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Mary Annette Pember wins investigative journalism award

ICT’s Mary Annette Pember is the recipient of the 2021 Richard LaCourse Award for Investigative Journalism.

The Native American Journalists Association made the announcement on Friday.

Mary Annette Pember

Mary Annette Pember

Pember, a national correspondent with ICT, will be recognized for the award alongside High Country News and The Aboriginal People’s Television Network during the 2021 National Native Media Awards virtual ceremony on Oct. 28

Pember, Red Cliff Ojibwe, was nominated and selected for her story ‘The Catholic Church siphoned away $30M paid to Native people for stolen land.

To read more about Richard LaCourse, click here.


2020 Census: Native population increased by 86.5 percent

The growth in the American Indian and Alaska Native population in the last decade contributes to the country’s portrait of being much more multi racial and diverse, according to 2020 Census data released Thursday. The demographic data will be used to redraw the nation's political maps.

The American Indian and Alaska Native population, alone and in combination with other races, increased from 5.2 million in 2010 to 9.7 million in 2020, a 86.5 percent increase.

This makes the American Indian and Alaska Native people represent 2.9 percent of the U.S. population… READ more.

Fish flown in after Yukon salmon plummet

Yukon River chum salmon, which make up 70 percent of the subsistence harvest in the region, didn’t turn up this year. Neighbors are helping out but people worry about hunger in the coming winter.

An empty boat launch at Manley Hot Springs on the Tanana River, a tributary of the Yukon River. Usually this time of year the shore would be busy early and late every day with people loading and unloading gear, fish and people, and launching and pulling out boats. 2021 (Photo by Serena Fitka, Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association)

It’s as if emergency food supplies had to be delivered — beef to Oklahoma, wheat to North Dakota, or apples to Washington state — due to a sudden plunge in harvest levels after thousands of years of plenty. And no one knows why the crops or animal populations failed.

“It's devastating. And it's scary,” said Executive Director Serena Fitka, Inupiaq, of the Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association. “Because we don't know what is going on with this fish. Why isn't it coming back?” The association serves 42 Alaska communities on the Yukon River... READ more.

Saturday is National Navajo Code Talkers Day

Aug. 14 is National Navajo Code Talkers Day, an official holiday in Arizona.

In March, Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation making it a legal state holiday.

“It’s important that all Arizonans remember the service and bravery of the Navajo Code Talkers,” said Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai, who sponsored the legislation. “Their crucial service during WWII will not be forgotten, and we will continue to honor them every Aug. 14. Thank you to everyone who supported Senate Bill 1802.”

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Judge orders release of $1.2 billion in suit over Alaska rural energy fund

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A state court judge on Wednesday sided with a coalition including the Alaska Federation of Natives , tribes, and electric cooperatives that had sued Gov. Mike Dunleavy to force the release of money intended to help lower rural utility costs.

Superior Court Judge Josie Garton barred the state from sweeping the nearly $1.2 billion Power Cost Equalization Endowment Fund into a budget reserve account. She also said program funds that were appropriated by lawmakers but held up amid the dispute are to be distributed. The fund subsidizes the high cost of energy in rural Alaska to levels similar to those in urban areas that benefit from big-ticket investments decades ago.

The Alaska Department of Law, which defended the administration, was reviewing the ruling.

Under the state constitution, money taken from the constitutional budget reserve is to be repaid. For years, lawmakers have used the reserve to help fund state government amid deficits. Dunleavy's administration in 2019 determined the Power Cost Equalization fund was among the pots of money subject to being swept into the reserve at the end of a fiscal year… READ more.

Listen: ICT's Vincent Schilling talks 'Reservation Dogs'

Indian Country Today's Vincent Schilling was recently on NPR's Morning Edition to talk about "Reservation Dogs."

To list, click here.

Be sure to check out Schilling's review of the show: #NativeNerd review: ‘Reservation Dogs’

Here are a few other #NativeNerd reviews for the weekend:

#NativeNerd: ‘Rutherford Falls’ is the best thing I’ve ever seen on TV

#NativeNerd review: Marvel’s Black Widow

#NativeNerd: Basketball, aliens, the future and more


The healing ways of Indian Country

On this weekend edition of Indian Country Today we're looking at the many ways Indigenous people heal themselves.

#ICYMI: From acting to audiobooks, Tatanka Means business

Ask anyone in Indian Country to name their favorite Native comedian and Tatanka Means is likely one of the top names you would likely hear.

Means is a man of many talents. He’s not only a comedian, but he is also an actor, a stuntman, a boxer, entrepreneur, and activist from the Oglala Lakota, Omaha, Yankton Dakota and Diné communities.

Acting in front of the camera (or cameras) is one thing but a one-on-one interview is another challenge for the comedian and public speaker recognized by millions in Indian Country and around the world. Especially when the pandemic threw off his interview game... READ more.

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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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