Bshai awawa us, relatives.

A lot of news is happening out there, including the Tokyo Olympics beginning tomorrow (or today, it’s Friday there now and a few events have already begun)! There are more than a dozen Indigenous athletes competing (that’s our first item below). Reminder: Japan is 13 hours ahead of the east coast.

Each day we do our best to gather the latest news for you. Scroll to the bottom to see what’s popping out to us on social media and what we’re reading.

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

Indigenous athletes set to shine in Olympics

Athlete Jillian Weir will be representing more than the Canadian people in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. She’s also representing the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte from the Tyendinaga Territory.

Weir, 28, is apparently the only Indigenous athlete on Team Canada and may be the only one in North America set to compete in the upcoming Olympic Games, which start Friday, July 23, and continue through Aug. 8. It is her first trip to the Olympics.

“I believe my Indigenous background has instilled strength and courage in me to keep putting my best foot forward no matter the setbacks or challenges,” Weir said. “Mohawk people are fighters and giving up has never been an option. I strive to live up to that and to keep pushing myself to be a better athlete and person.

“I am joyful to have qualified for my first Olympic Games but I am definitely going to continue training for the 2024 Olympics,” she said. READ MORE.

How to watch the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics

Since Japan is 13 hours ahead of the east coast, the opening ceremony is happening at an odd time.

WHAT: Opening ceremony
DAY: Friday, July 23, 2021
TIME: 8pm JAPAN / 6:55 a.m. ET / 3:55 a.m. PT
HOW: Live on NBC, streaming NBC Sports app, NBC Olympics website


Toronto Film Festival to honor Villeneuve and Obomsawin

(AP) — Filmmakers Denis Villeneuve and Alanis Obomsawin are among those being honored at the Toronto International Film Festival this September.

TIFF co-heads Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey said Thursday that Villeneuve will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award and Obomsawin will be honored with the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media at the 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards. Both are Canadian.

Villeneuve is known for directing films like "Prisoners" and "Blade Runner 2049" and was nominated for an Oscar for the 2016 film "Arrival." His new film, an adaptation of "Dune," will be playing at the festival after its world premiere in Venice.

"There is no question Denis is an accomplished and outstanding filmmaker. He has a wonderful body of work and operates at an incredible level of excellence on the world stage," Bailey said in a statement. "Over the years, Denis has brought many of his films to TIFF, so we feel a special closeness to him. It is wonderful to be celebrating his career at this time."

Obomsawin, meanwhile, has been making films for over 50 years, exploring the lives of First Nations peoples. She's a member of the Abenaki Nation.

"The Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media recognizes leadership in creating a union between social impact and cinema," Vicente said. "As a gifted documentary filmmaker and impassioned storyteller, Alanis brings awareness to vital Indigenous issues and is widely recognized as a national treasure because of her extraordinary body of work."

Previous TIFF Award winners have included Chloé Zhao, Kate Winslet and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

TIFF is scheduled to run as an in-person event Sept. 9-18. The Canadian government has said it will open its border to fully-vaccinated U.S citizens and permanent residents on Aug. 9 and will expand to the rest of the world by Sept. 7.

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Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center to move

ONCHIOTA, New York — As the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center is open again for its 67th summer season, the Fadden family looks forward to moving down the road in the future.

“The next step is a big one,” said co-owner Dave Fadden, who runs the center with his brother Don and father John. “We will be expanding the center soon.”

Last year, during the coronavirus pandemic, the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center, formerly known as the Six Nations Indian Museum, received word that more artifacts will be donated from someone’s estate. Hearing this, the Faddens applied to be a nonprofit organization and will be expanding its cultural center. The center is currently four rooms, one being the gift shop and the other three containing more than 3,000 artifacts. This is not the first expansion; in 1954 when John’s father Ray Fadden opened the museum, the building only had two rooms. Over the years, it has grown to four while including outside exhibits.

The center will be moved down county Route 60 toward the entrance of the Buck Pond State Campground where a larger structure can be built and the current building will move as an artifact unto itself. READ MORE.


What is a COVID-19 vaccine 'breakthrough' case?

What is a COVID-19 vaccine "breakthrough" case?

It's when a fully vaccinated person gets infected with the coronavirus. A small number of such cases are expected and health officials say they're not a cause for alarm.

COVID-19 vaccines work by teaching the body to recognize the virus. So if you're exposed to it after vaccination, your immune system should be ready to spring into action and fight it.

In studies, the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna were around 95 percent effective at preventing illness, while the one-shot Johnson & Johnson shot was 72 percent effective, though direct comparisons are difficult. So while the vaccines are very good at protecting us from the virus, it's still possible to get infected with mild or no symptoms, or even to get sick.

If you do end up getting sick despite vaccination, experts say the shots are very good at reducing the severity of the illness - the main reason to get vaccinated.

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