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After riding the waves in theaters, the award-winning documentary “Waterman - Duke: Ambassador of Aloha,” about surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku, is now streaming on

Narrated by actor Jason Momoa, the powerful new documentary tells the full story of Kahanamoku’s influence on surfing’s global popularity, his groundbreaking achievements, his Olympic medal-winning streak and the racist obstacles he conquered inside and outside the sporting world.

Using rare archival footage, sleek contemporary visuals and new interviews, the film rides the big swell of Kahanamoku’s rise to fame and how he became the face of a changing Hawai’i, being officially named the state’s “Ambassador of Aloha.”

Among those interviewed for the film are surfers Laird Hamilton, Kelly Slater (11-time world champion surfer) and Carissa Moore (Olympic surfing gold medalist); musician Jack Johnson; and David Davis, author of the book, “Waterman.”

In a Zoom interview with Indian Country Today, director Isaac Halasima, Polynesian, said he discovered Kahanamoku from his artist uncle, Jan Fisher, who was commissioned to make a statue to commemorate the surfer. READ MORESandra Hale Schulman, Indian Country Today


WHITERIVER, Ariz. — A tribal police officer was fatally shot during a traffic stop on a reservation in Arizona and the suspect was killed in a subsequent shootout that left another officer wounded, officials said Friday.

Adrian Lopez, Sr., 35, was identified as the White Mountain Apache Police officer shot and killed Thursday night in the town of Whiteriver on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. He had only been with the department since January, according to the Navajo County Sheriff's Office. Prior to that he served as a federal Bureau of Indian Affairs police officer from March 2021 thru December.

“There’s no possible way to try to outline the chaotic event that this was,” Chief Deputy Brian Swanty said at a news conference.

An altercation broke out after Lopez stopped a car driven by Kevin Dwight Nashio, 25, near the downtown area, authorities said. Nashio, a resident of Whiteriver known to local police, shot Lopez, Swanty said. READ MOREAssociated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham, state leaders and tribal leaders met for two days beginning June 1 for the 2022 State-Tribal Leaders Summit in New Mexico’s largest city.

It’s the first year the summit was held in-person since the previous two years have been held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Every year, the State-Tribal summit provides a necessary space for discussion and collaboration with New Mexico’s tribal leadership on policies and strategies to uplift Indigenous communities,” Lujan Grisham said. “This year, we kept up that momentum, meaningfully addressing issues ranging from Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives to water issues to cultural education. This gathering laid the groundwork for continued progress on our shared goals.”

This year one of the main issues was the upcoming summer outlook for water, drought and wildfires.

New Mexico is experiencing one of its worst wildfire seasons. Hundreds of thousands of acres have burned. Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak Fire is the worst with about 316,000 acres burned since early to mid April. READ MORE Kalle Benallie, Indian Country Today

Meta and Indian Country Today will be hosting an event June 15 to learn more about the tech company and its Native@ community.

Upon registration, attendees will have the opportunity to share their resumés and will learn about and could be considered for future opportunities at Meta.

ICT Editor Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Diné, will give an introduction before event participants will hear from two Native women who work for the company.

One of those women is Kelsea Pullin, Chippewa Cree. She says she takes pride in working for the company and that they are actively “investing in and hiring Native people.”

“We are finally being seen after being the forgotten people for so long,” Pullin said. “It feels great to work for a company that is building strategies and providing opportunities for the Native community to succeed and demonstrate our full potential.”

One of the things she enjoys most about working at Meta is that she feels valued every day. READ MOREIndian Country Today

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A Minneapolis social service agency was founded in 1952. It will celebrate its 70th anniversary on Sept. 26. Louise Matson is the executive director of the Division of Indian Work.

The ICT news crew was in Las Vegas last week for the Reservation Economic Summit. Aliyah Chavez has this interview.

More than 4,000 people attended the RES 2022 conference. Sponsored by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, ICT staff had the pleasure of meeting many tribal leaders including young entrepreneurs. ICT's Shirley Sneve interviewed one of them.

The Field Museum in Chicago opened a new permanent exhibit called “Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories.” With over four years in the making, this interactive exhibit opens the door for Native people and their stories. Melina Chalkia has this report.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A years-long effort to protect land around a New Mexico mountain peak held sacred by many tribes got a major boost Thursday with the announcement that dozens of additional square miles will be set aside for wildlife, cultural preservation and recreation.

The $34 million effort by the national conservation group Trust for Public Land comes as New Mexico and the federal government look to preserve more natural landscapes as part of a nationwide commitment. The goal is to increase green spaces, improve access to outdoor recreation and reduce the risk of wildfires as the pressures of climate change mount.

Trust for Public Land partnered with other organizations and foundations to purchase adjoining properties that make up the sprawling L Bar Ranch, which sits in the shadow of Mount Taylor just west of Albuquerque.

The more than 84 square miles (218 square kilometers) includes grassland, rugged mesas and part of the Mount Taylor Traditional Cultural Property, which is on the state register of historic places due to its significance to Native Americans in New Mexico and Arizona.

Generations before the ranch became privately owned, people from surrounding Native American communities would make pilgrimages to the area and its timber, wildlife and plants provided sustenance beyond the ceremonial ties. READ MOREAssociated Press


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