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Indian Country Today and nine news partners are using another lens — looking at tribal and rural economies through regional and community efforts. Our special report, “At the Crossroads,” which runs through Thursday, April 7, examines the state of the economy in Indian Country, its impact on local communities and what lies ahead for the future.
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Study after study reaches the same conclusion: Tribes are often the largest drivers of regional and rural economies.
In Oklahoma, a new report said tribes and tribal enterprises added $15.6 billion in direct contributions in 2019 to the state’s economy. In addition, many more billions were spent by suppliers and those developing products for the tribes. The result: “Oklahoma tribes support 113,442 jobs in the state, representing $5.4 billion in wages and benefits to Oklahoma workers. While direct employment exceeds 54,000 jobs, tribal investment spurs job growth in many different industries.”
What’s more, the Oklahoma tribes re-set the framework for healthcare. READ MORE. — Mark Trahant, Indian Country Today
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Maria Tallchief, who was America’s first prima ballerina, is one of five women who will be individually featured on U.S. quarters next year as part of a program that depicts notable women on the coins.
Tallchief “broke barriers as a Native American ballerina who exhibited strength and resilience both on and off the stage,” the U.S. Mint said in a press release on Wednesday. Tallchief, Osage, is one of three Indigenous women to be featured.
The opposite side of each quarter will show President George Washington.
The Secretary of the Treasury consults with the Smithsonian Institution’s American Women’s History Initiative, the National Women’s History Museum and the Congressional Bipartisan Women’s Caucus to select the women. The selection is in accordance with the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020. READ MORE. — Indian Country Today
Pauly Denetclaw, Navajo, is coming on board to Indian Country Today as a political correspondent in Washington.
She starts on April 4 and is looking forward to gearing up for the upcoming election cycle and preparing for the 2024 presidential election. She is especially interested to see how many Indigenous people run for local and state offices compared to the 2020 election.
“I feel like now it’s a really exciting time to create this position and to more closely follow and to build upon the work that ICT has already done with following the politics and Indigenous people who are running for office,” she said.
Denetclaw said her interest in politics began in the 2008 presidential election when she was in junior high. Her parents were already interested in politics and followed the election closely. She said when her mom took her along to vote, it made her “feel seen.” READ MORE. — Indian Country Today
Deborah Parker wept Friday when she heard about Pope Francis’ historic apology to Indigenous Peoples for the “deplorable” abuses they suffered in Canada’s Catholic-run residential schools.
Francis begged forgiveness during an audience with dozens of citizens of the Metis, Inuit and First Nations communities who came to Rome seeking a papal apology and a commitment from the Catholic Church to repair the damage. The first pope from the Americas said he hoped to visit Canada around the Feast of St. Anne, which falls on July 26.
A papal apology on Canadian soil was among the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action. The Commission was established in 2008 as part of Canada’s 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The Commission formally ended its work in 2015.
More than 150,000 Native children in Canada were forced to attend state-funded Christian schools from the 19th century until the 1970s in an effort to isolate them from the influence of their homes and culture. The aim was to Christianize and assimilate them into mainstream society, which previous Canadian governments considered superior. READ MORE. — Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today
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On Monday's ICT newscast: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and we are meeting an organization who is helping victims. Plus, a new ICT special report and a non-eagle feather repository in Phoenix.
It wasn’t until Vida Stabler was a teenager in the 1970s that she came face to face with her own people, the Umonhon, represented in artwork.
She walked with her Omaha Central High School art class, across the lawn north of the school, and into the Joslyn Art Museum next door.
What she saw there, in a collection of watercolors including a portrait called “Omaha Boy,” would influence her own life’s work as a cultural educator: a career of preserving and teaching the language and traditions of the people also known as the Omaha.
Decades later, that expertise brought Stabler, now 64, back to the museum and again in front of the paintings of famed artist Karl Bodmer. Now, it was she, not a curator, who commanded the audience’s attention. READ MORE. — Barbara Soderlin, Flatwater Free Press
- State approves 1st alert system for missing Indigenous people: Following a signing ceremony attended by tribal leaders, community members and lawmakers on Thursday, the new legislation will require statewide alerts similar to when a minor or vulnerable adult goes missing.
- National Indian Council on Aging receives largest single donation ever: The $4M donation comes from billionaire MacKenzie Scott. Group plans outreach efforts to identify issues elders prioritize.
- NBA rez dreams: A reality for Shawn Martinez: A former rez basketball player is now courtside for every Phoenix Suns and Mercury home game, calling the action off the court.
- Indigenizing NCAA’s Final Four: The top talent in women’s college basketball is in Minnesota. The Indigenous Athletics Advancement Council is ready to make an impact off the basketball court with eyes on making an impact on it in the future.
- World champions dance for the people: Dozens of hoop dancers took part in the popular hoop dance championships in Arizona.
- NYC Deep History: See The Native American Sites Of The Big Apple.
- Ash Barty wins again following tennis retirement.
- Beer can baskets, street signs and now a casino mural: Cahuilla artist Gerald Clarke never sits still.
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