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U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough paid respects to Native American and Alaska Native veterans on Veterans Day in Washington, D.C. Thursday.

McDonough visited and laid a wreath at the memorial site. He said, “My heartfelt appreciation for Native vets.” He is likely the first secretary to pay tribute to the memorial since it was finished in late 2020.

The National Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on November 11, 2021. (Photo by Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Indian Country Today)

Juanita Mullen, liaison for American Indian and Alaska Native veterans from the Office of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Gregorio Kishketon, Kickapoo, joined the secretary at the event.

Lance Fisher, Northern Cheyenne, and Giovanna Gross, Oglala Lakota and Peruvian, sang the Cheyenne flag song after the wreath ceremony. Fisher said it is the equivalent of the national anthem. They also sang a victory song from the Cheyenne that came out of World War I and says the flag is still waving. — Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Indian Country Today

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The White House Tribal Nations Summit will take place virtually on Nov. 15 and 16 for the first time since 2016.

President Donald Trump reestablished the White House Council on Native American Affairs but did not host the summit, then called a conference. The White House said in the spring that it was planning to re-establish the event.

White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Indian Country Today, File)

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is scheduled to deliver opening remarks at 10:30 a.m. ET, and will participate in panel discussions on Native education, languages, public safety and justice.

All events will be livestreamed on Interior’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

For more information on the summit, click here.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, is deep into discussions on worldwide issues as the conference is set to come to a close on Friday, Nov. 12.

To find out how Indigenous issues are being handled, Indian Country Today checked in with the two Indigenous leaders attending the COP26 meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, and watched the digital discussions.

Graeme Reed, of Anishinaabe and European descent, is co-chair of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change and a member of the United Nations Facilitative Working Group of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform.

Andrea Carmen, a citizen of the Yaqui Nation, is co-chair of the UN Facilitative Working Group and executive director of the International Treaty Council. READ MORE.Mary Annette Pember, Indian Country Today

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An Indigenous presence takes center stage at the United Nations Climate Conference and at the White House. Plus, Minnesota’s poet laureate, and let’s go to the movies!

Watch here:

A city isn’t the most likely place for an Indigenous crop revival. But across the greater Portland area in Oregon, municipalities like Metro and the City of Portland have been partnering with organizations and tribes to promote Native American land access and cultivation of first foods, the term used for traditional local foods that have nourished Indigenous people for centuries.

In a city park, a drained lakebed, an old grazing lot, and along an urban creek, first foods are returning to areas where they once flourished before the land was covered by farms and urban sprawl.

The partnerships are historically significant, considering Portland didn’t even allow Native Americans to live within city limits until 1920. Today, most American Indians and Alaska Natives live in urban centers, and Portland is home to the ninth largest urban Indigenous population in the country. READ MORE. — Brian Oaster, Underscore News

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It’s the penultimate month of the year and that means a couple things.

One, It’s Native American Heritage Month, so blessings to all my Indigenous people out there, not only for these 30 days but year round because we all know, every day is a good day to be Indigenous. And two, despite football being far from over, Indian Country’s first love is back.

Of course, I’m talking about basketball. READ MORE.Kolby KickingWoman, 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. Email dwalker@indiancountrytoday.com.

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