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The Supreme Court issued final opinions Thursday after a busy term that included cases affecting Indian Country directly and indirectly. Perhaps the biggest opinion was overturning Roe v. Wade’s guarantee of the right to an abortion.

Also on Thursday, Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in to the Supreme Court. She replaced the now retired Justice Stephen Breyer. It's the first time four women will serve together on the nine-member court.

The high court will be back later this year to hear Texas v. Haaland, a case seeking to overturn the Indian Child Welfare Act. Another case the court agreed to hear could change the way elections for Congress and the presidency are conducted by handing more power to state legislatures and blocking state courts from reviewing challenges to the procedures and results, according to the AP.

Here is all the news from the recent session. READ MORE — ICT 


PHOENIX — From a young age, Raquel Gomez loved being outside. Her parents took her biking, climbing, sledding, inline skating and swimming. At 10 years old she joined the Girl Scouts and got exposed to camping.

But besides the thrill of sleeping outside, singing by a campfire and making s’mores, something happened in the outdoors that she never forgot. Gomez, now 35, who is Dominican and Puerto Rican, realized none of her peers looked like her.

“Camping was kind of my first time realizing that I was the only person of color in this group, and not just in the group, but in the campsite,” Gomez said. “I realized then, in the outdoors in general, I was usually the only person of color out there.”

That realization at a young age led her to forge to a career in youth development and promoting access to outdoor recreation for Black and brown kids.

Finding a job that combined these passions wasn’t easy. So she created one. READ MOREShanti Lerner, Arizona Republic

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. – Growing up, love through food and food in general was an important part of Jacque Siegfried’s life. So much so that she and her husband, Ricky, went into business and opened Nātv, a restaurant that modifies Indigenous cuisines so they fit in a more “modern” setting.

Siegfried, who is Shawnee but on the Cherokee roll, has been doing culinary arts for approximately 17 years but has been surrounded by food even before then through her grandmother, grandfather and father’s cooking.

“Eventually, I was like, ‘I want to open my own (restaurant).’ And my husband was like, ‘well, what food speaks to you? What’s going to make your heart happy.”’ And I was like, ‘Native American food,’” Siegfried, Nātv’s executive chef, said. “I’ve wanted a Native American restaurant since I was very, very young, about 6 (or) 7. I wanted to be able to bring that to a community where I seen that it was kind of lacking.”

Siegfried’s dream became a reality on April 5 when Nātv had its soft opening. The restaurant officially opened on April 12 and offers a seasonal menu with locally-sourced products. READ MOREStacie Boston, Cherokee Phoenix

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The Biden administration took another step to improve relations with the nation’s nearly 575 Native American tribes by signing an agreement giving the Cherokee Nation greater control over road improvements within its reservation.

The Tribal Transportation Self-Governance compact allows the tribe to plan and oversee its own transportation projects without seeking federal authorization.

“Having oversight for the first time to plan, lead and oversee the finance of our own road projects will only mean more and better investments in terms of travel and infrastructure in the Cherokee Nation to the benefit of thousands of citizens,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Polly Trottenberg, visited Oklahoma to sign this compact in June.

“This is the first agreeance of its kind between a tribal nation and the U.S. government and we certainly hope in the Biden-Harris administration that this is the first of many to come,” said Trottenberg. “Thanks to the Cherokee Nation’s leadership, every tribe in the country now has a model that it can pursue in its own self-governance agreements.” READ MORELauren Green, Gaylord News

Independence Day is coming up and Americans will be waving the flag of stars and stripes. What does this mean for Indigenous people? Cheryl Crazy Bull has some thoughts on this. She’s the president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund.

The film industry and mainstream popular culture are notorious for promoting stereotypical images of Native Americans. Are things getting better? Assistant Professor Eric Buffalohead teaches at Augsburg University in Minneapolis. He co-authored “Native Americans on Film: Conversations, Teaching and Theory” with Elise Marubbio, who is also an Augsburg professor.

With the pandemic taking a toll on many tribal health systems, the Cherokee Nation is taking major steps to help its citizens. ICT producer McKenzie Allen-Charmley reports.

Earlier this year, a public health campaign called the Healthy Native Babies Project was not renewed by federal agencies. Its goal is to reduce rates of infant mortality among American Indians and Alaska Natives. Abigail Echo-Hawk wants to change this. She’s the executive vice president of the Seattle Indian Health Board.


For decades, the Havasupai Tribe has voiced its opposition against the operation of Pinyon Plain Mine, a uranium mine located about 10 miles south of the Grand Canyon.

“As the Havasupai Tribe, we have stood strong continuing the protection of the natural resources in and around the Grand Canyon region,” Havasupai Vice-Chairman Edmond Tilousi said in a written statement.

The Havasupai Tribe and several conservation groups have opposed this mine for years and were even involved in a lengthy legal battle that sought to close the mine, but a federal judge ruled in the mine’s favor in 2020.

But that hasn’t stopped the Havasupai from trying to stop the mine. Its latest effort comes in the form of a letter of opposition to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), which recently issued an aquifer protection plan permit to the mine.

In announcing the permit, the state agency in April acknowledged the tribe’s opposition, but said that “careful consideration and comprehensive review of the extensive technical record for the mine” led it to approve the permit. READ MOREShondiin Silversmith, AZ Mirror


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