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It took the U.S. Board on Geographic Names just nine days to approve the renaming of Harney Channel to Cayou Channel — blistering speed for a federal agency accustomed to taking testimony, reviewing documents, and deliberating.

“That’s unheard of,” said Ken Carrasco, lead proponent of changing the name of the waterway in the San Juan Islands of northwest Washington state, near the United States/Canada border.

“There was absolutely no negative feedback during the process,” Carrasco said. “The atmosphere, the feeling among the local population seemed to be that this was overdue, that it was something that really needed to happen.”

And so it did. And on Oct. 2, a celebration will take place on water and land to celebrate the renaming of the channel in honor of Henry Cayou (1869-1959), a Coast Salish man who is still the only Indigenous person to serve on the county’s Board of County Commissioners. He was also a successful fisherman, a founder of the islands’ electrical utility, and a local postmaster and school board member. READ MORE.Richard Arlin Walker, Special to ICT

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Pregnancy-related traumas can be not only physical, emotional and spiritual, but also intergenerational, particularly for Indigenous people who have endured a history of colonization, genocide, assimilation and forced sterilization.

Thanks to the efforts and programs of the Center for Indigenous Midwifery (CFIM), however, Native families and birthing people in the Pacific Northwest have access to culturally centered care and wellness, which promotes healing and community support.

The center, a nonprofit based in Olympia, Washington, focuses on culturally specific practices for pregnancy and birth. Since its founding in 2016, it has provided midwifery care and birth keeper training services at no cost to participants.

In 2021 alone, the center hosted more than 100 events and served thousands of people, from families to doulas, through a variety of trainings, support circles and workshops, both in-person and via Zoom. READ MORE. — Underscore News

A suburban Chicago waterway and a western Illinois island have been renamed under a new national policy to remove their previous names' use of a racist term for a Native American woman.

The water feature near Palos Park in Cook County is now known as Cherry Hill Woods Sloughs, while an island in Calhoun County has been renamed Calhoun Island.

The two Illinois sites were renamed on Sept. 8 and are among nearly 650 geographic features across the nation to receive a new name following an order by U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

Dorene Wiese, a citizen of the White Earth Ojibwe Nation and president of the American Indian Association of Illinois, said that dating back to the 1800s, cartoon drawings depicted Indigenous women and used the term in an offensive way.

Wiese, 73, hopes that removing references to the word in place names will be a step to ensure that the next generation won't be subjected to its offense, or even know of the word at all.

"That's our hope, that in the future that will be erased," she told the Chicago Tribune. — Associated Press

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Garnett Querta slips on his work gloves as he shifts the big rig he’s driving into park. Within seconds, he unrolls a fire hose and opens a hydrant, sending water flowing into one of the plastic tanks on the truck’s flat bed.

His timer is set for 5 minutes, 20 seconds — when the tank will be full and he’ll turn to the second one.

The water pulled from the ground here will be piped dozens of miles across rugged landscape to serve the roughly 700,000 tourists a year who visit the Grand Canyon on the Hualapai reservation in northwestern Arizona — an operation that’s the main source of revenue for the tribe.

Despite the Colorado River bordering more than 100 miles of Hualapai land in the canyon, the tribe cannot turn to it as a water source. About a dozen tribes across the Colorado River basin similarly have yet to fully secure access to the river. Now that the river is shrinking because of overuse, drought and human-caused climate change, tribes want the federal government to ensure their interests are protected. READ MORE. Associated Press

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On the Monday edition of the ICT Newscast, health advocates are celebrating 50 years at the National Indian Health Board. The Native American Journalists Association could get a new name, and a new Indigenous-led school opens in Rapid City, we’ll see how the first few weeks are going.

Watch: 

An Alaska Native regional corporation is working with state transportation officials and the Denali Borough on a proposal for a new airport that would allow Lower 48 tourists to fly directly to the doorstep of Denali National Park and Preserve.

Doyon Ltd. says the “Denali Airport,” as it describes the concept in a 22-page booklet, could be built north of Healy on state land, allowing tourists to quickly reach the park after jetting in from, say, Seattle, San Francisco or Anchorage.

The project must overcome high costs, permitting requirements and other challenges. But if built, it could provide a new travel option for the park’s 600,000-plus annual visitors who want a close-up view of North America’s tallest mountain. READ MORE.Anchorage Daily News

Carol Good Bear of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation discussed her campaign on absentee ballots, tribal government transparency and matriarchal values during a public online meeting in early September.

The Zoom meeting, arranged by the Fort Berthold Legacy Vision organization, provided the opportunity for citizens of the MHA Nation to ask the candidate questions about her campaign goals and proposed solutions. Good Bear is one of the five candidates officially registered to run for the tribe’s chairman position. She is the only woman running to lead the tribe.

One of the issues discussed during the session involved voting rights of tribal citizens who live off the Fort Berthold Reservation. Good Bear shared her message for a true democracy that includes every enrolled citizen's input, despite their status of tribal residency. READ MORE.Buffalo's Fire

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We want your tips, but we also want your feedback. What should we be covering that we’re not? What are we getting wrong? Please let us know. dalton@ictnews.org.

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