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Alaska Republican U.S. House candidate Tara Sweeney said Tuesday she plans to end her campaign, saying she does not see a path to victory or to raise the money needed to be successful in the November general election.

Sweeney was positioned in fourth place after last week’s U.S. House primary as elections officials continue to count ballots. But she was far behind the top finishers, Democrat Mary Peltola and Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich, who were already poised to advance to the November general election.

An elections process approved by voters in 2020 calls for the top four vote-getters in a primary to advance to the general election, in which ranked choice voting will be used.

Tiffany Montemayor, a spokesperson with the state Division of Elections, said if a candidate who advances from the primary withdraws 64 or more days before the general election, the fifth place candidate would advance instead. — Associated Press

Leaders at the Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation have announced they will be digging up a portion of the basement in a former school dormitory in search of unmarked graves.

The announcement came after a search with ground-penetrating radar in May was inconclusive about whether remains might be under what is now a concrete slab in a corner of the large basement.

A report on the testing said the ground-penetrating radar failed to show a definitive presence of graves, but that a final determination could only be determined through excavation.

The excavation is part of what the school calls its own search for truth and reconciliation as the U.S. and Canada continue to search for unmarked graves at former Indian residential or boarding schools.

“We are committed to the process of being transparent,” said Maka Black Elk, executive director for Truth and Healing at Red Cloud Indian School. Black Elk is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota tribe. READ MOREMary Annette Pember, ICT

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Two Indigenous candidates are facing each other in a race for the Republican nomination in Oklahoma’s special election for a U.S. Senate seat.

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U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Cherokee, and former speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, T.W. Shannon, Chickasaw, were the top two candidates in the Republican primary. They beat 11 other candidates but neither secured more than 50 percent of the votes to avoid a run-off election.

This means an Indigenous candidate will head to the general election and, in November, will face Democrat Kendra Horn, who did not have a primary opponent. It is highly likely that the Republican nominee will win at the general election. FiveThirtyEight has forecasted that Mullin will win with 63 percent of the votes.

In the primary election, Mullin led with 43.7 percent of the votes, while Shannon had about 17.5 percent. There hasn’t been an Indigenous person in the Senate since 2005 when Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Northern Cheyenne, retired. He served for over a decade. There have only been four Native Americans who have served in the Senate.

The seat opened when Congressman Jim Inhofe, who has held that seat for nearly three decades, announced his retirement in January to spend time with his family. The person elected will finish out his term which ends in January 2027. READ MOREPauly Denetclaw, ICT

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On the Tuesday edition of the ICT Newscast, it's back to school time. We’re visiting with a history teacher about how to best support Indigenous students. Plus, Native journalists are heading to Phoenix, Johns Hopkins welcomes a new faculty member

On the Tuesday edition of the ICT Newscast, it's back to school time. We’re visiting with a history teacher about how to best support Indigenous students. Plus, Native journalists are heading to Phoenix, Johns Hopkins welcomes a new faculty member

For more than 50 years, telescopes and the needs of astronomers have dominated the summit of Mauna Kea, a mountain sacred to Native Hawaiians that's also one of the finest places in the world to study the night sky.

That’s now changing with a new state law saying Mauna Kea must be protected for future generations and that science must be balanced with culture and the environment. Native Hawaiian cultural experts will have voting seats on a new governing body, instead of merely advising the summit's managers as they do now.

The shift comes after thousands of protesters camped on the mountain three years ago to block the construction of a state-of-the-art observatory, jolting policymakers and astronomers into realizing the status quo had to change.

There's a lot at stake: Native Hawaiian advocates want to protect a site of great spiritual importance. Astronomers hope they'll be able to renew leases for state land underneath their observatories, due to expire in 11 years, and continue making revolutionary scientific discoveries for decades to come. Business and political leaders are eager for astronomy to support well-paying jobs in a state that has long struggled to diversify its tourism-dependent economy. — Associated Press

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