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PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION, South Dakota – Justin Pourier will never forget what he saw in the basement of Drexel Hall.

Pourier, a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Tribe, was working as a bus driver and maintenance person for the Jesuit-run Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge reservation when sometime in the 1990s a supervisor asked him to go into the basement to look for a leak.

Pourier made his way down the rickety steps to the vast basement below Drexel Hall, former home to student dormitories and later a convent for nuns who taught at the school.

Back in a corner, past a wooden door that led into a small room with a dirt floor, he saw three small mounds of dirt. Evenly spaced, shaped like child-size graves, the mounds were marked with primitive crosses. READ MORE. Mary Annette Pember, ICT


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The Native vote has become increasingly influential, with the ability to determine whole elections in several states across the country.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski often credits her win to the Alaska Native vote. The Native vote swung the election for U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, Sen. Jon Tester in Montana, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, said Jacqueline De León, staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund in a briefing panel Oct. 13. During the 2020 presidential election, the Native vote in Arizona came out to give President Joe Biden a victory, the first time in more than two decades that the staunchly red state went blue. It doesn’t end there. Elections in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Nevada, can all be swayed by the Native vote.

FILE - U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., talks to the media during a news conference Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in Stilwell, Kan. Kansas' highest court on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, upheld a Republican redistricting law that makes it harder for the only Democrat in the state's congressional delegation to win reelection in a big victory for the GOP. The state Supreme Court declined for now to declare that overly partisan gerrymandering violates the Kansas Constitution. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

“Native American votes are being excluded from the table because there is power in these votes,” De León said.

Historically, the Native vote has been under attack from unfair voting ID laws that disproportionately impact Indigenous communities, to gerrymandering, lack of polling locations in rural areas, and the use of at-large voting systems. READ MORE. Pauly Denetclaw. ICT

After her mother died when Rosalie Whirlwind Soldier was just four years old, she was put into a Indian boarding school in South Dakota and told her native Lakota language was "devil's speak."

She recalls being locked in a basement at St. Francis Indian Mission School for weeks as punishment for breaking the school's strict rules. Her long braids were shorn in a deliberate effort to stamp out her cultural identity. And when she broke her leg in an accident, Whirlwind Soldier said she received shoddy care leaving her with pain and a limp that still hobbles her decades later.

The Rosebud event was the third in Haaland's yearlong "Road to Healing" initiative for victims of abuse at government-backed boarding schools, after previous stops in Oklahoma and Michigan in recent months. READ MORE.Associated Press

Fans of horror films and Indigenous films were shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of visionary Mi’kmaw filmmaker Jeff Barnaby. The late director made two unforgettable feature films that used the tools and tropes of the horror genre to tell the true horrors of colonization and contemporary racism. He was only 46 and died from cancer.

His first film “Rhymes with Young Ghoul” was built around the violence and the legacy of the residential school system. Canada’s national newspaper the Globe and Mail hailed the film as “a milestone: a savvy native-Canadian genre film with a strong, beautiful and ingenious heroine whose courage helps right an injustice a lot more real than whatever Katniss is fighting for in The Hunger Games.”

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Filmmaker Jeff Barnaby poses for a photograph while promoting his new film "Rhymes for Young Ghouls" in Toronto on Thursday, January 9, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

The lead role in the film was played by Devery Jacobs in her debut. Jacobs has gone on to acclaim in “Reservation Dogs” and has recently been announced to play a key role in Marvel’s new “Echo” show.

“Jeff had an ineffable impact on my life. I wouldn’t be an actor today, if it weren’t for Jeff. Having nearly given up on this career, he not only took a chance on me, but fought relentlessly to cast me in his debut feature Rhymes for Young Ghouls, my first leading role,” Jacobs posted to Twitter soon after news of the director's passing became public. READ MORE.Miles Morrisseau, ICT

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On the Monday edition of the ICT Newscast, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm joins the show. She tells ICT about her vision for tribal energy. Survivors of Canada’s 60s Scoop share their stories. As we enter the holiday shopping season, we have tips for protecting your identity


ICT and FNX - First Nations Experience are partnering to bring you a three-hour live newscast from an Indigenous perspective of the 2022 midterm elections.

The newscast will feature interviews with Indigenous candidates running for public office, updates from ICT correspondents, lively conversation with political pundits and watch parties.

The newscast will be broadcast from San Bernardino, California. It will start at 7 p.m. PST and conclude at 10 p.m. PST.

The 2022 midterms are set to have wide repercussions for Indigenous nations and people. READ MORE.ICT

Hundreds of people stood in the gentle Juneau rain with their necks craned toward the sky. Their focus was not on sky, but instead on a healing totem that towered over the crowd.

Tlingit master carver Wayne Price shakes hands with community members after the ceremony. Price has been a carver since 1971, and has carved dozens and dozens of totem over the decades. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

AWARE, Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, the Wooshkeetaan and L’eeneidì A’aakw Kwáan hosted a community gathering on a recent Saturday afternoon to unveil a healing totem pole and screens carved by Tlingit master carver Wayne Price honoring survivors and victims of domestic violence and sexual assault along with their families and communities.

People gathered in raincoats and boots at the Twin Lakes Kaasei Totem Plaza to witness the two-hour ceremony. It included speeches from community leaders and representatives along with cry songs, dance performances as well as grief release and fire dish ceremonies among other acknowledgments. READ MORE. Juneau Empire


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