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Victoria Bach started playing hockey at a young age.

As the daughter of a longtime hockey player and coach, she moved easily from soccer, lacrosse and other sports to the ice rink.

“I fell in love with the game of hockey the first time I stepped on the ice,” she told Indian Country Today via email. “I remember getting my first set of gear with my dad at Canadian Tire and skating for the first time. I fell in love with the game and wanted to follow in my dad's footsteps, and I never turned back from that day.”

Russia's Fanuza Kadirova, left, vies for the puck with Canada's Victoria Bach during the International Ice Hockey Federation's women's championships game in Calgary, Alberta, on Aug. 22, 2021. Bach is Mohawk of the Bay of Quinte in Canada. (Photo by Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)

After breaking records in women’s hockey at Division 1 Boston University, Bach made history again in May as a member of the first women’s championship team at the Fred Sasakamoose Chief Thunderstick Tournament, which added a women’s competition for the first time this year.

Named for the late Fred Sasakamoose, the first Indigenous athlete to compete in the National Hockey League starting in the 1950s, the tournament showcases the talents of Indigenous athletes. READ MORE.Dan Ninham, Special to ICT

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A year ago in the midst of her senior year of high school, Amia Roach-Valandra was working on her college applications from her home on the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota. In her essay, she wrote about moving her older brothers into their college dorms when she was 12:

“When they came back after the first semester, they were discouraged. They explained to me how hard college was and that it was nothing like school at home. From that point on, I made a goal for myself: to not quit when it came to going to college. …I have always wanted to go off the reservation and explore the world. There is so much more out there than a small town in South Dakota, and I want to discover it.”

Now, Amia, who is Sičangu Lakota (Rosebud Sioux), has just finished her first-year at the University of Southern California. She missed home more than she thought she would, and she’s not the only one. In the middle of the fall semester, her twin brother, Ashaun Roach-Valandra, who is attending school in South Dakota as a collegiate basketball player, texted her. READ MORE. Open Campus

Two years ago, Deontay Begay was overjoyed when he and his twin brother, Deondre, were recruited to play basketball for Northwest Indian College. It was a way to explore the world beyond Sheep Springs, a rural community of 250 on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico.

But the pandemic ultimately meant his first basketball season was canceled, as was his move to Bellingham, Wash., where the tribal college is located on the Lummi Nation.

Begay, Navajo, spent his first year of college studying online through his phone’s hotspot from home.

“Sports was a way to get to college,” he said. “My family was really big on education, and so they were always encouraging us to get a scholarship for athletics.”

If Begay hadn’t been recruited to Northwest Indian College, he likely would have stayed close to home and attended the local community college, he said. His aunt, who lives in Bellingham, helped the brothers connect with the coach at the college. READ MORE.Open Campus

Miles Morrisseau is back with ICT, this time as a special correspondent covering Indigenous communities north of the medicine line.

Morrisseau, Métis Nation, has a long history with the organization; he was editor-in-chief of Indian Country Today in 1999.

His role as special correspondent focuses on covering Canada, the Arctic and international Indigenous stories.

He rejoined ICT because he wanted a “place that is supportive of Indigenous journalism and the perspective that we can bring from our experiences, our communities — all the things that make our voices unique.” READ MORE. ICT

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On Monday's ICT Newscast, we learn more on the federal tribal playbook and get an election updates on state who have held primaries. Plus, meet an Oglala Lakota woman who is searching for truth and healing.

Watch: 

The Field Museum opened a new permanent exhibition called “Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories.

With more than four years in the making, this interactive exhibit opens the door for Native people and their stories.

For the first time in its exhibits, the Field Museum doesn’t focus only on objects but is driven by the stories of Native people, told in their own voices. Stories of self-determination, resilience, and continuity.

Watch:

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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. managingeditor@indiancountrytoday.com.

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