Each day we do our best to gather the latest news for you, especially before this long holiday weekend. Be safe out there.
As always, we’re absolutely grateful for you and appreciate everything you do for us.
Before you gobble up the turkey, here's what you need to know today:
Joanne Shenandoah, the celebrated Oneida singer-songwriter who performed before world leaders and on high-profile stages, has died. She was 63.
The Native American Music Awards & Association posted on its website that Shenandoah, described as “Native America’s musical matriarch,” died Monday night in Scottsdale, Arizona, after complications of abdominal bleeding.
Her daughter, Leah Shenandoah, wrote on Facebook: “My beautiful Mom saved countless lives with her angelic voice and heart as big as the Universe."
Shenandoah was a citizen of the Wolf Clan of the Oneida Nation, and grew up in central New York state.
She made her recording debut in 1989, and her career went on to include numerous albums and collaborations.
Shenandoah won 14 Native American Music Awards, the most for a single artist. She was among the artists who contributed to “Sacred Ground: A Tribute to Mother Earth,” which won the Grammy award for Best Native American music album in 2006, and was nominated twice for Grammys for her own recordings.
According to her website, Shenandoah performed in front of the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela, and played at locations including the White House and Carnegie Hall.
Shenandoah had suffered from health issues in recent years, including liver problems after she had a bacterial infection.
She is survived by her husband, daughter, grandson and two sisters. — The Associated Press
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Music icon PJ Vegas performed at the LA Clippers game at the STAPLES Center in celebration of Native American Heritage Month in Los Angeles Tuesday night.
PJ Vegas opened the evening with the national anthem. Other performances included Indigenous artists, Doc Native Music and Spencer Battiest.
"Being a part of this night gives more visibility to Indigenous culture and art and the people behind it. Ultimately, behind the music and art are the stories of our people and the history of these lands," PJ Vegas said in a news release. "Slowly, we are seeing more Black, Indigenous and people of color being highlighted in sports, music and media and I'm so grateful that the incredible team at the Clippers is taking part in this beautiful wave of representation that's happening across North America." He is the son of Pat Vegas, founder of Redbone.
A Wampanoag retelling of Thanksgiving
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving. Joining ICT's newscast is Wampanoag citizen Steven Peters. He is the creative director of Smoke Sygnals and share how his work aims to advance the true narrative of his tribal nation. WATCH HERE. — Indian Country Today’s Newscast
A Canadian looks at American Thanksgiving
When you live in Canada, you know the story about the Pilgrims and the first American Thanksgiving, but we didn’t make a big deal about it. We didn’t study it in school and there were no school plays. READ MORE. — Miles Morrisseau, Special to Indian Country Today
Thanksgiving offers a way forward
Thanksgiving has rolled around once again. Conveniently, November is also national Native American History Month, a time when Americans turn their famously short attention spans to celebrate the Indigenous peoples of this nation. This would be the perfect time to teach youngsters about contemporary American Indians and the interesting and exciting work many tribes are doing to preserve and revitalize their languages and cultures. READ MORE. — Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today
MORE THANKSGIVING COVERAGE BY ICT.
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AUGUSTA, Maine — An Indigenous group is working on a plan to boost tourism efforts in the coming years.
The effort is called the Wabanaki Cultural Tourism Initiative and it includes the five Wabanaki tribes in the state. The tribes are doing the work through Four Directions Development Corporation, which state officials described as a Native community development financial institution.
The Maine Office of Tourism said Monday it has awarded the financial institution $150,000 to help with developing tourism. The development corporation wants to create a Wabanaki tourism economy by 2030, officials said.
The tourism office said the money will also be used to enroll tribal members from the development corporation in George Washington University's Cultural Heritage Tourism Certificate Program. That program is intended to help community leaders and others build tourism.
Charlene Virgilio, executive director of Four Directions Development Corporation, said the help from the state "will support the development of a Wabanaki tourism industry." — The Associated Press
CHACO CULTURE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK, New Mexico — The visit comes days after President Biden’s announcement at the White House Tribal Nations Summit that the Department of the Interior is taking steps to protect the Chaco Canyon region.
The Bureau of Land Management will initiate consideration of a 20-year withdrawal of federal lands within a 10-mile radius around the park.
New federal oil and gas leasing would be barred, not affecting existing valid leases or rights or minerals owned by private, state or tribal entities. READ MORE. — Kalle Benallie, Indian Country Today
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