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SANTA FE, N.M. — A federal raid on a household marijuana garden on tribal land in northern New Mexico is sowing uncertainty and resentment about U.S. drug enforcement priorities on reservations, as more states roll out legal marketplaces for recreational pot sales.

In late September, Bureau of Indian Affairs officers confiscated nine cannabis plants from a home garden at Picuris Pueblo that was tended by Charles Farden, a local resident since childhood who is not Native. The 54-year-old is enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program to ease post-traumatic stress and anxiety.

Farden said he was startled to be placed in handcuffs as federal officers seized mature plants laden with buds — an estimated yearlong personal supply.

New Mexico first approved the drug's medical use in 2007, while Picuris Pueblo decriminalized medical pot for members in 2015. A new state law in June broadly legalized marijuana for adults and authorized up to a dozen home-grown plants per household for personal use — with no weight limit. READ MORE.The Associated Press


A federal judge has struck down a gambling deal between Florida and the Seminole Tribe to allow online sports betting in the state.

In a ruling Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich said the multi-billion dollar agreement for online betting violated a federal rule that requires a person to be physically on tribal land when wagering.

The guitar-shaped hotel is seen at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in Hollywood, Florida. The Guitar Hotel's grand opening is on the tribe's land in Hollywood. It's the latest step in the Seminole Hard Rock empire, which includes naming rights on the Miami-area stadium where the 2020 Super Bowl will be played. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The lawsuit, filed by casino owners in Florida, challenged the approval of the agreement by the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees tribal gambling operations.

"The Seminole Tribe is reviewing the Judge’s opinion and carefully considering its next steps," Gary Bitner, the tribe's spokesperson, told Indian Country Today. READ MORE.— The Associated Press

"There are as many ways to be Indigenous as there are Native people in the state, and because our communities are in such a state of flux and have changed so quickly over just a few short generations, we are all still figuring it out,” writes Cordelia Qiġñaaq Kellie, Inupiaq.

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was one of those recent changes. As with any other topic, there are countless different ways that individual Indigenous Alaskans and the 200 + communities they belong to view ANCSA and navigate the dynamics it created.

Leading up to the 50th anniversary of ANCSA on Dec. 17, Indian Country Today will be highlighting a wide range of these experiences, including insights from the elders who fought for the land, perspectives from current leaders today, and future goals from younger generations. READ MORE.Meghan Sullivan, Indian Country Today

Seven tribes are asking an Alabama university to return the remains of nearly 6,000 people excavated over the years from what once was one of the largest Native settlements in North America.

In this July 18, 2002 file photo, Eugene Futato, senior archeologist and curator of archaeological collections at the Office of Archaeological Services, pulls out a drawer of Mississippian Indian ceramic vessels from Moundville, in Moundville, Ala. Leaders of several American Indian tribes are asking the University of Alabama to return nearly 6,000 human remains and artifacts from the school's archaeological park and museum. (Mike Kittrell/Mobile Register via AP)

The Muscogee Nation, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and five other tribes have filed a petition under a federal law for the return of 5,982 “human remains of our ancestors” and funerary objects now held by the University of Alabama and its Moundville Archaeological Park.

“These are human beings. We consider them to be our grandparents,” Raelynn Butler, the Muscogee Nation’s historic and cultural preservation manager, said in an interview.

Butler said tribes are seeking the return so the remains can be reburied with the funerary objects. In a Friday letter to tribal officials, James T. Dalton, executive vice president and provost of the University of Alabama said that the university hopes to work with the tribes. READ MORE. The Associated Press

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We hear from Native leaders making a difference through medicine gardens and cycling to bring awareness to the trauma of federal boarding schools. Plus, a legal update of a sacred site that was demolished in Oregon.

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PRINCE GEORGE, British Columbia — A photojournalist and a documentary filmmaker have been released by a Canadian judge, three days after being arrested while covering police enforcement of an injunction against pipeline protests in northern British Columbia.

Amber Bracken, who had been on assignment for B.C.-based outlet The Narwhal, and documentarian Michael Toledano were released on the condition that they appear in court in February.

“My arrest and incarceration were punitive and a blatant attempt to repress images of police violence against Indigenous people in Canada,” Toledano tweeted. READ MORE. The Associated Press


ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, Virginia — The mid-Atlantic air is in the crisp 40s at 7 a.m. Dew sits on cars and the cool air is refreshing to the lungs. The grass, white steps and walkway to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier sparkle when the golden sunrise hits them.

It’s quiet at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza. The public and press can only whisper.

One by one, eight members of the Chief Plenty Coups Honor Guard from Pryor, Montana, placed a flower down in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and saluted the unknowns Tuesday morning. The eight members are descendants of Chief Plenty Coups.

Dozens more Crow Nation representatives, including students from Plenty Coups High School, follow suit. READ MORE. Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Indian Country Today

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