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Leaders face challenges

On this special edition of the ICT Newscast, we recap the many change-makers we’ve featured. From a Diné elder to a buffalo rancher and an author with a special message
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In January, Navajo leader Peterson Zah received a lifetime achievement award from the Grand Canyon Trust. From 1982 to 1987, Zah served as the chairman of the Navajo Nation. He then became its first president in 1990. At age 84, his long career spans many sectors–including being the special advisor to the president on American Indian Affairs at Arizona State University.

Native Americans make up just a fraction of the Rapid City’s population — but more than half the jail population. A circle of elders is playing a direct role in trying to change that. Stewart Huntington has more on the Oyate Court.

Mycoplasma bovis is common in cattle, but rarely deadly. For buffalo, it’s taking a toll. In March 2022, the New York Times reported on Fred Dubray’s bison herd — and this disease that has no cure. DuBray has been ranching on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota for 30 years. Take a look at this interview from April.

St. Mary’s Indian Boarding School is a place tied with history to ICT’s national correspondent Mary Annette Pember. The school once operated on the Bad River Ojibwe Reservation in Wisconsin. It was the school her mother attended.

In 2017 Jessie Taken Alive-Rencountre won the Great Plains Emerging Tribal Writer Award for her first book, “Pet’a Shows Misun the Light.” Since then, the writer, who includes Lakota language and culture, has published three more children’s books, including her newest work, “Rainbows in December.”

In February, we featured a new book from the Minnesota Historical Society Press. “Voices from Pejuhutazizi” is written by Teresa Peterson and Walter “Super” LaBatte, Jr. Pioneer PBS in Granite Falls, Minnesota that featured LaBatte’s work in its Postcards series.


Today’s newscast was created with work from:

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.

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

R. Vincent Moniz, Jr., NuÉta, is the senior producer of the ICT newscast. Have a great story to share? Pitch it to

McKenzie Allen-Charmley, Dena’ina Athabaskan, is a producer of the ICT newscast. On Twitter: @mallencharmley

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.

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

Mary Grace Pewewardy, Hopi/Comanche/Kiowa, is an intern for the ICT newscast. On Instagram: @mgpewewardy. Pewewardy is based in Phoenix, and enjoys playing video games.

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