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Historically, Indigenous communities have always cultivated a field of young leaders who would eventually take over roles in their families, local areas, or their broader communities. Today, that can still be seen. There are over 10,000 leaders elected to their tribal governments across the country.

“Leadership is not something that is a mystery to our community,” said Jordan James Harvill, national program director for Advanced Native Political Leadership. “Our folks have been leading for generations. And in fact, they lead in a lot of different capacities, whether it be our matriarchs in our family and community, or it be our tribal leadership.”

The wave of Indigenous candidates running for local, state, and national office has dramatically increased. The new American majority in 2016 set the stage for the most diverse class of Congressional members to be elected in 2018. This was the year that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, and U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, Ho-Chunk, made history and were elected. Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, Cherokee, also became governor of Oklahoma that year. Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, White Earth Nation, became the first Indigenous person to hold that office.

“I think it matters that we see ourselves in this process,” Harvill said. “After that election, everyone thought that they could do it and that's because they can.” READ MOREPauly Denetclaw, ICT


Two Puyallup Tribal Council members were re-elected for another three-year term on Thursday at the Emerald Queen Casino in Washington.

Chairman Bill Sterud and Council member Annette Bryan won re-election in the general election on June 4. The event was live-streamed.

The ceremony consisted of songs, dances, remarks by the tribal council members and prayers by Culture Director Connie McCloud, according to the press release.

Bryan was first elected in 2016 and will be serving her third term. Sterud first joined the council in 1978 and served many times in the chair and vice chair offices.

The tribal council members also voted to reappoint Sterud and Vice Chairwoman Sylvia Miller to their offices for the coming year.

'Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories' exhibition opens

CHICAGO — The Field Museum opened a new permanent exhibition called “Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories.” With more than four years in the making, this interactive exhibit opens the door for Native people and their stories.

With more than four years in the making, this interactive exhibit opens the door for Native people and their stories.

For the first time in its exhibits, the Field Museum doesn’t focus only on objects but is driven by the stories of Native American people, told in their own voices. Stories of self-determination, resilience, and continuity. READ MORESpecial to ICT

Helen Hardin achieved fame over a decades-long career as a painter and copper plate etchings. She died from breast cancer at age 41 on June 9, 1984.

Through Nov. 11, 2017 through March 4, 2018 the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center had the Santa Clara Pueblo artist’s work Spirit Lines on display.

Hardin’s mother, Pablita Velarde (1918-2006) of Santa Clara Pueblo, blazed her own trail as a watercolorist in the 1940s at a time when Pueblo artists were largely expected to restrict themselves to certain predefined styles, and when Pueblo women weren’t encouraged to pursue art at all, according to the release.

By the time Hardin began developing her own career as a painter, Velarde was an established figure in New Mexico’s art world, yet Hardin successfully evolved beyond her mother’s legacy to establish her own style and reputation. While Velarde painted traditional scenes of Pueblo life, Hardin bridged traditional and contemporary worlds by creating abstract compositions inspired in part by designs from ancient rock art and pottery. READ MORE. — Vincent Shilling, ICT

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Indigenous activists decry retailer over Amazon deforestation

PARIS — A Paris judge on Thursday ordered a mediation process to settle a legal dispute pitting environmental groups and representatives of Brazil's Indigenous community against a major French retailer accused of selling beef linked to deforestation and land grabs in the Amazon rainforest.

Several leading Indigenous representatives, including some wearing traditional headdresses, traveled from Brazil to the main Paris courthouse, where they held a demonstration to denounce international threats to their territories and attract public attention to cattle farming practices in the Amazon.

Climate groups and Indigenous activists filed a lawsuit last year against France’s Casino Group, which has supermarkets around the world, accusing it of violating human rights and environmental rules. READ MOREAssociated Press


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