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It was a quiet protest, delivered as Sacheen Littlefeather lived her life — with dignity, grace, compassion and honesty, the way her ancestors would have wanted.
But the calm words delivered to the Academy Awards on March 27, 1973, on behalf of actor Marlon Brando focused the world’s attention on the plight of Indigenous people in a way that had never been done before.
As the first Indigenous woman ever to stand at the podium at the Academy Awards, she put a spotlight on the inhumanity, stereotypes, disrespect and derision that Indigenous people faced in film and television, and brought the Wounded Knee protest to an international audience.
“I did not go up there in protest, with an up-in-the-air fist, with profanity, with a loud, screeching voice,” Littlefeather, now 75, Apache and Yaqui, told ICT in a recent interview. “The way that I went up on stage was prompted by my ancestors. I prayed that my words would meet not with deaf ears but with open hearts and open minds.”
Instead, her speech drew boos, insults, slurs, war whoops, tomahawk chops and threats of arrest, and actor John Wayne reportedly tried to charge the stage to remove her. In the days and weeks that followed, she was ostracized professionally as well, putting a damper on her acting career. READ MORE — Dianna Hunt, ICT
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On Monday Elizabeth Carr was announced to be named tribal advisor to the director of the Office of Management and Budget. It’s the first of its kind.
The White House said on its blog post that the position was created out of conversations with tribal leaders. Carr will be “instrumental in coordinating tribal priorities across OMB’s budgetary, management, and regulatory functions, while working with other key leaders at the White House and across the entire administration.”
“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve the Biden-Harris Administration and Indian Country in this historic and critical role. The establishment of this position reaffirms the unprecedented commitment of President Biden, Director Young, and the entire Administration to uphold and strengthen the government-to-government relationship between the Federal Government and Tribal Nations,” Carr, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, said. “I look forward to building on the accomplishments of this Administration in partnership with Tribal Leaders from across Indian Country.”
She most recently served as the senior advisor to the director of the Indian Health Service and was a senior Native affairs advisor with the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Inc.
In what's been called the largest peaceful redistribution of wealth in the history of mankind, title to 44 million acres and almost a billion dollars was conveyed to Native for-profit corporations following the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.
Some 51 years later, many wonder, “What was the intent in creating the corporations? Are they living up to the vision of those who lobbied for ANCSA?”
Now there’s a guide to help find answers. The Alaska Historical Society has published the first-ever comprehensive guide to ANCSA resources.
The guide describes the vast majority of documents about ANCSA: papers and books in archives, libraries, personal collections and on-line across the country. READ MORE — Joaqlin Estus, ICT
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Maine's first ski mountain — created when the Civilian Conservation Corps carved a single trail in 1936 — is reverting to its original name, Pleasant Mountain.
Operators of what was known as Shawnee Peak for more than 30 years polled skiers about the name, and announced the change on Wednesday.
"It gives me great pleasure to return to our original name and also to know that this ski area is poised for a great future so others may experience what many of us already have,” said Ralph Lewis, general manager and Bridgton local.
Shawnee Peak was a name chosen in 1988 by new owners who already operated Shawnee Mountain in Pennsylvania, which bears the name of a tribe that was pushed west by settlers.
Michigan-based Boyne Resorts bought Shawnee Peak last October. It also owns Sunday River and Sugarloaf resorts in Maine. — Associated Press
- Trailblazer in Montana politics remembered: Family remembers that Gary Niles Kimble was the first Native American in Montana to run for Congress
- Rep. Mary Peltola sworn into Congress: She is the first Alaska Native elected to Congress and the first woman to represent Alaska in the House of Representatives #NativeVote22
- Ponca man named new NCAI executive director: Larry Wright Jr had been serving as interim-CEO for the National Congress of American Indians
- Students advance the search for the Cayuse Five: Families of the five Cayuse men executed by the government for the 1847 killing of Marcus Whitman are still searching for their graves
- For Indigenous Australians, painful colonial past mars queen’s legacy
- Johns Hopkins expands focus center of Indigenous health
- Indigenous Australian athlete gets fined for criticizing the queen
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