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NDN Collective, an Indigenous-led nonprofit organization dedicated to building Indigenous power, announces a Bush Foundation award of $50 million.

“The purpose of this grant is to close the racial wealth gap,” said Nick Tilsen, Lakota, director and CEO of the collective. “This is the largest amount of money we’ve received from a single funder; it’s very unusual.”

The Bush Foundation, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, announced its creation in March of two community trust funds in the amount of $100 million to address wealth disparities in both the Native American and Black communities in the tri-state areas that includes Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.

NDN Collective, based in Rapid City, South Dakota, was chosen to be a steward of funding for Native American communities; Nexus Community Partners, a nonprofit community development initiative based in Minneapolis was chosen as steward of $50 million in funds for the Black community. READ MORE.Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today

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As one of the top artists working in America, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is a visual artist and curator, an enrolled citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes, and also of Métis and Shoshone descent.

An arts educator, art advocate and political activist, she has been prolific since the 1970s, drawing themes of Native identity, histories of oppression and environmental issues. She exhibits with the Garth Greenan Gallery in New York City, is included in collections in virtually every major museum in the United States — an unprecedented honor — and will have a solo retrospective at the Whitney Museum in 2023.

She is also the mother of Neal Ambrose Smith, who has grown up to be a painter, sculptor, printmaker and professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He developed an app called Artist Ideas with 100 ideas for making art, and his work is included in the collections of many national and international museums and institutions. READ MORE. Sandra Hale Schulman, special to Indian Country Today

The National Finals Rodeo, one of the largest rodeo events of the year, took place in Las Vegas last week. On the last night of competition, the event honored the Navajo Code Talkers.

Derrick Begay, Navajo, who competed in the team-roping event over the course of the week, escorted United States Marine, and one of the last surviving Navajo Code Talkers, Peter MacDonald onto the arena floor for an honoring and recognition.

MacDonald, 92, serves as the Navajo Code Talker Association president.

The Navajo Nation Council praised the Wrangler Patriot Program and the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association making the recognition of the code talkers and MacDonald happen. READ MORE.Kolby KickingWoman, Indian Country Today

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The Bush Foundation is giving $50 million to a major Indigenous led nonprofit. Plus, an update on the Alaska Federation of Natives convention.

Watch here:

An Alaska Native health entity is providing free, at-home test kits to detect sexually transmitted infections in an effort to provide more access to the tests and reduce stigma for people who want to be tested.

The point of the effort is to make it easier and more discreet for people to detect and treat the infections, Hanna Warren, an infection prevention manager with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, told KYUK Public Media.

Testing is important because Alaska has the highest U.S. rate of chlamydia and nation’s second-highest rate of gonorrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The self-swab tests will allow people on their own to detect the conditions plus trichomoniasis, all of which are curable, Warren said. The consortium also offers a separate free test to detect HIV.

In the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta area of southwest Alaska, the only way to get tested in a village previously was by a community health aide at a local clinic who people getting tested probably knew. People can also go to the hub community of Bethel for a test, but the chances of running into someone they know there are also high.

The consortium will offer the self-swab tests to anyone with an Alaska address or using an Alaska post office box. Program partners are the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and Johns Hopkins University. — The Associated Press

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Alaqua Cox portrays Maya Lopez, the super fighter ‘Echo’ in the latest Disney+ series, and it's a huge deal for so many reasons.

First of all from the #NativeNerd standpoint and as an actual critical review, the series started out with a bit of a dull thud. I wasn’t really that invested in Kate Bishop as the new stand-in possibility for Hawkeye/Clint Barton, and I didn’t really care all that much about the family Christmas dynamic.

But I played along, knowing Echo was coming. But then, in the best way possible, things got exciting, Hawkeye was becoming a pretty cool character in his own right of existence. READ MORE.Vincent Schilling, Indian Country Today

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