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The highest-ranking Native American in the U.S. Army during the Civil War will be honored on the tails side of the 2022 $1 coin. The coin will be available to collectors in bags, boxes, and rolls on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

Ely S. Parker, Tonawanda Seneca, penned the formal surrender documents on April 9, 1865, for the end of the Civil War at Appomattox, Virginia, according to the U.S. Mint.

Lt. Col. Parker studied to become a lawyer but was unable to take the bar exam because he was not a citizen, according to New York state law at the time. Citizenship for Native Americans was not granted until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. He became an engineer and supervised government projects. He met and befriended Ulysses S. Grant while supervising government projects as an engineer. READ MORE. Indian Country Today


A year-long court battle ended Tuesday when a district court ordered Haskell Indian Nations University to take up policy reforms to protect the First Amendment rights of students and ensure the editorial independence of The Indian Leader, the school’s student newspaper.

The university must also pay $40,000 in attorney fees.

The lawsuit, filed by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), alleged that then-University President Ronald Graham retaliated against former editor-in-chief Jared Nally for “engaging in routine newsgathering activities.”

The school also hindered the paper by meddling with its financial and administrative operations and refusing to recognize the paper for an entire academic year, according to a press release from FIRE.


“It’s the role of a student newspaper to hold college administrators accountable,” FIRE attorney Katlyn Patton said in the press release. “But Haskell didn’t let the paper do its job, so a lawsuit held them accountable instead.”

The order prohibits the university from retaliating against students for regular journalistic practices and will assure transparency from Haskell administrators on funding allocated to The Indian Leader. — Indian Country Today

Two tribes have sued North Dakota, alleging the state’s new legislative map dilutes tribal citizens’ voting strength.

The federal lawsuit filed Monday by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and the Spirit Lake Tribe alleges violations of the Voting Rights Act.

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger, the state’s top election official, said Tuesday he had not seen the lawsuit and would not comment on it.

(Related: Redistricting: Removing Native voices)

North Dakota’s Republican-controlled Legislature in November approved a new legislative map. It separates the state House districts on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in northern North Dakota and the Fort Berthold reservation, in the heart of the state’s oil patch in the western part of the state and home to the Three Affiliated Tribes.

Some tribal citizens and lawmakers said the move would increase the odds for tribes to elect their own members to the Legislature.

A Great Falls, Montana man pleaded no contest Tuesday to deliberate homicide in the beating death of his 5-year-old son in November 2019, Cascade County prosecutors said.

County Attorney Josh Racki reached a plea agreement with Emilio Renova, 32, in the death of Antonio “Tony” Renova.

District Court Judge Elizabeth Best heard the plea and is scheduled to sentence Renova on April 29.

As part of the agreement, prosecutors will not make any sentencing recommendations and will ask Best to dismiss charges of assault on a minor, child endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child, Racki said.

Tony Renova’s mother, Stephanie Byington, pleaded guilty last July to accountability to deliberate homicide and felony child endangerment in the boy’s death.

She also faces sentencing on April 29, Rackie said. Renova and Byington remain in custody in the Cascade County jail.

Tony Renova, who is Native American, had been living with a White foster family since shortly after he was born. He was returned to his biological parents in early 2019, officials have said. — Associated Press

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We meet the new official hired by the National Park Service to help repatriate Native human remains and cultural objects. Plus, we break down the dispute with the Nooksack Tribe, and a history lesson on the game of football.


From college walk-on to starting in the Super Bowl, Austin Corbett has come a long way.

Corbett, Walker River Paiute, has played an important role in the Los Angeles Rams march to the big game.

Los Angeles Rams guard Austin Corbett (63) walks to the line of scrimmage during a NFL divisional playoff football game between the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, January 23, 2022 in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Menendez)

The Rams made it to Super Bowl LVI after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in the NFC Championship game on Jan. 30. Corbett, who has started at the guard position in every game for the Rams, is a key foundation for the team’s offensive line, which was ranked seventh in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. READ MORE.Connor Van Ligten, Indian Country Today


Around the world: An Indigenous author in Australia wins the nation's top literary prize, a hotel in Canada's Northwest Territories will be converted into housing for the homeless, Indigenous communities in Paraguay are being hit by drought, the fallout continues in Western Australia where a sacred tree was used without consultation, and Indigenous communities in Cameroon have been forced to change their lifestyle.

Coverage around the world on Indigenous issues for the week. READ MORE. — Deusdedit Ruhangariyo, special to Indian Country Today

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