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Greetings, relatives.

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

Here's what you need to know today:

PHOENIX — It was a rowdy Saturday night for Indigenous MMA fighters who entered the cage at Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, with one winning his retirement fight.

Shannon Ritch, Choctaw, stepped into the cage for his last time and won his pro headliner match up against Samson Guerrero via submission, in the first round, with a rear naked choke.

He said as soon as Guerrero turned, “I was like, ‘I got him!’”

Fortunately for Ritch, it was the happy ending he was anticipating for his career. He had a huge turnout from his hometown Coolidge, Arizona.

“I'm 51 years old, making my last fight in front of my hometown and for a Native promotion, this is a dream come true,” Ritch said. READ MORE.Carina Dominguez, Indian Country Today


The Cherokee Nation on Friday responded to the state of Oklahoma’s request that the U.S. Supreme Court reverse its ruling that some tribal reservations were never disestablished.

The tribe argued that the state gives no valid reason to revisit what is known as the court’s McGirt decision, which said Oklahoma lacked jurisdiction over crimes committed on tribal reservations by or against tribal citizens.

“The State’s and amici’s arguments are best presented to Congress, not to a court,” according to the filing.

Amici, or filings supporting the state’s request, have been filed by the cities of Tulsa and Owasso, state law enforcement and business groups and the states of Texas, Kansas, Louisiana and Nebraska.

The tribe also disputed contentions that crimes such as domestic violence have not been prosecuted because of McGirt.

“They did not consider the time needed for investigation or to make a prosecutorial decision,” according to the filing.

“The state’s refusal to accept McGirt is not a valid reason why the court should revisit the case,” said Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill. — The Associated Press

Northern Minnesota — Only days after completion of the Line 3 project, there is barely a hint that a nearly 400-mile, $2.6 billion pipeline project, the largest in Enbridge history, crosses the lands in northern Minnesota.

The giant drilling machines and construction equipment that bored into fragile wetlands have departed. The deep trenches and miles of pipe that once marched across the landscape awaiting burial are gone.

A few remaining workers grade the once bustling construction sites, covering grounds newly seeded for grass with chopped hay.

A lone water protector raises his fist in a solidarity salute with others who shut down an Enbridge Line 3 pumping station by occupying the site on Monday, June 7, 2021. (Photo by Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today)

The Line 3 opponents — the water protectors — no longer take actions to stop construction. The Enbridge workers and contractors are mostly gone.

Life in these rural Minnesota counties is back to normal. Or so it seems. READ MORE.Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today

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Happy All Hallows Eve everyone, or should I say 'the day so many Native people cringe at' with the thought of those “Native” themed costumes. Please don’t do it. Dress like a zombie or something.

Truth be told, I love horror films. I love haunted houses and I love when a movie is full of good jump scares.

Many of these movies and series are fairly intense, bloody, and really, really scary so practice caution with respect to younger audiences... READ MORE. — Vincent Schilling, Indian Country Today

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We'll tell you about Indian Country's big changes in leadership, tourism and gaming. Plus, Pulitzer Prize winning author Louise Erdrich talks about the craft of writing

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The 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference, or COP26, starts Sunday

The event in Glasgow focuses on pressing issues related to the climate. It goes through Nov. 12.

"The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change," reads the website.

Details about COP26 can be found here.


LOWER LAFITTE, Louisiana — The blades of grass are just beginning to push through the thick, marsh mud in Russell Rodriguez’s yard as the mid-October sun beats down on southeastern Louisiana.

A bald eagle soars high above the tall trees. Morning rays glimmer off the rippling waters of nearby Barataria Bayou as it pushes toward the Gulf of Mexico.

It would be idyllic if not for the widespread destruction.

Homes are wrecked, pushed off their pylons and shattered. Fishing boats are upended onto dry land. Coffins washed out of local cemeteries sit cracked open, the bones inside still waiting to be claimed.

It’s more than Rodriguez can take. After decades in lower Lafitte about 65 miles south of New Orleans, he and his wife are leaving their home and their neighbors of the United Houma Nation for higher ground. READ MORE. Dianna Hunt, Joaqlin Estus and Richard Arlin Walker, Indian Country Today

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