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Susan Kelly’s move to Chicago from Standing Rock in 1942 was an isolating experience, but she slowly built a network of Native friends by stopping people on the street and saying hello.

If they looked Native, she’d ask if they were. If they said yes, they’d exchange information.

Ten years later, when waves of Indigenous people began arriving as a result of the federal government’s Urban Relocation Program, she realized they were going to need something more than random luck.

So began the American Indian Center of Chicago, which opened in 1953 as the first urban Indigenous center in the nation.

Now, nearly 70 years later, 97-year-old Susan Kelly Power, a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, is believed to be the last surviving founder of the long-enduring center with a legacy that continues to unite one of the largest urban Indigenous communities in the country. READ MORE. — Amelia Schafer, Special to ICT

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President Joe Biden has nominated Chinook Indian Nation citizen Roger Nyhus to be ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean in a move that could make him the second Chinook and at least the third Indigenous person to serve as a U.S. ambassador.

Nyhus told ICT that he can’t talk about his possible new job until he’s confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as ambassador to Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

But the potential challenges that would await him are clear.

Barbados ceased being a British realm in 2021 – though it remains a member of the British Commonwealth – and other Eastern Caribbean countries have indicated a desire to follow suit. READ MORE.Richard Arlin Walker, Special to ICT

Thomas Howes’ traditional wooden artwork is not meant to be on the mantel of the fireplace or on the wall collecting dust.

Howes creates ornate wooden pieces, crafted from various trees throughout the Minnesota northlands that not only reflect tribal culture, but that are also fully functioning pieces. This includes a series of cradleboards, or dikinaagan, that he has been creating.

“Over the years I’ve learned to make things from the tree nation to care for my family and community,” Thomas Howes said. Howes also makes lacrosse sticks as well as knockers, clan markers for traditional burials, drum sticks, drum stand legs and snowshoes.

This type of artwork requires steam-bending sticks and slats of wood. READ MORE. Dan Ninham, Special to ICT

An environmental review for a proposed copper mine in eastern Arizona did not adequately analyze the potential impacts of climate change and the strain that drought and demand have put on water resources in the region, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management report has found.

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The U.S. Forest Service asked the Bureau of Land Management earlier this year to quality check its review for the Resolution Copper mine in Superior, about an hour east of Phoenix. The project is vehemently opposed by tribes who hold the land sacred.

Resolution Copper, a joint venture of global mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP, was set to receive a parcel of land in the Tonto National Forest for mining in March 2021. Then, the Biden administration pulled back an environmental review to further consult with tribes. The move prevented the land exchange from moving forward. READ MORE. Associated Press

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On the Monday edition of the ICT Newscast, Indigenous Peoples Day is right around the corner. We hear about a first-of-its kind celebration in Phoenix. How are Pueblo weaving traditions being kept alive? We learn about Native archival materials like newspapers, photographs and more.

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Seated low in her canoe sliding through a rice bed on this vast lake, Kendra Haugen used one wooden stick to bend the stalks and another to knock the rice off, so gently the stalks sprung right back up.

On a mid-September morning, no breeze ruffled the eagle feather gifted by her grandmother that Haugen wore on a baseball cap as she tried her hand at wild rice harvesting — a sacred process for her Ojibwe people.

“A lot of reservations are struggling to keep rice beds, so it’s really important to keep these as pristine as we can. ... It renews our rice beds for the future,” the 23-year-old college student said.

Wild rice, or manoomin (good seed) in Ojibwe, is sacred to Indigenous peoples in the Great Lakes region, because it’s part of their creation story — and because for centuries it staved off starvation during harsh winters. READ MORE. Associated Press

A prominent law school in San Francisco named for a 19th century rancher who sponsored deadly atrocities against Native people has a new name after California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation approving the change.

It was among several bills concerning Indigenous people that the Democratic governor and former San Francisco mayor signed into law on Friday, which he declared "Native American Day" in California.

The University of California's Hastings College of the Law will be known as the College of the Law, San Francisco.

The school was founded in 1878 by Serranus Clinton Hastings, a wealthy rancher and former chief justice of the California Supreme Court who helped orchestrate and finance campaigns by white settlers in Mendocino County to kill and enslave citizens of the Yuki Indian tribe.

The legislation also lays out restorative justice initiatives to be pursued by the college, such as renaming a law library with a Native language name, according to a statement from the governor's office. — 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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