A lot of news out there. Thanks for stopping by Indian Country Today’s digital platform.
Each day we do our best to gather the latest news for you. Remember to scroll to the bottom to see what’s popping out to us on social media and what we’re reading.
Okay, here's what you need to know today:
Boxing’s first Native female world champion defends title
For the first time Kali “K.O.” Reis defended her World Boxing Association Super Lightweight title.
Reis won the headline fight, streamed on UFC Fight Pass, by a majority decision on Friday night against Diana Prazak and added the International Boxing Organization belt to her collection. Her record now stands at 18-7-1 with five knockouts.
She hails from the Seaconke Wampanoag tribe in Providence, Rhode Island.
ICT profiled Reis last year after she won the WBA’s women’s 140-pound title versus Kandi Wyatt on Nov. 6, 2020.
She fought at the Sycuan Casino Resort in El Cajon, California, and was introduced by Kumeyaay bird singers. READ more.
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William Yellow Robe: ‘A pivotal Native playwright’
Playwright William S. Yellow Robe Jr., prolific author of over 45 plays centering the Native American experience, died on July 19. A citizen of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, Yellow Robe was an educator at the University of Maine. He was 61 when he died in Bangor after a long battle with health problems including diabetes and congestive heart failure.
Although well respected within the mainstream theater community for his commitment to the craft, he was not as well known outside Indian Country. His influence on Native theater, however, was significant.
Some of his better-known works include two anthologies, “Where the Pavement Ends: New Native Drama,” and a collection of one act plays, “Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers and Other Untold Stories,” about an all Black regiment during the Indian wars.
Of mixed Native and African American heritage, Yellow Robe grew up in Wolf Point, Montana, on the Fort Peck Reservation and frequently drew from that experience in his work. Drawn to writing and theater in his childhood, he was encouraged by a middle-school teacher to try playwriting.
Indigenous athletes represented at Paralympic Games
The 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games will feature 539 events in 22 sports. The opening ceremonies begin Tuesday and will be 10 days of elite competition.
More than a dozen Indigenous athletes are set to compete in the games... READ more.
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Wild horse roundups ramping up as rough grips the West
TOOELE, Utah (AP) — The sound of the helicopter propeller thundered across the horizon as it dipped down toward mustangs dotting the golden brown plain. The horses burst into a gallop at the machine’s approach, their high-pitched whinnies rising into the dry air.
That helicopter roundup in the mountains of western Utah removed hundreds of free-roaming wild horses, shortly before the Biden administration announced it would sharply increase the number of mustangs removed across the region. It’s an emergency step land managers say is essential to preserving the ecosystem and the horses as a megadrought worsened by climate change grips the region.
“What we're seeing here in the West gives some insight into a new norm,” Terry Messmer, a professor at Utah State University who studies wild horse management.
The removals are adding fuel to longstanding conflicts with activists for the animals whose beauty and power make them an enduring emblem of the American West. They say the U.S. government is using the drought as an excuse to take out horses in favor of cattle grazing... READ more.
Virus tables Iowa school board's discussion on Indian mascot
INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - The Indianola School Board has tabled discussions about dumping the district's Indian mascot to focus its attention on fighting the spread of coronavirus in school buildings.
The board decided at a meeting Monday to postpone acting on any mascot changes until after the November election, in which at least three board seats will be decided at the polls.
"This is not our priority," school board member Carolyn Langenwalter said. "I'm not disagreeing that we should talk about it, but I think it's something we delay until we get through the pandemic."
The board's decision comes as schools, cities and athletic teams across the country are changing or reconsidering mascots considered to be culturally insensitive.
Last year, the city of Indianola voted to remove Native American imagery from its city logo, including from police cars, badges and patches.
Navajo Nation reports 37 new COVID-19 cases and 1 more death
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) - The Navajo Nation on Tuesday reported 37 new COVID-19 cases and one more death.
The latest numbers pushed the tribe's totals to 32,315 coronavirus cases and 1,398 known deaths since the pandemic began more than a year ago.
President Jonathan Nez has said all Navajo Nation executive branch employees will need to be fully vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19 by the end of September or be required to submit to regular testing.
The new rules apply to full, part-time and temporary employees, including those working for tribal enterprises like utilities, shopping centers and casinos. Any worker who does not show proof of vaccination by Sept. 29 must be tested every two weeks or face discipline.
More than 80 percent of the tribe's workers are already fully vaccinated, but Nez said getting the rest inoculated is needed to ensure the workforce on the reservation can serve tribal citizens..
#ICYMI: Oregon museum taps Indigenous community for riverfront project
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is joining with tribes, elders and leaders of local Indigenous organizations to develop a new Center for Tribal Nations and outdoor educational park along the banks of the Willamette River in Portland.
The project is bolstered by a $750,000 grant awarded in January by the regional county governmental body, Oregon Metro, to help the museum develop a vision around planned expansion.
Rather than plan their own vision, however, museum leaders have deferred to the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, who in turn have deferred to the Indigenous community to find out what they want to see developed… READ more.
From social media:
Other top stories:
- Recommendations target US oil, gas leasing: The battle over drilling in the West has spanned multiple presidential administrations, with federal officials long reluctant to overhaul.
- Reclaiming space: Two Spirit and Indigiqueer tribal citizens are reminding their communities they are both LGBTQ and traditional.
- Boarding school review prompts calls for trauma support: Congressional leaders ask Indian Health Service to provide mental health services as review moves forward.
- Climate impact of coal sales scrutinized: Almost half the nation’s annual coal production is mined by private companies from leases on federal land.
- Lawsuits in Indian Country: A case affecting Native children in public schools in New Mexico. Plus, a lawsuit involving wild rice out of Minnesota.
What we’re reading:
- Wisconsin had at least 10 boarding schools. Here's what to know about them.
- 'Caring For Our Own': Native American nursing students at MSU eager to serve their communities.
- Yukon woman sews memorial blanket to honor children who died at residential school.
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