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Ngarigo woman Ash Barty was front and center when the Australian Open celebrated its inaugural First Nations Day.

Albeit not for very long. The top-ranked Barty has Indigenous heritage and her second-round match at Melbourne Park's main stadium on Wednesday was among the features of a program dedicated to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia.

She was on and off the court quickly, beating 142nd-ranked qualifier Lucia Bronzetti in 52 minutes.

"Really cool. ... Nice for me to be a part of it in a way I feel most comfortable," Barty said. "On a day when we're bringing culture together ... it was really nice for me to go out and enjoy that.

"I was really fortunate to be able to play today."

The 2021 Wimbledon and 2019 French Open champion dropped just one game in her first-round match, which also took less than an hour, as she bids to become the first Australian woman since 1978 to win the country's Grand Slam tournament.

Barty became the second indigenous Australian to win Wimbledon last July, following in the footsteps of tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

Next up for Barty will be a match against another Italian, 30th-seeded Camila Giorgi. — Associated Press

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Cynthia Chavez Lamar has been named the incoming director for the National Museum of the American Indian. Her position is historic as she is the first Native woman to be a Smithsonian museum director.

Pictured: Dr. Cynthia Chavez Lamar (Photo: courtesy National Museum of the American Indian)

Chavez Lamar is a citizen of San Felipe Pueblo, and a maternal ancestry of Hopi, Tewa and Navajo. She said she is excited to begin her tenure on Feb. 14.

“I am looking forward to leading and working with the museum’s experienced and dedicated staff. Together, we will leverage the museum’s reputation to support shared initiatives with partners in the U.S. and around the world to amplify Indigenous knowledge and perspectives all in the interest of further informing the American public and international audiences of the beauty, tenacity and richness of Indigenous cultures, arts and histories,” she said in a press release.

She will supervise the museum’s three facilities: the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the museum’s George Gustav Heye Center in New York and the Cultural Resources Center in Maryland. READ MORE. Kalle Benallie, Indian Country Today

For Cherokee filmmaker Brit Hensel, the Sundance Film Festival is a chance to showcase not just a groundbreaking film but also her people.

Her film, “ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (Udeyonv),” or “What They’ve Been Taught,” which premieres Thursday, Jan. 20, at 9 a.m. MST, explores reciprocity among the Cherokee people as told through an elder.

The film features not just a Cherokee director but an all-Cherokee film crew.

“Filmmaking for me has always carried with it an element of responsibility — a responsibility to whose story I'm sharing, to my community, my collaborators, to myself and my vision,” Hensel, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, told Indian Country Today.

Hensel is among nine Indigenous filmmakers featured at this year's acclaimed Sundance Film Festival, telling stories of traditions, ambitions and aspirations in short and feature-length films and multimedia productions. The festival runs Jan. 20-30 in Park City, Utah, but will not feature in-person events this year because of the pandemic. READ MORE.Dan Ninham, special to Indian Country Today

The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition has a new leader.

Deborah Parker, Tulip Tribes, was named CEO, according to a website announcement. She replaces Christine Diindiisi McCleave. Samuel Torres, Mexica and Mahua, was named deputy CEO.

Parker started at the coalition in May as policy director.

"These accomplished Indigenous leaders are key members of the NABS staff and are uniquely positioned and qualified to advance NABS’s mission on a national scale. This is a truly exciting time to reaffirm our commitment to boarding school survivors and descendants for truth, justice, and healing," NABS Board of Directors President Sandra White Hawk wrote. — Indian Country Today

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The chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag shares a land back victory, we preview the Sundance Film Festival and a reflection on President Joe Biden's first year in office.

Watch:

Around the world: A tribe in Brazil is displaced yet again by heavy rains, a Māori broadcasting legend joins conservation efforts, a Sydney reserve is handed back to Aboriginal ownership, gold mines in Bolivia may be poisoning Indigenous people, and in Uganda, an oil pipeline is approved by legislators despite secret terms.

Coverage around the world on Indigenous issues for the week ending Jan. 16, 2022. READ MORE. — Deusdedit Ruhangariyo, special to Indian Country Today

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The pandemic has prompted Casa Grande to cancel the south-central Arizona’s city’s annual event celebrating Native American culture and the spirit of the American cowboy.

City Manager Larry Rains said the O’Odham Tash and Cowboy Days event scheduled for February were canceled because of the pandemic “and the preferences and wishes of our neighboring Native American communities,” the Casa Grande Dispatch reported.

Although the city won’t be involved, a carnival and some other events may still take place during the event’s normal 10-day timeframe, the city’s announcement said.

The 2021 event also was canceled because of the pandemic.

Casa Grande has celebrated O’Odham Tash almost every year for over 50 years, traditionally including a parade, social powwows, an arts and crafts show and an all-Indian rodeo. — Associated Press

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