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On a drizzly January morning, Esther Stutzman’s dining room table is covered with sticky notes, worksheets, notepads and several bulky Kalapuya dictionaries. Seated next to Stutzman are her two daughters and granddaughter, all Kalapuyan descendants and enrolled members of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. Their jovial banter belies the gravity of their mission: to revive the lost language of their ancestors. The scattered documents form a paper trail to their heritage.

“This is probably the biggest group of Kalapuya speakers in the world,” Stutzman said during a semi-regular language study that she launched at her Yoncalla home in western Oregon after the dictionaries were published in December. “And we speak the language at a preschool level.”

The dictionaries are the product of a decade-long passion project by the late Paul Stephen McCartney, Sr., whose fascination with Kalapuya compelled him to devote his post-high school teaching years to compiling and organizing it, and to reach out to the Stutzman family for their assistance. McCartney, who passed away last year at 81, wasn’t a trained linguist but loved language and thought Kalapuya was “beautiful,” according to Aiyanna Brown, Stutzman’s granddaughter. He poured an enormous amount of energy into the dictionary project. READ MORE. — Myers Reece, Underscore News

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It wasn’t an ordinary student recruitment event at the University of South Dakota. It was the first Native American Heritage Day held at a basketball game–on the Ancestral Lands of the Oceti Sakowin (Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Tribes).

More than 100 Native students arrived from Pine Ridge, Todd County High School, Crow Creek, Lake Andes, Flandreau, and Vermillion. A large contingency from Ft. Yates, North Dakota, arrived to cheer on Standing Rock Sioux Tribe citizen Mason Archambault in a victorious basketball game in late February against in Western Illinois. He scored 12 points, with a final score of 78-65. READ AND WATCH MORE. — Shirley Sneve, Indian Country Today

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On Monday's ICT's newscast, the 'Next Level Chef' breaks down her winning moments. The Sundance Institute has a new director and Robert Levi Jr. is the first elder and culture bearer in-residence at California State University San Bernardino. WATCH NEWSCAST.

Each term, the Supreme Court of the United States hears around 80 cases a year. Two or three of which deal with federal Indian law that carry an impact across Indian Country.

The court recently heard two such cases back-to-back, each dealing with unique aspects of Indian Country.

While cases that make it to the highest court in the country are very technical, Indian Country Today will give a short explainer on what each is about.

In other Supreme Court news, the court also agreed to hear another major case related to Indian Country in Texas v. Haaland. The case will review the 1978 federal law that is seen as the golden standard for child welfare policy, the Indian Child Welfare Act. READ MORE. — Kolby KickingWoman, Indian Country Today

As Russia escalates conflict in Ukraine, some Arctic and Alaska Native communities wonder what the growing international tension will mean for their home region.

Rising temperatures have started to change the Arctic’s landscape over the past decade. Melting ice has caused new waterways to open up, making the region more accessible and enabling easier navigation for ships.

Nearby nations, like Russia, have started capitalizing on the shifting environment’s newfound strategic value.

“We’re the eyes and ears on the ground. We’re very close to Russia. We see what’s happening. We see what boats that are going through our seas,” said Melanie Bahnke, Yupik, in a 2020 conference on the issue hosted by the Alaska Federation of Natives, the largest Indigenous gathering in the state. READ MORE. — Meghan Sullivan, Indian Country Today

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