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Greetings, relatives.

A lot of news out there on this winter solstice. Thanks for stopping by Indian Country Today’s digital platform.

Each day we do our best to gather the latest news for you. 

Okay, here's what you need to know today:

Science says Dec. 21 marks the official beginning of winter. It says that this day is when the sun is lowest in the sky … but Indigenous people always knew that.

And Indigenous people mark the changes in different ways.

Winter begins on the “shortest day of the year.”

It's the opposite of the summer solstice — where we experience the longest amount of daylight. This happens every year between June 20 and June 22. Every day after that, we see a few minutes less sun which culminates in the winter solstice.

So now every day will offer more sunlight.

“It is a time for rest for a lot of the animals and for the plants,” says Wilfred Buck, an elder from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. “It is time for the people to replenish their spirit. It is time for them to dream.” READ MORE.Indian Country Today

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From Jan. 26 to Jan. 28, tribes will convene with the Interior about the bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invests more than $13 billion in tribal communities.

The consultations will offer tribes to have input and provide feedback to various programs and initiatives outlined the law.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is an unprecedented investment in Indian Country that will ensure that future generations have clean air, drinkable water, fertile soil and an overall quality of life that is currently threatened by the worsening climate crisis,” Secretary Deb Haaland said. “Tribal leaders know best the needs of their people. It is critical that Tribes continue to be at the decision-making table as we implement this historic opportunity.”

The sessions will focus on the following:

  • Tribal Climate Resilience programs
  • Water infrastructure and drought resilience
  • Indian water right settlement investments
  • Wildfire resilience programs
  • Ecosystem restoration programs
  • Legacy pollution programs
  • U.S. Geological Survey infrastructure law programs

The consultations will be closed to the public. Tribes can submit written comments to consultation@bia.gov by Feb. 4.

Covering the United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, was a binge-work undertaking filled with rabbit holes of scientific, economic and existential research that never seemed to end.

Now on the other side of this momentous world event, Indian Country Today is sharing some observations, takeaways and looming questions.

The biggest question to emerge from the meeting is what’s keeping the world’s leaders from taking quick and strong action, given the gravity of the global threat to humankind of fossil-fuel-induced climate change?

Although UN reports and leaders at the COP26 point to Indigenous knowledge and ways as a means to combat climate change, why do they fail to heed their direction and advice? READ MORE.Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — It's “A Christmas Carol” as only an Alaska Native could see it.

Instead of Victorian-era England, it’s set in COVID-era Alaska. Ebenezer Scrooge and his niece — not nephew — are presidents of Native corporations. And the values of giving and community are pure Tlingit.

That’s the message in “A Tlingit Christmas Carol,” written by Vera Starbard, the playwright-in-residence at Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska.

Starbard, Tlingit and Dena’ina, is also a writer for the PBS Kids animated children’s program, “Molly of Denali,” and happens to be a fan of the Charles Dickens novella, “A Christmas Carol.” READ MORE.Richard Perry, special to Indian Country Today

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The award-winning PBS KIDS show 'Molly of Denali' has some talented Indigenous people working behind the scenes. We visit with some of its creative producers. Plus, an Alaska Native podcaster gives us insight on her journey

Watch here:

A school board in Connecticut has rejected a proposal to revive a Native American nickname for its high school sports teams, a week after a meeting to discuss that idea ended with a board member being punched.

The Glastonbury Board of Education finished its meeting online Monday night, voting 7-1 not to change the name from Guardians back to Tomahawks. The town changed the name earlier this year.

“The Tomahawk mascot no longer seems to be a symbol that signals a vision of strength and unity at Glastonbury High School, but instead seems to sow division and discord in our community,” board member Evan Seretan said at Monday night’s meeting.

Last Tuesday’s in-person meeting ended after an argument erupted during a break between a board member and a resident. The board member can be seen on a video pushing the man, who then takes a swing at the board member, striking him and causing him to fall backward.

Police are investigating the fight. No charges have been filed. — The Associated Press

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In honor of Netflix’s new miniseries, “Maya and the Three” — where a “brave and rebellious warrior princess” named Maya embarks on a quest to save her family with the assistance of three brave warriors — four organizations: Protect The Sacred, Harness, United We Dream in partnership with Meztli Projects, has created a list of notable Indigenous warrior princesses from all parts of the U.S.

According to the announcement, these Indigenous teen ‘warrior princesses’ are part of the next generation of activists and community leaders. The young women range in age from 9 to 15 and come from all parts of the United States including California, Florida, and Oklahoma.

The young women are all Indigenous and biracial to include Latina, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Yaqui, Black, Mexican, and Shinnecock, among other nationalities. They are all contributors to their own communities in several ways. 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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