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MINNEAPOLIS — “Put on a show.”

That was one of many messages over the course of the week to the Native athletes who played in the 2021 Indigenous Bowl. And put on a show they did.

Traveling from near and far, 54 Native athletes representing more than 30 tribes across Indian Country took the field Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings.

However, the event was about more than the game.

Over the course of the week, the student-athletes were exposed to leadership training and heard from speakers and coaches that touched on topics from maintaining personal finances to applying for college scholarships to how to refine their skills as football players. READ MORE.Kolby KickingWoman, Indian Country Today


LAS VEGAS, Nevada — A California tribe is poised to make gaming history later this month after the Nevada Gaming Control Board voted unanimously last week to recommend approval for its purchase of a Las Vegas resort.

If the state’s gaming commission green lights the sale of the Palms Casino Resort on Dec. 16, the San Manuel Band of Indians would become the first tribe to own and operate a resort in the heart of the U.S. gaming industry.

The Palms Casino Resort is located west of the Las Vegas Strip. (Photo courtesy of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians)

“It’s great to see tribes using their success (in gaming on Indian land) to diversify their economic portfolios,” said Dustin Thomas, the National Indian Gaming Commission’s director of compliance and citizen of the Mohawk and Oneida Nations. “As time goes on, more tribes are looking for opportunities off of tribal land.”

The Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut in March 2021 became the first tribe to operate a casino in Las Vegas when it opened the Mohegan Sun Casino At Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The San Manuel investment goes a step further with proposed tribal ownership of an entire Las Vegas destination property. READ MORE.Stewart Huntington, special to Indian Country Today

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community commemorated Tuesday the 80th anniversary of the Dec. 7 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

USS Arizona Memorial Garden at Salt River. (Photo courtesy of Discover Salt River)

It held ceremonies at the USS Arizona Memorial Garden at Salt River, near Scottsdale, Arizona, to honor military aboard one of the two battleships that sank during the attack, and all veterans who have served the country.

The 1941 attack killed 2,403 servicemen and civilians and injured 1,178 others. Six U.S. ships were destroyed, as well as 169 U.S. planes. It catapulted the United States into World War II.

Tuesday’s ceremonies featured a flag given to Salt River by survivors of the USS Arizona. READ MORE. Joaqlin Estus, Indian Country Today

CARSON CITY, Nev. — When it was time for Winona James to return to school, her family hid her in brush near their home in the Carson Valley to prevent officials from the Stewart Indian School from finding her.

James, a citizen of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, was among the more than 20,000 students who were sent to the boarding school as part of a federal program designed to forcibly assimilate Native Americans into dominant Euro-American culture. She attended for one year, but her family feared for her life.

“I can remember that my grandmother didn’t want me to come back to Stewart because she thought I would never, ever go back home again,” she said in an interview for a University of Nevada, Reno history initiative in 1984.

The Stewart School in Carson City is among more than 350 residential schools that the U.S. Interior Department plans to examine as part of the Federal Boarding School Initiative Review, which includes an investigation into student deaths and known and possible burial sites. READ MORE.Sam Metz, Associated Press/Report for America

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Edgar Villanueva gives us an insight on his book, 'Decolonizing Wealth.' Plus, Aimee Velasquez shares how she went from beginning her fitness journey to becoming a professional bikini bodybuilder in less than two years.

Watch here:

On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will lead an oversight hearing, “Restoring Justice: Addressing Violence in Native Communities through VAWA Title IX Special Jurisdiction.”

The hearing starts at 2:30 p.m. ET. Watch here.


  • Allison Randall, principal deputy director, Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Wizipan Little Elk Garriott, principal deputy assistant secretary - Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, 
  • J. Michael Chavarria, governor, Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Fawn Sharp, president, National Congress of American Indians
  • Stacie Fourstar, chief judge, Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes
  • Elizabeth A. Reese, professor, Stanford Law School 
  • Michelle Demmert, director, Law & Policy Center, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center


Water protectors from all over Turtle Island converged six years ago at the center of the unceded territories of Standing Rock Sioux land as outlined in the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. The Dakota Access Pipeline was slated to traverse the lands near the Missouri River and go through sacred burial grounds along the area in Cannonball, North Dakota.

Oglala Lakota, Omaha and Navajo hip-hop artist Nataanii Means at a performance at Norfolk State University. (Photo Vincent Schilling, Indian Country Today)

As tensions between the water protectors and North Dakota authorities grew, Nataanii Means stood at the front lines of the action, with an independent film production company at the center of the action, and Nataanii interacted with the National Guard and local law enforcement. As the tensions hit their peak, Nataanii was pulled into the center of the scuffle.

He was shot with rubber bullets and, according to Nataanii, when he was off-camera, “They beat the hell out of me. They completely bloodied my face,” Nataanii told Indian Country Today. READ MORE.Vincent Schilling, Indian Country Today

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