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Perched atop a fence at Badlands National Park, Troy Heinert peered from beneath his wide-brimmed hat into a corral where 100 wild bison awaited transfer to the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

Descendants of bison that once roamed the Great Plains by the tens of millions, the animals would soon thunder up a chute, take a truck ride across South Dakota and join one of many burgeoning herds Heinert has helped reestablish on Native lands.

Heinert nodded in satisfaction to a park service employee as the animals stomped their hooves and kicked up dust in the cold wind. He took a brief call from Iowa about another herd being transferred to tribes in Minnesota and Oklahoma, then spoke with a fellow trucker about yet more bison destined for Wisconsin.

By nightfall, the last of the American buffalo shipped from Badlands were being unloaded at the Rosebud reservation, where Heinert lives. The next day, he was on the road back to Badlands to load 200 bison for another tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux.

Most bison in North America are in commercial herds, treated no differently than cattle. READ MORE. Associated Press

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The Indian Health Service announced Thursday that all tribal members covered by the federal agency will be offered a vaccine at every appointment when appropriate, under a new vaccine strategy.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, American Indians and Alaska Natives have had some of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates across the country.

But Indigenous people are especially vulnerable to vaccine-preventable illness, and IHS officials recently noticed fewer patients have been getting vaccines for COVID-19. Monkeypox is now an additional health concern. READ MORE.Associated Press

For the Ojibwe, the survival of the "good seed" is tied to the harvest and processing skills of the nation’s next generation.

A former tribal government official of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation in North Dakota was sentenced to six years and three months in prison for a bribery scheme involving soliciting and accepting bribes and kickbacks from a contractor providing construction services on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation

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According to court documents, from November 2014 through November 2018, Frank Charles Grady, 54, of Billings, Montana, served on the Tribal Business Council,

Beginning around 2016 and continuing through 2017, Grady solicited and accepted bribes and kickbacks totaling more than $260,000 from a contractor operating on Fort Berthold. In exchange for the payments, Grady used his official position to help the contractor’s business, including by awarding contracts, fabricating bids during purportedly competitive bidding processes, advocating for the contractor with other tribal officials, and facilitating the submission and payment of fraudulent invoices, according to the Justice Department. — ICT

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Coming up, we visit one of the authors of a new book highlighting Indigenous teachings for living well. Plus, Crystal Echo Hawk of IllumiNative joins us to talk about its new campaign, 'Good Relatives.' And Holly Cook Macarro breaks down Nancy Pelosi’s record in Indian Country.

Watch:

Washington banned fish-farming with net pens in state waters on Friday, citing danger to struggling salmon.

Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz issued an executive order banning the aquaculture method, which involves raising fish in large floating pens anchored in the water and has been practiced in Puget Sound for more than three decades.

California, Oregon and Alaska have already outlawed net-pen aquaculture, and Canada is working on a plan to phase it out of British Columbia's coastal waters by 2025. Supporters say fish-farming is an environmentally safe way to feed the world's growing population; critics argue that it can spread disease to native stocks and degrade the environment. READ MORE. Associated Press

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We want your tips, but we also want your feedback. What should we be covering that we’re not? What are we getting wrong? Please let us know. dalton@ictnews.org.

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