes but non-Indigenous directors also won grand jury prizes at the festival, which was held virtually this year instead of the star-studded event usually held in Park City, Utah. READ MORE. Carina Dominguez, Indian Country Today

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A judge restored federal protections for gray wolves across much of the U.S. on Thursday, after their removal in the waning days of the Trump administration exposed the predators to hunting that critics said would undermine their rebound from widespread extermination early last century.

FILE - This March 21, 2019, aerial file photo provided by the National Park Service shows the Junction Butte wolf pack in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. Park officials say 23 wolves have been killed by hunters and trappers after roaming out of the park in recent months. (National Park Service via AP, File)

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in Oakland, California, said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had failed to show wolf populations could be sustained in the Midwest and portions of the West without protection under the Endangered Species Act. The service also didn't adequately consider threats to wolves outside those core areas, White said.

Wildlife advocates had sued the agency last year. The ruling does not directly impact wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and portions of several adjacent states. Those animals remain under state jurisdiction after federal protections in that region were lifted by Congress last decade.

Attorneys for the Biden administration defended the Trump rule that removed protections, arguing wolves were resilient enough to bounce back even if their numbers dropped sharply due to intensive hunting. READ MORE.Associated Press

An arrest warrant has been issued for a man suspected of shooting and injuring a police officer with the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

A criminal complaint made public Friday charges Valentin Rodriguez, 39, with assaulting two tribal officers and discharging a firearm in a violent crime. The FBI continued its search for Rodriguez who fled from the shooting Wednesday night on foot.

Sgt. Preston Brogdon, a five-year veteran of the tribal police force, was shot in the abdomen as he and another Yavapai-Apache officer responded to a call about shots fired in a housing area near the Verde River. Brogdon was in critical but stable condition Friday and expected to undergo several surgeries. READ MORE.Associated Press

Tracie Revis’ roots run thousands of years deep at the Ocmulgee Mounds in Georgia, but she doesn’t have to look nearly that far back to see the connection.

“That’s my Aunt Addie,” Revis said on a recent trip through a museum at the mounds.

Revis pointed toward a wall full of color photos tucked away in a corner of the museum. Unlike a lot of the otherwise ancient history in the museum, these photos are recent. For Revis, these are family photos, made at the annual festival hosted at Ocmulgee.

Tracie Revis was the first woman to serve as chief of staff to the principal chief of the Muscogee Nation. Now, she is charged with leading community outreach with the Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve Initiative, the Macon based group trying to create a national park that takes in traditional cultural property of the Muscogee Nation. (Photo by Georgia Public Broadcasting)

“That’s Yuchi elders who have all passed away,” Revis said as she scanned the wall. “That’s my Uncle Lester. Linda Littlebear, her brother just passed away. But yeah, all people from home.”

"Home" is the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma. Revis is Muscogee and Yuchi. And now the attorney is taking an important role in the effort to expand the footprint of the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Park into the first ever full-fledged national park in Georgia. READ MORE.Georgia Public Broadcasting News

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We're tackling tough issues of sovereignty and human remains. Plus, we have more on caring for our relatives and proposed state legislation to address missing and murdered Indigenous people. And we might even sneak in a heartthrob.

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Lots happening in and around Indian Country when it comes to Indigenous arts and entertainment talent and Native pop culture.

Zahn McClarnon, Hunkpapa Lakota, joined ICT this week to talk about his acting career. READ MORE. Indian Country Today

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