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Canada will mark its first official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools, according to the Canadian government.

As part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the government has declared the day a statutory federal holiday. Some provinces, however, have chosen not to recognize the holiday.

Events will take place during the entire week of Sept. 27-Oct. 1 including Orange shirt day on Sept. 30. Orange shirt day was created to honor the healing journey of Phyliss Webstad, Northern Secwpemc, Indian residential school survivor.

Although the United States has yet to recognize its Indian boarding school history, many communities on this side of the border have expressed interest in holding events recognizing the legacy, according to Christine Diindiisi McCleave, CEO of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. McCleave is a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Ojibwe Nation.

The Coalition will be honoring U.S. boarding school survivors on Sept. 30 with a day of remembrance, aligning with Canada’s orange shirt day… READ more. — Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today

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Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes on Tuesday called on the state to take steps to involve them in policy discussions over water usage, saying the state is “treading a dangerous path in several watersheds.”

With fish species important to the tribes facing extinction, and what they said was years of mismanagement, the tribes told Gov. Kate Brown in the letter that they want to ensure they have a voice when it comes to water policy.

“Water is sacred. Water is life. Water is the heartbeat of our culture,” the tribes said in a press release summarizing their letter to Brown. “The extinction of these vital fisheries would equate to the genocide of our people and the end of our irreplaceable lifeways — because these resources form essential parts of who we are.”

As the state moves forward with a water plan, the tribes asked Brown to create a “Tribe-Agency Water Vision Task Force” to ensure state agencies are coordinating with tribes when implementing water policies and to work with all Oregon tribes to come up with policy recommendations specific to the tribes, according to the press release. Although each of the tribes are distinct and have their own unique situations, they all agreed on the importance of them needing to be involved in discussions around water policy in Oregon.

“Our tribes and their fisheries lived together before Oregon existed. Our ancestors understood that they had to live in a balanced relationship with oceans, rivers, creeks, lakes, springs, marshes, and the flora and fauna that depend upon them. There was, and is, no other way to survive,” the tribes said in the press release. “Many modern Oregonians, however, act as if there are no consequences or natural limitations of our water consumption, including groundwater.”

Charles Boyle, a spokesman for Brown, said her office has received the letter and is still reviewing it. He added that the state has previously talked with tribes about a statewide water use plan being developed.

“We have been in ongoing communication with the Tribes about a 100-Year Water Vision for the state, and we welcome the continued dialogue,” Boyle said. “We intend to formally respond to the Tribes after careful review of their letter.” — Chris Aadland, Indian Country Today

TSAYATOH, N.M. — The Navajo Division of Public Safety has canceled an Amber Alert for four children who have been found safe after being reported missing in New Mexico.

Police said the Amber Alert was issued after the father of the children ages 2, 5, 7 and 10 drove off with them after a reported domestic incident Thursday in a rural area about 15 miles northwest of Gallup.

Tribal police said Thursday night that the children were found safe and unharmed after the father provided law enforcement with information on the location of the children.

According to police, the father wasn’t at the location where the children were found and was not immediately located. — The Associated Press

Freedom of the press, it’s guaranteed in the first amendment of the United States Constitution.

Mvskoke Media staff. Front row Left to right: Jerrad Moore (Mvskoke), Angel Ellis (Mvskoke), Joshua Slane (Cherokee), Liz Gray (Mvskoke) Daniel Roberts (Mvskoke), Mark Hill (Yuchi). Back row Left to Right: Pauline Randall (Mvskoke), Lani Hansen (Cherokee), Breanna Dawson (Cherokee), Morgan Taylor (Mvskoke), Gary Fife (Mvskoke), Jennifer Watters (Mvskoke). Not pictured: Chelsie Rich (Mvskoke), Betty Delso (Mvskoke), Debra Sayres (Mvskoke) and Lindsey Arneecher (Cherokee). (Photo courtesy Angel Ellis)

However, many tribal nations across the country with tribal newspapers do not have such language codified in constitutions of their own.

That recently changed for the Muscogee Nation.

In its most recent election held on Sept. 18, Muscogee citizens overwhelmingly voted to amend the tribe’s constitution to include such protections and mandated tribal funding for its news enterprise, Mvskoke Media... READ more. Kolby KickingWoman, Indian Country Today

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We're celebrating International Week of the Deaf with a Meskwaki advocate who is opening doors, plus we learn the importance of Indigenous languages for generations to come.

Watch here:

FLAGSTAFF – Manuelito Wheeler did not join millions of sci-fi fans who packed into movie theaters in May 1977 to see the original “Star Wars.” He was only 7, and living with his family in remote Window Rock on Navajo Nation land, hundreds of miles from the nearest movie theater and with little knowledge of any galaxy far, far away.

Eighteen years later, Wheeler is the father of a 4-year-old son, sitting in the dim light of their living room one night watching the trilogy box set on VHS.

Indigenous artists created works for “The Force Is With Our People” exhibit in Flagstaff, such as this working Hopi R2 by Duane Koyawena, Hopi-Tewa, and Joe Mastroianni. (Photo by Kelly Richmond/Cronkite News)

After, an idea lingered: What if “Star Wars: A New Hope,” as the original now was called, was dubbed into Diné Bazaad, the 700-year-old language of the Navajo? There were so many parallels – of duality, of colonization, of landscape in the Indigenous land and a force that drives people to connect through shared experiences... READ more. — Kiera Riley, Cronkite News

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Breaking news: IndiJ Public Media, the company that brings you Indian Country Today, is now officially a “public charity” under the law also known as a 501(c)(3) organization. We are an independent, nonprofit news company.

This has been a long process. And a quick one... READ more.

After two decades of service to the Sundance Institute as the director of the Indigenous film program, N. Bird Runningwater announced that he is amicably parting ways with the organization and bidding a “fond farewell.”

N. Bird Runningwater

Runningwater, Cheyenne and Mescalero Apache, reflected in his farewell tribute on the organization’s website on how he attempted to influence Sundance with his own cultural teachings and lauded the support provided to Indigenous filmmakers... READ more. — Vincent Schilling, Indian Country Today

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. Email dwalker@indiancountrytoday.com.

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