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PAWHUSKA, Oklahoma — A walk in downtown Pawhuska on a brisk Saturday morning in March finds the town bustling.

Spring break has brought tourists from throughout the country descending on the Osage Nation Reservation. They drift in and out of The Pioneer Woman Mercantile store with bags in hand and smiles on their faces. They drive up Kihekah Avenue in search of the Osage Nation Museum and see buffalo on the Tallgrass Prairie National Reserve.

Pawhuska is the Osage Nation capital, the Osage County seat and a place the Osage people call home. A hub of culture and history, it’s where generations of oilmen and ranchers came to make a better life.

Living together has had its ups and downs over the years, to be sure, but the climate is changing. A volatile relationship once laced with racism and greed is slowly becoming one of partnership as the tribe, city and county work together for the benefit of all.


Plans are underway for the Osage to open new casinos and hotels in Bartlesville and Pawhuska with city utilities, and the tribe is looking to build a sports complex that could host tournaments and other events, drawing visitors to local restaurants, lodging, shopping and other attractions. READ MOREShannon Shaw Duty, Osage News

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"At the Crossroads: State of the Economy in Indian Country," was produced through a collaboration with the Institute for Nonprofit News, Indian Country Today and nine other news partners examining the state of the economy in Indian Country with funding from the Walton Family Foundation. READ MOREIndian Country Today

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WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court on Thursday, shattering a historic barrier by securing her place as the first Black female justice and giving President Joe Biden a bipartisan endorsement for his effort to diversify the high court.

Cheers rang out in the Senate chamber as Jackson, a 51 year-old appeals court judge with nine years experience on the federal bench, was confirmed 53-47, mostly along party lines but with three Republican votes. Presiding and emotionally announcing the vote was Vice President Kamala Harris, also the first Black woman to reach her high office.

President Joe Biden holds hands with Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as they watch the Senate vote on her confirmation from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

"This is a wonderful day, a joyous day, an inspiring day — for the Senate, for the Supreme Court and for the United States of America," exulted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The Senate's upper galleries were almost full for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic two years ago, and about a dozen House members, part of the the Congressional Black caucus, stood at the back of the chamber.

"We're making history," declared Rep. Marilyn Strickland of Washington state.

Harris, who paused with emotion as she read the vote, said as she left the Capitol that she was "overjoyed, deeply moved." READ MOREMary Clare Jalonick and Mark Sherman, Associated Press

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Sarah Adams-Cornell was dressed in a black ribbon skirt and a bright red shirt, behind her a giant sign read “Bans Off Our Bodies,” a rallying slogan created by Planned Parenthood in the wake of the Texas Heartbeat Act that became law six months ago. Adams-Cornell stood in front of the Oklahoma State Capitol building on Tuesday during the Bans Off Oklahoma Rally and People’s Hearing to talk about the intersection of the Land Back movement and body sovereignty. It was a windy day but Adams-Cornell was clear.

“We will be loud and we will tell these white, cis, men what we think of their bans,” Adams-Cornell, Choctaw, said to the crowd of over a 100 people. “Our Indigenous women have always known how to care for our bodies. We have always known to go to other women when we need abortions, when we need care.”

The Oklahoma House gave final legislative approval on Tuesday to a bill that would make performing an abortion a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. With little discussion and no debate, the Republican-controlled House voted 70-14 with 16 members not voting. Now the bill heads to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, Cherokee, who has previously said he’d sign any anti-abortion bill that comes to his desk.

Adams-Cornell co-founded Matriarch, a non-profit that promotes the social welfare of Native women. The program co-organized the rally on Tuesday. READ MORE Pauly Denetclaw, Indian Country Today

Climate change impacts tribal nations and other people of color more than other communities, leaving them to face “systemic inequalities” without having a voice in discussions at the state and federal level.

That was the conclusion of Harvard University expert Megan Hill, Oneida, who moderated an April 4 panel on “Indigenous, Black and Communities of Color Fighting for Environmental Justice,” sponsored by the Ash Center and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.

“We know that communities of color and tribal nations are often hit first and worst, whether it's an increase of extreme storms and weather, extreme heat, drought, melting permafrost, flooding, air pollution – the list sort of goes on and on and on,” said Hill, who is director of the Honoring Nations program at Harvard and the program director of the Harvard Project.

“And compounding these very real issues are systemic inequalities that are driven by a lack of investment, higher health disparities, and often, a lack of a political voice because communities of color and tribal nations are often left out of federal and state conversations that have to do with preparedness and resilience,” Hill said.

Those communities have much to offer in making decisions on how to respond to the changing climate, she said. READ MORE Joaqlin Estus, Indian Country Today

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Cree and Métis citizen Danis Goulet got her start in the creative world of film production by casting extras for movies. She worked behind the scenes and quickly saw the need for Indigenous people to make their own films. She went on to make several shorts and her films have been screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and many more.

In the world of running there are key races that people spend years qualifying for. They work on pacing, nutrition and their attitudes. All to make it to that big race. The big one coming up in less than two weeks is the Boston Marathon. Each year many Native runners qualify and this year it will be Hopi citizen Caroline Sekaqauptewa’s 9th time running Boston.

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