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EAGLE BUTTE, South Dakota — The Lakota Oyate are mourning the loss of matriarch Marcella Rose LeBeau, who died Nov. 21 at a Cheyenne River hospital just days after being inducted into the National Native American Hall of Fame. She was 102.

LeBeau, a nurse in World War II and later with the Indian Health Service, went on to serve as a council representative for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and as an advocate for the Lakota people.

The family posted a statement on social media announcing her death at the Cheyenne River (Wakpa Waste) IHS hospital Family members said she died “after experiencing problems with her digestive system and losing her appetite.” READ MORE. — Vi Waln, Special to Indian Country Today


Leading up to the 50th anniversary of ANCSA on Dec. 17, Indian Country Today will be highlighting a wide range of these experiences, including insights from the elders who fought for the land, perspectives from current leaders today, and future goals from younger generations.

We hear from a young Alaska Native shareholder who doesn't let geographical distance get in the way of community and culture — and how he aims to further close divides by Indigenizing tech.

Ben Velaise, Koyukon Athabascan, was raised spending summers at his family’s fishcamp on the Yukon River in the Koyukon region of Interior Alaska, while living in Los Angeles during the school year. He formerly worked in People Operations at Google, where he was also part of the leadership team for the Google American Indian Network. He’s currently pursuing a graduate degree in law and in business at the University of Chicago, and recently published an essay on ANCSA in an anthology out of the University of Minnesota Press titled “ANCSA: The Incorporation of Life and Land.” READ MORE. — Meghan Sullivan, Indian Country Today

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A star-studded lineup of Indigenous celebrities turned out for a special event honoring Native film at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.

Among those attending the private ceremony were Academy Award-winning musician Buffy Sainte-Marie, actors Wes Studi and Tantoo Cardinal, musician Robbie Robertson and academy trustee Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Indian Nation of New York.

The event was held during the opening week of Native American Heritage Month to showcase the museum’s commitment to Indigenous film artists, officials said. READ MORE. — Sandra Schulman, Special to Indian Country Today


What you, our Indian Country Today readers, read most each week.

  1. 400 years later, ‘we did not vanish’
  2. A Wampanoag retelling of Thanksgiving
  3. Long thought extinct, a Native corn re-emerges

To see the entire list, click here.

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