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Wounded Knee land comes home at last

It was the last resolution of the day but it was a stunner.

The Oglala Sioux tribal council voted in an historic decision Sept. 7 to purchase 40 acres of Wounded Knee land from Jeanette Czywczynski for $500,000 – a move that now puts almost all of the Wounded Knee National Historic Landmark site under ownership of the tribe.

Sold for far less than the $3.9 million price demanded by her now-deceased husband, James Czywczynski, the land now includes a covenant to preserve it as a sacred site and memorial without commercial development.

The vote passed with 15 members voting yes, three voting no and one member not voting. Those opposing the resolution expressed concern over allowing the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe 49 percent ownership of the land. READ MOREMary Annette Pember, ICT


The 103rd NFL season officially kicks off this month, and Los Angeles Chargers star wide receiver Keenan Allen, Lumbee, will play a fundamental role in the team’s high-powered offense.

For the third year in a row, the Chargers held Allen, 30, back from appearing in preseason games, keeping him healthy and ready to go for the start of the regular season.

The five-time Pro Bowler is entering his 10th season and has high hopes for the Chargers this year, looking to ​​reach Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona.

“We have big expectations. Hopefully, we can come out and show what we can do and make a run for it,” Allen told ICT.

After a disappointing 9-8 season last year and a third-place finish in the AFC West, the Chargers invested heavily on both sides of the ball, especially on the defensive line. READ MOREBen Pryor, Special to ICT

A U.S. federal judge in Wisconsin has ordered Enbridge to pay still-to-be-determined financial compensation to the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa for trespassing on tribal lands with its Line 5 oil pipeline.

But in an odd legal twist, U.S. District Judge William M. Conley in the Western District of Wisconsin stopped short of granting Bad River’s request that Enbridge be ordered to immediately halt use of the pipeline, saying the “public interest” outweighed Bad River’s concerns about environmental dangers.

Instead, the judge asked for additional arguments on whether to allow the Canadian company to continue operating the pipeline until it completes the new routing of Line 5 within the next five years as planned – essentially allowing court-sanctioned trespassing.

He indicated Enbridge would be required to pay the tribe during that period for the easement he acknowledged the tribe has a right to reject, but left hanging the question of whether Enbridge would be required to share a portion of the profits it makes from the pipeline operation during the five-year period. READ MOREMary Annette Pember, ICT

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After five months on the job, Anne Sears is no longer Alaska’s investigator for missing and murdered Indigenous people with the Alaska State Troopers. When the Department of Public Safety hired her in April, the position was the first of its kind in the state. Now, the critical role is unfilled.

In late August, Sears “decided to go back into retirement to spend more time with her family,” according to Austin McDaniel, communications director for the Department of Public Safety.

“The Alaska State Troopers are currently working to identify and hire a new MMIP Investigator for this critical role. The investigation of missing persons and murder cases involving Alaska Natives is a top priority for the State of Alaska,” McDaniel wrote in an email Tuesday. The political website the Alaska Landmine first reported the news.

McDaniel said the department intends to fill the position as soon as possible. As MMIP investigator, Sears was tasked with working on unsolved cases across the Alaska State Troopers’ area of responsibility. The position works closely with trooper investigators and criminal intelligence analysts within the Alaska Bureau of Investigation. READ MORELisa Phu, Alaska Beacon

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Mary Peltola is set to fill the late U.S. Rep. Don Young’s term in the U.S. Congress. She is the first Alaska Native to serve. ICT’s McKenzie Allen-Charmley talked with her earlier this summer.

The bison defined a way of life for many tribes across the country. Every part of the animal was used for clothing, tools, even the bladder carried water for the Plains people. The buffalo horn was used for a spoon. Now, Kevin Pourier has elevated the humble spoon to an incredible piece of fine art.

In Canada, preparations have begun for the country’s second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Also known as Orange Shirt Day, the day recognizes the legacy of the Canadian residential school system. APTN’s Fraser Needham has the story.

In May 2020, the Supreme Court's McGirt decision ruled that the Creek Nation continues to have reservation status throughout Eastern Oklahoma. It means that the state has no legal jurisdiction over a Muscogee citizen for crimes within that part of the state. The tribe retains jurisdiction. ICT’s Mark Trahant talked to law professor Robert Miller about the case.

Summer is coming to a close, and to say a fond farewell, let’s take a look at the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation’s powwow from ICT’s Miles Morriseau.


As the University of Montana’s fall semester kicked off last week, Michelle Guzman fell into a familiar pattern. A steady stream of Indigenous students began filtering through her office in the Payne Family Native American Center, where Guzman works as the campus’ director of American Indian Student Services. She did her best to welcome them, pointing some in the direction of school supplies and chatting with others about their initial days adjusting to college life.

At one point, Guzman recalled, she arrived at her office to find a new student waiting for her. He’d been referred to Guzman by another department the previous day to discuss his financial aid situation, but told her he’d already grown so frustrated that he’d nearly given up on school and gone home. They went over his information together and discovered a discouraging piece of news: his financial aid fell approximately $2,500 short of what he’d thought it would cover. As the two talked, though, an email notification arrived saying his Pell Grant had just come through.

“He was just so relieved because he had a bill, but in the meantime financial aid was able to get his Pell Grant posted,” Guzman said. “He was like, ‘OK, now I’m ready.’” READ MOREAlex Sakariassen, Montana Free Press


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