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Aleut put themselves on the map

We are joined with Dylan Conduzzi the project manager for the Aleut Community of St. Paul in Alaska. Carina Dominguez talks about Apache people's struggle. And Vincent Schilling has more on this year's virtual Sundance film festival.
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The Aleut Community of St. Paul in Alaska is trying to put themselves on the map. Aleut was just awarded an Economic Development Administration STEM grant. This is a highly competitive, only seven awards nationwide. We are joined with Dylan Conduzzi, project manager for the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island tribal government under the department of Business and Economic Development.

The Sundance film festival went virtual this year. Our associate editor Vincent Schilling has all the sights and sounds.

And correspondent Carina Dominguez is covering the Apache people’s struggle to preserve sacred land. Carina is ready today with more details beyond the story.

A slice of our Indigenous world

  • Apache Stronghold leader and former San Carlos Apache Chairman Wendsler Nosie, Sr. and granddaughter Naelyn Pike testified Wednesday about the religious importance of Oak Flat. 

  • The Senate Indian Affairs Committee has new leadership. That body is now divided equally, 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans. But in a power sharing arrangement, Democrats will control the chamber.

  • The Kansas City Chiefs will arrive in Tampa, local group plans to stage a protest at Raymond James Stadium to urge the team to ditch the “Chiefs”.

  • With spring training days away, will tell you another meaning that baseball fans have for Super Bowl weekend. 

Dylan Conduzzi:

"Education is very important to the community. The capacity for education onsite during the needs assessment. And at that time was fairly limited, basically limited to K through 12 a good chunk of students go offsite for either their high school education or post-secondary education. And so given those basics it didn't make a lot of sense to me that education would be a priority and specifically development of education opportunities onsite”.

"There's sort of a history of how we got here. Back in 2017 we partnered with a company called aerial education who facilitated a one, zero, seven class drone training and onsite in St. Paul. And just for perspective, the one, zero, seven classrooms are the smaller drones that most people probably are familiar with. They're the quad copters. And through that class, our goal was to train pilots on-site so they could do work with those drones. Primarily we use those for monitoring wildlife and environment and doing some survey work as well. But we really wanted to build that capacity within the community as part of economic diversification. We trained pilots and instructors in that course and put those skills to work onsite and through educating others."

Carina Dominguez:

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"That court hearing was yesterday. Initially, it was scheduled for January 27th. But you know, the US ended up wanting to kind of push that date back. So it ended up being yesterday, And it was pretty interesting because once they're Nosie, who is the founder of Apache stronghold, he and his. granddaughters  actually traveled the distance from Oak flat to the federal courthouse where the hearing was, they brought a stone, they brought a feather, they brought prayers with them”.

"I know tribal leaders, here in Arizona, they're looking forward to seeing what he brings and especially with his appointment of Deb Holland to interior secretary, that will be very interesting to see, hopefully, she can get confirmed there cause tribes are really banking on that”.

Vincent Schilling:

"But what hit me most at Sundance — was that every program, as well as the grand opening of the festival, began with a land acknowledgment to the Ute tribe as well as to all Indigenous people. Since Sundance occurs in Utah in the Winter, I took the advice of festival programmers to recreate the Sundance Film Festival experience as much as possible."

"The Sundance Film Festival had seven short film programs, including animation, documentary shorts, and film shorts. Each of the programs had an average of eight films and each program was a bit under three hours. At the end of each program was also a Q&A section with the filmmakers".

Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, is editor of Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @TrahantReports Trahant is based in Phoenix.

Vincent Schilling, Akwesasne Mohawk, is associate editor of Indian Country Today who enjoys creating media, technology, computers, comics and movies. He is a film critic and writes the #NativeNerd column. Twitter @VinceSchilling. Email: he is also the opinions’ editor, .

Carina Dominguez, Pascua Yaqui, is a correspondent for the Indian Country Today Newscast. She covers news, politics and environmental issues. She’s most familiar with southwest tribes and splits her time between Phoenix, Arizona and New York, New York. Twitter: @Carinad7, Instagram: @CarinaNicole7

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