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The American Indian Science and Engineering Society is hosting its annual conference in Phoenix. The three-day event started Thursday and is themed, "together towards tomorrow."

It will bring together more than 2,000 attendees to focus on advancing Indigenous people in the fields of science, engineering and math.

Jana Schmieding, Mniconjou, is an actor appearing in both "Rutherford Falls" and "Reservation Dogs." She was the keynote speaker on Thursday. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and others also spoke. 

For conference details, click here

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The leader of the U.S. Department of Interior says the agency is pushing the priorities of President Job Biden’s agenda “rapidly,” citing moves to build a clean energy future while working to advance the needs of Indian Country.

Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., speaks during a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on her nomination to be Interior Secretary, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)

Secretary Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, held a news briefing with 10 reporters on Thursday to discuss the progress of her federal agency. Indian Country Today was the only Indigenous publication represented in the nearly 45-minute briefing.

September marks six months since Haaland took over as the leader of the Interior — a historic move that made her the first Native person to serve as a Cabinet secretary.

For Native communities, Haaland cited her work to restore tribal homelands, address the missing and murdered Indigenous persons crisis, investigate federal boarding schools, and to mitigate damage of climate change to tribal nations... READ more.Aliyah Chavez, Indian Country Today

Nytalia Ashes was like a sunflower. Her mother Nyssa Ashes said even as a baby she was outspoken, happy and an old soul.

Nytalia Ashes. (Photo courtesy of Nyssa Ashes)

“She could literally hold a conversation with anyone because that’s how she was. It didn’t matter if she didn’t know you, and if you had just met her, she loved talking to people and making sure you knew who she was and she knew who you were,” Nyssa said.

The 4-year-old from the Yankton Sioux Tribe in South Dakota was killed when a tree branch fell onto her tent during a storm on the morning of Sept. 17. A line of strong storms hit the area spawning at least two tornadoes, the Associated Press reported.

Nytalia and her family were at the Mahkato Wacipi event at the Land of Memories Park in Mankato, Minnesota... READ more. Kalle Benallie, Indian Country Today

McGill University in Quebec, Canada has cut lacrosse and eight other sports this season causing Indigenous lacrosse players to ask why some sports were cut when others weren't.

The Montreal Gazette reported that lacrosse is considered Level 2. Most of the sports cut were Level 2, except for rugby, track and field and cross-country.

Lacrosse player Isaiah Cree was one of the players asking why.

“I don’t want to say lacrosse is better or anything,” Cree said. “I feel like every sport should have a season this fall, but I just don’t understand their way of choosing who played and who didn’t. I just find it upsetting when teams like football are playing and they struggle to have a winning record every year but lacrosse, which just came off a 10-0 regular season, was cut." READ more.

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A Native woman from northwestern Washington state went missing while on vacation in Las Vegas earlier this month and her family is seeking information.

Reatha May Finkbonner, missing, Sept. 23, 2021

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports Reatha May Finkbonner, 30, of Bellingham was in Nevada with her fiancé and friends when she went missing Sept. 3.

Her family has filed missing person reports with the Lummi Nation Police Department and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

A mother of two, Finkbonner has brown eyes and brown or blond hair, is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs approximately 150 pounds... READ more. The Associated Press

At the end of a 36-day campaign, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “snap” election didn’t change much.

It was Groundhog Day on election night in Canada with Trudeau’s governing Liberals having the same minority government they had in 2019. With only 158 of the necessary 170 seats it takes to have the majority of votes in Parliament, the Liberals will require the support of an opposition party to push through all legislation and budgets. That is likely to be – as it has been – the left-leaning New Democratic Party, although the Quebec sovereigntists Bloc Quebecois can also play that role.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Roseanne Archibald says the electorate had a simple message.

“Voters have spoken very clearly: they want stability,” Archibald told Indian Country Today Tuesday, after the results were tallied from the Sept. 20 election. “So, the government that we ended up with last night is essentially the same government before the election. And I think that that's an important thing to note that, you know, during the pandemic, people want this kind of stability and leadership... READ more.Miles Morrisseau, Special to Indian Country Today

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KAILUA-KONA, Hawai'i – On Aug. 23, Democratic Gov. David Ige asked people to delay non-essential travel to and from Hawai'i until the end of October. It’s a blow to businesses.

For James Bond, CEO of Eaden Enterprises, it was the last straw. After months of making too little money to cover expenses, he’s closing his jewelry store in Kailua-Kona, on the west coast of Hawai'i island (also known as the Big Island).

Thomas Pua, Native Hawai'ian, owner of Pua's Passion, a Hawaiian-themed gift shop with jewelry, clothing, pillows, woven bags, and more located in the Kona Shopping Village Inn, on Ali'i Drive in Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island (Hawai'i). Sept. 21, 2021 (Photo by Joaqlin Estus, National Correspondent, Indian Country Today).

Normally some 90 percent of the customers at his store are tourists. Before the pandemic, business was good. “We were slammed,” Bond said.

His shop is in a high-rent, high-traffic area – in the Kona Inn Shopping Village. People come to Ali’i Drive to tour historic sites and eat at waterfront restaurants. Dozens of shops, art galleries, an outdoor market and a beachfront walkway are a big draw... READ more.Joaqlin Estus, Indian Country Today

A few history-making tribal leaders have one thing in common: A commitment early on to make a change.

Brian Weeden, the youngest chairman to date for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in southeastern Massachusetts, and Vivian Juan-Saunders, the first chairwoman of the Tohono O'odham Nation in southern Arizona, both had the ambition and commitment to help their tribes in any way they could. They sought out helping the youth by joining or creating organizations that benefited them.

“I figured I needed to be the boots on the ground and a lot of our elders were happy to see a young person stepping up for our community,” Weeden said.

Weeden, 28, said being one of the youngest tribal leaders in the country feels like “our generation is finally getting our chance to show everyone else what we're made of.” READ more. Kalle Benallie, Indian Country Today

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