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NASA Astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann officially became the first Native woman to go to space with the successful launch of SpaceX’s Dragon on Wednesday.

Mann, Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, is with three other astronauts, who lifted off to the International Space Station from Kennedy Space Center in Florida after going through a series of checks: suit checks, communication checks, and more on Wednesday morning. 

Mann serves as the mission commander for the Crew-5 mission to the space station, also known as the floating laboratory. The astronauts joining her as part of Crew 5 are pilot Josh Cassada, JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, both are mission specialists for the science expedition mission.

Crew 5 joined Crew 4 at the International Space Station to make a total of 11 people. Crew 4 will show the new crew around the space station and then return to Earth in October. Crew 5 will stay at the station for six months to work on hundreds of science experiments.

Mann is also in the running to be the first woman on the moon in 2025. She is the second Indigenous astronaut to space. John Herrington, Chickasaw, was the first Native American in space during his voyage on the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s STS-113 mission in 2002. READ MOREJourdan Bennett-Begaye, ICT


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Indigenous peoples are celebrating hard after three years of virtual gatherings.

From the east coast to the majestic mountains in Alaska, there’s a celebration at every corner in the list of events ICT collected from across the country. Of course, some remain virtual and others are in-person again since the pandemic made it difficult to gather for large events.

The big virtual party will be the release of Netflix’s new animated series, “Spirit Rangers” on Oct. 10. So make sure to stream the cartoon for all of your nieces, nephews, and kids. They will get to see Native kids on TV who are conserving the National Park they live and work in. Watch the “ICT Newscast with Aliyah Chavez” to learn more about the show from creator Karissa Valencia.

If you want to add your event to the list, send an email to Kolby KickingWoman at with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day event 2022” in the subject line.

Stay safe out there, relatives. READ MORE — Kolby KickingWoman, ICT

ABC is launching a TV series starring Academy Award winner Hillary Swank as a New York investigative reporter who moves to Alaska and winds up focusing on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

“Alaska Daily” producers hired three Alaska Natives to help bring Native perspectives to the story: writer and filmmaker Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, Inupiaq; writer Vera Starbard, Tlingit; and consultant Peter Blanchette, Yup’ik.

Starbard and MacLean talked with KTOO’s Rhonda McBride Thursday. They said the show’s being shot mostly in Vancouver and British Columbia with some scenes in Alaska. But the northernmost state plays a big part in the show, MacLean said.

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“Alaska kind of has this, like, this mythic quality in people's imaginations. And it kind of does in reality too. I mean, there's no place like Alaska, so that's what people are gonna want to tune in for.”

A dark side to Alaska’s mystique, though, is its high rate of violence against women – among the highest in the country. A 2015 federal Indian Law and Order Commission report stated, “Based on their proportion of the overall State population, Alaska Native women are over-represented in the domestic violence victim population by 250 percent; they comprise 19 percent of the population, but 47 percent of reported rape victims.”

The state recently hired retired state trooper Lonny Piscoya, of the Nome Eskimo Community, to serve as the new missing and murdered Indigenous persons investigator. READ MOREJoaqlin Estus, ICT

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On the Wednesday edition of the ICT Newscast, we learn the story behind the Chickasaw Nation’s White House; the Phoenix community will be celebrating Native American Recognition Days for the next three months, and we get a politics update.


Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland will meet with survivors and descendants of the federal Indian boarding school system as part of the federal government’s “The Road to Healing” tour next week in South Dakota.

On Oct. 15, Haaland and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland will visit Mission for the third stop of the federal government’s year-long tour. Haaland announced the listening tour after the May release of the first volume of a report on the troubled history of federal Indian

boarding schools and the resulting generational trauma.

The first report called for, among other recommendations, connecting communities with trauma-informed support and creating a permanent oral history from survivors.

The event will give survivors of the federal Indian boarding school system and their descendants a chance to share their experiences with Haaland and Newland and guide them as the government continues to address the legacy of the boarding school program, according to a news release.

Trauma-informed support will be available on-site during the event, according to the release.

Oklahoma and Michigan were the listening tour’s first two stops, with additional events planned for Hawaii and Arizona. Additional events in other states are expected in 2023. — Chris Aadland, ICT and Underscore News


What’s trending on social media: 

Other top stories:

  • Indigenous Brazilians fight for their rights at the ballot box, Greenland’s Indigenous people favor sand extraction, ancestral remains returning home from Austria after more than 75 years are highlighted in this week’s Global Indigenous.
  • On the National Day of Remembrance for Indian Boarding Schools, educators gathered at the University of Montana to learn about the history of the schools and resulting generational trauma.
  • Reclaiming Tlingit: Why one man has been learning Tlingit since 2020 and how one university in Alaska is working to revitalize endangered Alaska Native languages. 

What we’re reading:

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