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This Lakota grandma rocks

In addition to its people, the little town of Oglala on the Pine Ridge Reservation is also home to a large, diverse population of dogs. On this particular May day, it seems most of them have decided to chase my rental car, biting at the tires as I slowly make my way into the steep driveway of Davida Little Spotted Horse’s home.

They maintain their grips while backing up in an ungainly dog dance, letting me know they’re not giving up easily.

Coming to a stop near the door, I honk my horn as instructed.

Little Spotted Horse leans out to holler at the rez dogs. “Oh, be quiet; it’s okay!”

Immediately they change their demeanor, wagging their tails and smiling at me foolishly as though in apology for their earlier onslaught.

I scurry into the house before the dogs change their minds.

“Please don’t mind the mess,” says Little Spotted Horse as she invites me into her busy world.

Five-gallon size drink dispensers, packages of disposable cups and bags of lemons are spread across the floor.

A mother of five, grandmother of three, foster mother for a baby and a toddler as well as a heavy metal musician and songwriter, Little Spotted Horse is getting supplies ready for a family lemonade stand. The family specializes in huge glasses of flavored lemonade that are popular in the community. When ready, she puts the word out on Facebook and gets a steady stream of customers, enough to help fund family road trips. READ MOREMary Annette Pember, ICT 

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Continuing Oklahoma’s stronghold of Indigenous leadership

Tuesday is the Oklahoma primary, a big day for 18 Indigenous candidates on the ballot. The highest number of Indigenous candidates the state has seen in an election cycle.

Here's the breakdown. 

There are six Indigenous candidates running for high-profile offices: governor, U.S. Senate and U.S. House. On the state legislature side, only two of the 12 Indigenous candidates running for state office are facing opponents. Most of the state candidates are likely to move forward to the general election.

Nearly all of the Indigenous candidates are Republicans. Only one, Ajay Pittman, Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma, is a Democratic candidate. READ MORE Pauly Denetclaw, ICT

For the first time an all-Native youth sporting event will be on a major sports network platform.

The Native American Basketball Invitational Foundation is teaming up with Executive Producer Robert Judkins, LTN Global, and ESPN to stream their semi-final and championship games on ESPN+.

“For 19 years, NABI continues to be the largest and most prestigious all-Native American basketball tournament in North America,” Gina Marie Scarpa, president of NABI, said in a press release. “We are excited to showcase our athletes in a way that has never been done before, on a global stage. It will be a significant history-making moment for our athletes and our entire Native community.”

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The tournament officially begins July 17 in Phoenix. The championship games will be streamed on July 22 and July 23. Tickets are available here

Lands sacred to Indigenous Americans are on the chopping block.

Last week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals made a ruling on the government's decision to transfer Oak Flat, a sacred site to the Apache people, to Resolution Copper, a foreign-owned copper mining company.

The court ruled the transfer does not substantially burden the Apaches' religious practices.

However, the mine will swallow the sacred site – known as Chi’chil Biłdagoteel in Apache – into a massive crater, ending those practices forever. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wendsler Nosie Sr. from the organization Apache Stronghold says his people deserve to practice their traditions at Oak Flat.

Western Apaches and other nations have worshiped at the site since time immemorial.

“Oak Flat is like Mount Sinai to us—our most sacred site where we connect with our Creator, our faith, our families, and our land,” he said. “It is a place of healing that has been sacred to us since long before Europeans arrived on this continent. My children, grandchildren, and the generations after them deserve to practice our traditions at Oak Flat.”

The Apache Stronghold’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is due on Sept. 22

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Court sides with federal agencies in subsistence lawsuit

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A federal judge has temporarily banned the state of Alaska from holding fish openings that conflict with federal openers on the Kuskokwim River in western Alaska.

The state had been scheduling openings for all Alaskans on the same days the federal government limited openings to local rural subsistence users only. The state says it’s upholding the state Constitution, which reserves fish and wildlife for common use and prohibits exclusive or special hunting and fishing privileges.

District Judge Sharon L. Gleason said the state openings “create a practical risk that large numbers of Alaskans will arrive at the State-appointed times to set gill-nets on the Kuskokwim, resulting in unpredictable and extensive harvest of the depleted fisheries.”

The temporary injunction was issued on the grounds the state’s actions likely violated the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Under ANILCA, local rural subsistence users have priority to hunt and fish on federal land and waters in Alaska when restrictions are needed during fish and game shortages. READ MOREJoaqlin Estus, ICT 

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