Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day! Here’s a look at what’s happening today:

Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day

Monday marks the 25th anniversary of the annual National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration in Canada. The day honors and recognizes the contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

(Related: Celebrate Canada’s Indigenous Peoples Day)

Check hashtag #IDL2021 on social media to see posts by APTN's Indigenous Day Live.

Joining ICT’s newscast to talk about the significance of this day is Leena Minifie, a former journalist who now produces media and content. Plus Pura Fe from Ulali, a singer and a songwriter who performed at Indigenous Day Live.

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Museum to return art to Alaskan tribes

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A city-owned museum will return works of art to two Alaska Native tribes that requested the items in 2017, decades after they were acquired for collections.

A vote by the Birmingham City Council cleared the way for the Birmingham Museum of Art to return items to the Tlingit and Haida tribes, WBHM reported.

The groups requested the return of pieces under a 1990 law that requires institutions which receive federal funds to return Native American cultural items to the respective tribes.

The museum has several Tlingit items as part of its collection including several spoons, baskets and bentwood boxes. Nearly all of them were purchased by the museum in 1956. The museum also lists three works by Haida artists, including two screen prints by Freida Deising and a Reg Davidson totem pole, all of which were acquired in 1994.

To read more, click here.

Joe Biden to reinstate road ban for Tongass

Several tribes and Alaska Natives are applauding the Biden administration’s plans to revive a ban on road-building in the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska.

The “roadless rule” had been in place for 20 years until last fall, when the federal officials exempted southeast Alaska from the rule three months before then-President Donald Trump’s term ended.

Tongass National Forest (Photo by Seth Andeson, courtesy of Creative Commons)

The White House announced President Joe Biden’s move in a notice saying the change was consistent with his Jan. 27 executive order on protection of public health and the environment and the use of science to tackle the climate crisis. The Department of Agriculture expects to publish the proposed rule in August, the notice said.

Old-growth forests serve as essential lungs of the earth, said Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network director Osprey Orielle Lake.

To read more, click here.

Forgotten cemeteries found by historians

DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina historians are trying to shed light on five forgotten cemeteries in the state’s Pee Dee region.

WMBF-TV reports that the Darlington County Historical Commission and Clemson Professor Jim Frederick located the five graveyards near Dargan’s Pond on current Clemson property.

The experts identified two African American cemeteries, two Native American burial grounds and a graveyard that dates back to the Revolutionary War.

The pair of Native American burial grounds could date back more than 500 years.

To read more, click here.

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Tune in Tuesday at 8 p.m. MST/10 p.m. EST for Indian Country Today's news coverage of the 2020 election returns. Shown here: Indian Country Today Editor Mark Trahant and crew in the newscast studio preparing for #NativeVote2020 (Photo by Eugene Tapahe)

ICT is racing ahead of its goals

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

We like to call ICT a 40-year-old startup. Even though the publication has a rich history (founded by Tim Giago as the Lakota Times nearly four decades ago) our past three years have essentially been a startup. We have been growing, learning a lot, building systems and capacity, and hiring talented people.

And, as we also like to say, we are just at the beginning of our growth. Three years ago there were four people working here … today that number is about 26 when you include contractors and part-time help. And still it’s not enough to serve our audience the way we would like. There are so many days when we don't have a reporter or a producer to cover the stories we know about.

I am happy to say we are doing something about that.

To read more of Mark Trahant’s letter, click here.

Tribal ID accepted

Several new laws take effect July 1 in Mississippi, including one that is related to tribal identification cards, according to the Associated Press.

A new law says a photo identification card from any federally recognized Native American tribe is an acceptable form of I.D. for financial transactions or other business. For example, it can be used to prove a person's residency to obtain a fishing license or to prove that a person is old enough to buy a lottery ticket. The details are in House Bill 277.

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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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