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Tribe supplies wood for NBA floor in Milwaukee

Watching Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo dominate in the NBA Finals is exciting. But a closer look to what Antetokounmpo sprints on and jumps off is just exciting for fans in Indian Country.

The floor at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee is made from maple trees provided by the Menominee Tribe and its Menominee Forest. The floor was on display for game 3 recently and will be again Wednesday night for game 4 against the Phoenix Suns.

“We're very proud to be the firm foundation of basketball flooring beneath the feet of the next NBA powerhouse (Fear the Deer!) and instrumental in a crucial investment in the city of Milwaukee,” read a short message on the Menominee Tribal Enterprises website.

The tribe’s forest has produced wood for the floors for the Bucks’ practice facility and the court for the Wisconsin Herd, according to Spectrum News.

“It’s a real big deal for the tribe,” Nels Huse, millwork specialist with Menominee Tribal Enterprises, told Spectrum.

The Suns may have more Native fan support, but the Bucks have the leg support.


Minnesota officials looking into Line 3 drilling fluid spill

BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says it’s investigating a spill of drilling fluid into the Willow River in Aitkin County last week during construction on the Enbridge Energy Line 3 oil pipeline.

About 80 to 100 gallons of drilling fluid, or mud, were inadvertently released on July 6 at a construction site near the town of Palisade, the agency said.

Enbridge is drilling beneath the Willow River to install a new crude oil pipeline to replace the existing Line 3. It’s one of several river crossings along the 340-mile pipeline corridor across northern Minnesota.

Related stories:
March to stop Enbridge Line 3
Enbridge Line 3 divides Indigenous lands, people
Treaties offer new aid in environmental fights
Red Lake Treaty Camp’s future uncertain

Enbridge spokesperson Juli Kellner said the company immediately shut down the drilling operation and crews began containment and cleanup, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

Environmental groups opposed to the Line 3 project criticized the release, which they call a “frac-out.” They say the fine particles in drilling mud could impact aquatic life.

Mary Rosenberg, who was born and raised in Park Rapids joins water protectors along Mississippi River, one of Line 3 crossings in Solway, MN. "My dad was a fishing guide in this area; I had to come down and touch this water in his memory.  (Photo by Mary Annette Pember) June 7

School picks Phoenix to replace former mascot tied to Native imagery

ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) — The Phoenix will be the new mascot for the Atchison public school district, replacing former mascots tied to Native American imagery.

The Atchison School Board chose the new mascot by a 5-1 Monday night. The board voted in April to replace the former mascots — “Redmen” for the high school and “Braves” for the middle school.

That change came after Atchison United, a group that promotes diversity, pushed for a more racially sensitive mascot.

Monday’s vote came after opponents gathered 700 signatures on a petition asking the board to delay the change to gather more public input and consider other options, the Atchison Globe reported.

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Indigenous Games rescheduled for 2023

A new date has been set for the next North American Indigenous Games. Games will take place July 15-23 in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) and Millbrook First Nation in Nova Scotia, Canada.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the games to be postponed in 2020.

Jaci McCormack, Lenny Wilkens headline sports clinic

Jaci McCormack, Nez Perce Tribe, NBA coaching legend Lenny Wilkens and others held a sports clinic on Tuesday in Spokane Valley, Washington.

McCormack, known for her stellar basketball play at Illinois State, is the leader of the nonprofit Rise Above, host of the camp.


Zia Pueblo's space connection

The aircraft that took billionaire Richard Branson to the edge of space above New Mexico had a Zia Pueblo feel.

Virgin Galactic space-tourism company reached an altitude of 53.5 miles over the New Mexico desert on Sunday.

The space ship featured the Zia symbol.

"To me, I'm honored that it's being used, and we're getting recognition-- national. It's an honor going to space," Zia Pueblo Gov. Jerome Lucero told KOB4.

For more information, click here.


(At left) Evon Peter with friend and culture bearer Sonny Luke. (Courtesy of Evon Peter).

Evon Peter: Seeking Indigenous success

Surveys show about a third of American workers are not satisfied with their jobs. However, career changes are hard to pull off, especially if there’s a big pay cut involved.

Evon Peter, of Fairbanks, Alaska, recently walked away from one form of success to follow his vision of a revitalized Gwich’in Athabascan language, and with the hope of being more true to his Neets'aii Gwich’in and Koyukon Athabascan roots... READ more.

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