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PUEBLO and JICARILLA APACHE LANDS, New Mexico — Mato Wayuhi heard a rumor that he had a music gig for “Reservation Dogs.”

But confirmation from the show’s co-creator, Sterlin Harjo, was slow coming.

“I was like a girl waiting for a guy to ask me to dance or something, so I was just sitting there for months on end, like, Okay, well, maybe he will, maybe he won’t,” the Oglala Lakota artist said. “There was a gray area for a long time because I wasn't hearing anything.”

The 23-year-old had no second guesses to saying yes to the dance when the two connected in early 2021.

“He asked me to the dance,” Wayuhi said. “The whole storyline I really fell in love with and what they're doing with the show and what they're accomplishing.”

The project allowed him to dip his feet in a pool of very few Indigenous artists who are creating original music for films… READ more. — Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Indian Country Today

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The Justice department has selected an additional 12 tribes to participate in the expansion of the Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information, a program that provides tribal governments with means to access, enter and exchange data with national crime information systems, including those maintained by the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division and the states.

“Timely access to federal criminal information can help protect domestic violence victims, place foster children in safe conditions, solve crimes and apprehend fugitives on tribal land, among other important uses,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said in a statement. “Increasing tribal access to criminal databases is a priority of the Justice department and this administration, and essential to many tribal government efforts to strengthen public safety in their communities.”

The program provides training, software and biometric/biographic kiosk workstations to process fingerprints, take mugshots and submit information.

DENVER — A Colorado state panel has recommended that a mountain peak west of Denver be renamed in honor of a Native woman who acted as a translator for tribes and white settlers in the 19th century.

Thursday’s recommendation comes amid national efforts to address a history of colonialism and oppression against Native people and other people of color after last summer’s protests calling for racial justice reform. It is the first of several name changes being considered by the state panel.

The Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board recommended changing the name of Squaw Mountain, located in Clear Creek County about 30 miles miles west of Denver, to Mestaa’ėhehe Mountain, which is pronounced “mess-taw-hay.”

The name honors an influential Cheyenne translator known as Owl Woman, who facilitated relations between white settlers and tribes in the early 1800s... READ more. — The Associated Press

Indigenous leaders are largely being excluded from participation in the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference as the world grapples with escalating problems from floods, fires, heat, drought and other disasters.

Limited access to COVID-19 vaccines in certain regions, travel restrictions and quarantine in the United Kingdom for people from “red list” countries in Central and South America, Africa and Asia, and rising costs of travel and lodging are hindering Indigenous participation, Indian Country Today has found.

Even those who manage to get to Glasgow, Scotland, for what is shaping up to be one of the world’s most important meetings on addressing climate change may have little access to influence the discussion, despite the UN’s recognition that Indigenous knowledge is key to long-term success… READ more. — Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today

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OKLAHOMA CITY — An Indigenous museum that’s been in the making since the 1980s is finally opening its doors.

The First Americans Museum opens Sept. 18 with a packed weekend of events to celebrate. The museum represents the 39 tribes in Oklahoma and sits on a 40-acre site along the Oklahoma River across from downtown Oklahoma City.

“The facility itself is designed like a cosmetological clock,” museum CEO James Pepper Henry, Kaw, said. “There are two circles that intersect together. The larger circle is this giant earth and its structure it’s based on a mound structure from our ancestors that were here.” READ more. — Kaitlin Onawa Boysel, Indian Country Today

Near herculean efforts by tribal government to contain the spread of COVID-19 weren’t enough to save Michael Gavin, a 39-year-old citizen of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, who died Aug. 7, some 17 months after the Tribes initially declared a state of emergency.

Gavin was the second CTUIR citizen to die of COVID-19. His uncle was the first.

Michael was a son, a brother, and an uncle to the Gavin family, which included his mother, Shawna, a member of the CTUIR Health Commission, and his sister, Jill-Marie Gavin-Harvey, one of nine members of the Tribes’ board of trustees, the policy-making panel for the confederacy of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla peoples… READ more. — Wil Phinney, Underscore.news

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What you, our Indian Country Today readers, read most each week:

  1. The Indigenous goddess we all need(ed)
  2. That Reservation Dogs Greasy Frybread music video backstory
  3. Director Sterlin Harjo talks ‘Reservation Dogs’

For the entire list, click here.

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