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A Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Task Force is traveling some 800 miles over several days by state ferry to hear from and offer training to tribal and community representatives. The group will travel to island communities along the Aleutian Chain, which includes communities such as Kodiak and Dutch Harbor/Unalaska. Public Information Officer Lisa Houghton with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the district of Alaska said MMIP coordinator Ingrid Cumberland organized the trip.

“She was appointed to this position two years ago and we have touched about 180 of Alaska’s tribes, giving them the opportunity to kind of have these same conversations. Sometimes, of course those have been via zoom, given COVID et cetera. But we really like to be able to get out and, and do this,” Houghton said.

Stops are organized around the ferry schedule. A few of the get-togethers will be simple meet-and-greets at the ferry dock. Others will be day-long and will include training sessions on law enforcement, sex trafficking, and domestic violence.

Travelers include assistant U.S. Attorneys, representatives of regional nonprofit organizations, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Rural Alaska Anti-Violence Network. — Joaqlin Estus, Indian Country Today

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Emily Washines frequently hears about rejuvenating trips to Mount Adams, whether to hunt, gather, or just be outside.

“I hear people every day talk about going up to the mountain and now feeling better coming back,” Washines, a Yakama Nation citizen and the tribal historian and advocate for cultural revitalization.

But it’s only been for the last 50 years that tribal citizens have been able to head to the mountain, known to the Yakama as Pahto, and say they were on tribal lands.

Despite promises made when the Yakama Nation signed a treaty in 1855 that the mountain would be included in the tribe’s territory, the U.S. government had considered the mountain to be outside of the reservation’s boundaries. READ MOREChris Aadland, Indian Country Today and Underscore News

SHANNON, North Carolina — Charlie and Allie Oxendine grew up within shouting distance of one another in the Mount Airy community near Pembroke, North Carolina, home of the Lumbee tribe.

They bonded as friends during long walks to Burnt Swamp Church Indian school through rain, cold and heat during the 1920s. They married years later, a union that would span nearly 75 years.

They endured the Great Depression, World War II, segregation and Jim Crow-era discrimination. And though Charlie died on Feb. 26, 2014, just short of his 97th birthday and just a few months before the couple would have celebrated their 75th anniversary, Allie Oxendine still laughs at recalling the years they spent together.

Laughter has proven to be medicine for the Lumbee elder, who will turn 102 on Aug 23. She thinks the calming effects of enjoying the moment have prolonged her life. READ MOREJames Locklear, Special to Indian Country Today

HELENA, Mont. — Montanans who want to cast a vote in next month's primary election must be registered with their county elections office by noon on June 6, under an order by the Montana Supreme Court.

The justices, in a 4-1 ruling Tuesday, said changes to election laws passed by the 2021 Legislature will remain in effect for the June 7 primary.

District Court Judge Michael Moses of Billings had ruled last month that a law ending Election Day voter registration appeared to unconstitutionally burden the right to vote and he temporarily blocked it for this year's primary election. READ MORE — Associated Press

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WATCH

The first Native federal judge in California’s history was confirmed by the U.S. Senate Wednesday, becoming only the seventh Indigenous federal judge ever named to the bench.

Sunshine Suzanne Sykes, 48, Diné, was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. She is the first Navajo Nation citizen to be named a federal judge.

She was confirmed to the lifetime appointment by a 51-45 Senate vote, along with two other judges – Jennifer Louise Rochon to the Southern District of New York and Trina L. Thompson to the Northern District of California. READ MORECarina Dominguez, Indian Country Today

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