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History making Natives

On the weekend edition of the ICT newscast, we are meeting the first Indigenous person to receive a Pulitzer Prize, celebrating National Nurses Week, and learning about Ginger Sykes Torres's recent withdrawal from the race

He is the first Native person to receive a Pulitzer Prize for musical composition. The award-winning “Voiceless Mass” by Raven Chacon, premiered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in November. The Pulitzer panel said the work is a mesmerizing, original work for organ and ensemble that evokes the weight of history in a church setting, a concentrated and potent musical expression with a haunting visceral impact.

Earlier this month, we reported that there has never been a Native person elected to Congress from Arizona. Navajo citizen Ginger Sykes Torres was hoping to change that, so she ran for one of Arizona’s seats. However, she recently withdrew from the race after a lawsuit contested her candidacy. 

The main hall at the University of Montana was lit red last week. It was one of many events bringing awareness to a crisis in Indigenous communities. ICT’s Kolby KickingWoman has this report. 

New variants are causing COVID-19 cases to rise in parts of the country and worldwide. Epidemiologist Dean Seneca explains. He leads Seneca Scientific Solutions and is a global expert in health sciences. 

It's National Nurses Week, and one of them is featured in a new documentary. Whitney Fear is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner in Fargo, North Dakota. "Who Cares: A Nurse's Fight for Equity" is part of a project called SHIFT, a community of nurses making positive changes for each other and their profession. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funds the project. Fear takes a holistic and trauma-informed approach to help individuals with substance abuse disorders. 

A slice of our Indigenous world

  • In Colorado, “Metropolitan State University of Denver” is announcing a tuition waiver for citizens of all federally recognized tribes.
  • In Canada, a new series is coming to the Canadian streaming service Crave.It features an Indigenous cast, crew and training for the next generation. APTN’s Darrell Stranger takes us behind the scenes for this report.

  • Six-year-old Tiberius, Inupiaq, is looking for a stem cell transplant for his myeloid leukemia. 

  • The National Hockey League playoffs are underway and there are four Indigenous players showing off their skills.


Shirley Sneve, Ponca/Sicangu Lakota, is vice president of broadcasting for Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter @rosebudshirley She’s based in Nebraska and Minnesota.

Aliyah Chavez, Kewa Pueblo, is the anchor of the ICT newscast. On Twitter: @aliyahjchavez.

R. Vincent Moniz, Jr., NuÉta, is a producer for the ICT newscast. Have a great story you've just got to share? Pitch it to

Kaitlin Onawa Boysel, Cherokee, is a producer/reporter for Indian Country Today. On Instagram: @KaitlinBoysel Boysel is based in Springfield, Illinois.

Drea Yazzie, Diné, is a producer/editor for the ICT newscast. On Twitter: @quindreayazzie Yazzie is based in Phoenix.

Maxwell Montour, Pottawatomi, is a newscast editor for Indian Country Today. On Instagram: max.montour Montour is based in Phoenix.

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