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Indigenous astronauts in space

On the Tuesday edition of the ICT Newscast, Native astronauts in space. John Herrington explains Nicole Mann’s mission at the International Space Station. Plus, US Sen. Brian Schatz talks policy for Indigenous communities and a preview of the Alaska Federation of Natives conference *Correction
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Climate change, missing and murdered Indigenous people and language loss are just a handful of issues that are heard in the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. This body is made up of elected officials whose job is to learn about these difficulties in Native communities and to propose solutions. Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawai'i chairs the committee.

When Chickasaw citizen John Herrington was in space in 2002, part of his mission was to help build new areas of the International Space Station. Fast forward to this exact moment, and that’s where the second Indigenous NASA Astronaut, Nicole Mann, is living. Herrington, who was the first Native person in space, gives his unique perspective on this mission.

Celebrating our Unity is the theme of this year’s conference for the Alaska Federation of Natives. The annual AFN conference is starting on Thursday. It’s the largest gathering of Alaska Natives in the state. ICT’s Joaqlin Estus gives highlights.

A slice of our Indigenous world

  • The Ute Indian Tribe is criticizing the Biden administration for designating Camp Hale as a national monument. The area was a training site for soldiers in World War II. In a statement emailed to ICT, the tribe said the designation was made without tribal consultation— and that tribal leaders were excluded from the unveiling event.
  • In Oklahoma, five tribal nations are backing their choice for the state’s governor. It goes against incumbent Cherokee citizen Kevin Stitt. Dacoda McDowell-Wahpekeche has the story.
  • In California, the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation is doing its part to raise awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous people. Earlier this year, the nation passed a resolution about the crisis. Last week the tribe received $500,000 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • A new way of learning and sharing the history of the Crow Nation is in the works at the Little Big Horn College in Montana. The school recently received a $1.9 million grant from the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.
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Today's newscast was created with work from:

Shirley Sneve, Ponca/Sicangu Lakota, is vice president of broadcasting for the ICT Newscast. Follow her on Twitter @rosebudshirley. She is 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 the senior producer of the ICT Newscast. Have a great story? Pitch it to

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

Patty Talahongva, Hopi, works for ICT. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider.

Maxwell Montour, Pottawatomi, is a newscast editor for the ICT Newscast. On Instagram: max.montour. Montour is based in Phoenix.

Kaitlin Onawa Boysel, Cherokee, is a producer/ reporter for ICT. On Instagram: @KaitlinBoysel.

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

Sierra Alvarez, Navajo, is an intern for the ICT newscast. On Twitter: @sierraealvarez.

Pacey Smith Garcia, Ute, is an intern for the ICT newscast. On Twitter: @paceyjournalist

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*Correction: Alaska Gov. Michael Dunleavy signed a bill at an event hosted by the Alaska Federation of Natives