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It was an awkward moment on the campaign trail.

At an event for Canada’s New Democratic Party, two top Indigenous leaders endorsed a candidate for the governing Liberal Party instead.

Not only was the move by Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Grand Chief Garrison Settee of the Manitoba Keewatowini Okimakinak to endorse an opposition candidate at a New Democratic Party event unusual, so was their decision to endorse at all.

The endorsement highlighted a key moment in Canada’s Sept. 20 snap election: competition for the Indigenous vote is real. And so are the record-number of Indigenous candidates on the ballot.

“That is definitely something new,” said Chadwick Cowie, Anishinaabeg, a faculty lecturer and researcher in the Department of Political Science and doctoral candidate at the University of Alberta who specializes in Indigenous, Canadian and comparative politics… READ more. — Miles Morrisseau, special to Indian Country Today

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BILLINGS, Mont. — Montana authorities issued an Amber Alert Thursday in the possible abduction of a 15-year-old Native girl in a town just outside the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

The Montana Department of Justice said Dana Lee Johnston was assaulted Wednesday night in Fort Peck by two unidentified females and then dragged into a pickup by 21-year-old Cheri Granbois... READ more. — The Associated Press

O'FALLON, Mo. — A Missouri cave containing Native artwork from more than 1,000 years ago was sold at auction Tuesday, disappointing leaders of the Osage Nation who hoped to buy the land to “protect and preserve our most sacred site.”

A bidder agreed to pay $2.2 million to private owners for what's known as “Picture Cave," along with the 43 hilly acres that surround it near the town of Warrenton, about 60 miles west of St. Louis... READ more. — The Associated Press

The Oglala Sioux Tribe is ordering all K-12 schools on the Pine Ridge reservation to quarantine due to a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections. Schools must quarantine for 10 days until Sept. 29, according to a tribal government issued order.

As of Tuesday, there have been 15 new cases of the disease. As of Sept. 14, there are 41 active cases of COVID-19 across the tribal lands.

“Our youngest positive case is 4 months old, our oldest is 101 years old,” said Dayna Brave Eagle, the tribe’s education agency director.

Leaders issued the order as a means to protect children under age 12 who can’t receive the vaccine and to decrease the risk to elders and other high-risk citizens... READ more. — Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday again ruled that Oklahoma has no concurrent jurisdiction over crimes committed on tribal lands by non-Natives against Natives.

The court rejected the state's appeal of the dismissal of the manslaughter conviction and 19-year sentence of Richard Roth, 42.

The opinion by Judge Robert Hudson cites what is known as the McGirt decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Oklahoma lacks authority over crimes committed on tribal reservations in which the defendants or the victims are tribal citizens.

"Adoption of the State's theory of concurrent jurisdiction is a political matter that may be addressed by Congress, not this Court," the opinion said.

Roth, who is not Native, was convicted in the 2013 death of Billy Jack Chuculate Lord, 12, a member of the Cherokee Nation who died when a vehicle struck him from behind as he rode a bicycle in Wagoner, which is within the Creek Nation.

The state is appealing the state court's April ruling that it does not have concurrent jurisdiction in the case of Shaun Bosse. Bosse, who is not Native, was convicted of killing a woman and her two young children, who were Native. — The Associated Press

Montana Cypress was bitten by the film bug at an early age.

Although he grew up far from Hollywood in Ochopee, a small town on the Miccosukee Indian Reservation in southern Florida, he made movies on his family’s VHS recorder and later on a digital camera.

With the primitive VHS recorder, he directed movies about “real swamp creatures like the alligators I saw everyday, and imaginary ones like Sasquatch we heard about growing up,” he told Indian Country Today recently by phone from his home in Burbank, California.

“Doing that growing up made me want to be in the film business and make movies, but you can’t do that in Ochopee,” he said... READ more. — Sandra Hale Schulman, special to Indian Country Today

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Four Navajo bull riders will contend for the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour in Church Rock, New Mexico on Saturday.

Navajo bull riders Justin Granger, Latrell Long, Ramon Curley and Wyatt Betony, all of Arizona, are set to compete. Details about the event here

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — The infamous running boom started almost 50 years ago in the 1970s. Another running boom may be under way with its roots in Albuquerque as more and more people turn to running during the pandemic.

It’s called Running Medicine, a nonprofit program operated by family medicine doctor Anthony Fleg and his wife, Shannon, in coordination with the Native Health Initiative that they founded in Albuquerque shortly after they married in 2005.

It brings together families from throughout the Albuquerque area several times a week in six urban and rural communities, with eight- to 10-week sessions. The program was honored in December with a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports award, which recognizes those who display a collaborative effort at making their communities healthier… READ more. — Dan Ninham, special to Indian Country Today

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