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Maria Tallchief, who was America’s first prima ballerina, is one of five women who will be individually featured on U.S. quarters next year as part of a program that depicts notable women on the coins.

Tallchief “broke barriers as a Native American ballerina who exhibited strength and resilience both on and off the stage,” the U.S. Mint said in a press release on Wednesday. Tallchief, Osage, is one of three Indigenous women to be featured.

The opposite side of each quarter will show President George Washington.

The Secretary of the Treasury consults with the Smithsonian Institution’s American Women’s History Initiative, the National Women’s History Museum and the Congressional Bipartisan Women’s Caucus to select the women. The selection is in accordance with the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020.

“The range of accomplishments and experiences of these extraordinary women speak to the contributions women have always made in the history of our country,” Mint Deputy Director Ventris C. Gibson said. “I am proud that the Mint continues to connect America through coins by honoring these pioneering women and their groundbreaking contributions to our society.” READ MOREIndian Country Today

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Shawn Martinez says he had rez dreams of the NBA every night he played basketball on the Navajo Nation.

He graduated from Window Rock High School in Arizona in 1985. His rez dreams continued when he played ball at Fort Lewis College, in Durango, Colorado, where he earned his bachelor's degree in fine arts and communications.

That young boy from the rez made his dream come true. READ MOREPatty Talahongva, Indian Country Today

A small American Indian tribe is supporting a Connecticut city’s attempt to retain funding put in jeopardy by its continued use of a Native American mascot and imagery for its schools’ athletic teams.

The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, which has just over 100 members in Western Connecticut, passed a resolution this month supporting the city of Derby’s use of the nickname “Red Raiders” and logos that include an arrowhead and the profile of the head of an American Indian.

The tribe says it supports the use of those images “as a public means of sustaining Native American culture and history of Connecticut’s first citizens,” according to the March 15 resolution from the tribal council.

Derby Board of Education Chair Jim Gildea said city officials sat down with tribal leaders, including Schaghticoke Chief Richard Velky, to discuss the issue. He said the city explained the images are meant to honor the area’s Native American heritage. He also said the term “Red Raiders” has nothing to do with skin color. READ MOREAssociated Press

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Indigenous elders were deeply impacted and the effects can still be felt today.

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Not only are Indigenous elders cultural carriers but are the foundation for Indigenous communities and families. The risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19 increased with age, prompting communities to focus on keeping elders safe by isolating them.

In the process of protecting elders, they also experienced loneliness and depression, one of the main issues identified by the by the National Indian Council on Aging

So, it was a wonderful surprise, the organization’s leaders said, for the council to be one of the more than 1,200 groups who received a donation from MacKenzie Scott, a philanthropist and novelist, who garnered her billions helping her now ex-husband, Jeff Bezos, build Amazon. READ MORESource New Mexico

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Our weekend edition of the ICT Newscast: More on the new office for missing and murdered Indigenous persons in South Dakota. Music from a classical guitar player and a milestone for ICT. Plus, hoop dancers compete in Phoenix!

WATCH HERE: 

A federal search warrant executed at a residence owned by the chairman of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council on Thursday led to eight people being taken into tribal custody, four for allegedly selling the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, tribal law enforcement said.

Last week, the tribe declared a state of emergency after the northwestern Montana reservation saw four deaths and 17 drug overdoses over the period of a week earlier this month.

Tribal Chairman Timothy Davis was not among those arrested or charged, Blackfeet Tribal Prosecutor Josh Lamson told the Missoulian.

Lamson told the Great Falls Tribune he did not believe Davis was present while the search warrant was executed by tribal officers and FBI agents.

Four people were arrested on tribal warrants for selling a small amount of fentanyl to a witness in an ongoing investigation, Lamson said. Other arrests were based on what was found during the search of the house, he said.

The names of those arrested have not been released.

Tribal courts can hear misdemeanor charges. If federal charges are warranted, they would have to go through the indictment process.

Experts say fentanyl has been a top driver of growing numbers of overdose deaths across the U.S. — Associated Press 

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From social media:

  • How this Minneapolis chef is reintroducing Native American cuisine
  • Sacred land returned to Native tribe in Virginia
  • Massachusetts museum accused of hoarding Indigenous artifacts and human remains for decades
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