Skip to main content

The Wrap: Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Indian Country headlines for Friday, May 27, 2022
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Greetings, relatives.

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

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

Also, if you like our daily digest, sign up for The Weekly, our newsletter emailed to you on Thursdays. If you like what we do and want us to keep going, support and donate here.

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

Cheyenne Kippenberger, Seminole Tribe of Florida, is currently running for the title of Miss Florida USA. The winner of this pageant will head to the Miss USA pageant. The winner of Miss USA will compete at the Miss Universe pageant.

Previously, Kippenberger held the Miss Indian World 2019-2021 and the Miss Seminole Florida titles. She’s representing Miss Hollywood Florida in the Miss Florida USA pageant.

Miss Florida USA is judged in three competitions: fitness, evening gown and interview. Each is worth one-third of the overall points. There will be the winner, first runner-up, second runner-up, third runner-up and fourth runner-up. — Indian Country Today

Cheyenne Kippenberger, Seminole Tribe of Florida, is currently running for the title of Miss Florida USA in 2022. (Photo courtesy Cheyenne Kippenberger, Instagram)

Cheyenne Kippenberger, Seminole Tribe of Florida, is currently running for the title of Miss Florida USA in 2022. (Photo courtesy Cheyenne Kippenberger, Instagram)


The San Francisco Unified School District has announced that the word "chief" will be eliminated from job titles because of concerns expressed by Native Americans.

An alternative title for people formerly called "chief" was still being finalized, the district said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the ban on Wednesday.

"While there are many opinions on the matter, our leadership team agreed that, given that Native American members of our community have expressed concerns over the use of the title, we are no longer going to use it," the district statement said.

"With nearly 10,000 employees, SFUSD is one of the largest employers in San Francisco and in addition to site leaders, we need central leaders who serve all of our 119 schools," it said.

The statement acknowledged that those positions require significant responsibility and specific expertise.

"By changing how we refer to our division heads we are in no way diminishing the indispensable contributions of our district central service leaders," it said.

The district's decision follows such moves as the recent renaming of Northern California's former S-word Valley Ski Resort. The s-word derived from the Algonquin language, has morphed over generations to a misogynist and racist term to disparage Indigenous women. — Associated Press

A new exhibit of photos taken in the Mojave desert contrasts the past and future, an award-winning Indigenous actress lands roles in two top TV series, and six artists are awarded fellowships in upstate New York.

Chemehuevi photographer Cara Romero's works will be exhibited through Aug. 14 at the San Bernardino Museum in California, including this work, "Evolvers," showing children running through a field in Palm Springs, California. (Photo courtesy of Cara Romero)

One of the most successful contemporary Indigenous photographers, Cara Romero, a citizen of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, will be exhibiting new works at the San Bernardino County Museum.

“Homecoming: Works by Cara Romero,” which runs now through Aug. 14, exhibits her blend of fine art and editorial photography, shaped by a distinct approach to representing Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural memory from a Native American female perspective. READ MORESandra Hale Schulman, Special to Indian Country Today

In May, after a year of investigating, the U.S. Department of Interior released its report on the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative. The findings show the federal Indian boarding school system consisted of at least 408 federal schools across 37 states and roughly 53 different schools had been identified with marked or unmarked burial sites. READ MORE.

North Carolina could have its first Indigenous person elected to Congress in November. Charles Graham, Lumbee and Waccamaw Siouan, won the Democratic nomination for his district in a May primary. READ MORE.

Fifty years ago, Mount Adams returned to the Yakama people. An executive order signed by Richard Nixon in 1972 returned the sacred Pahto mountain to tribal lands, but disputes continue to arise. The anniversary was May 20. READ MORE.

Sign up here to get ICT's newsletter 

On the Friday ICT Newscast, RES 2022 is a wrap. We bring you interviews with Native leaders, government officials, and artists. And we mourn the loss of our relatives in Texas.

The flier for his going away party says a lot about John Kito’s work as an educator.

Across the top of it are photos of people performing traditional dances of Alaska Natives, Pacific and South Pacific Islands, Mexico, Indonesia and Africa. The Anchorage Daily News reports the potluck buffet that night featured dishes representing Albania, Samoa, Laos and other countries.

“A night of cultural celebrations in honor of Principal John Kito,” the flier reads. “Help us celebrate Tyson elementary’s one and only principal. All of Tyson is invited.”

Below the invitation are photos of Kito, who is Tlingit and Japanese. In one he's receiving an award. Kito has been recognized as a Distinguished National Principal, which honors outstanding elementary and middle-level principals who ensure that America’s children acquire a sound foundation for lifelong learning and achievement. READ MORE Joaqlin Estus, Indian Country Today


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.