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Gwen Westerman: 'Breathe deep and sing'

For the first time, Minnesota has an Indigenous poet laureate. Gwen Westerman joins us and delivers a poem you don't want to miss. An Honor Guard from the Crow Nation pays tribute to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Plus, we're talking infrastructure with John Tahsuda
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Gwen Westerman, Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota, serves as Minnesota's poet laureate. She is the first Indigenous person to hold the position, a title given to her by Minnesota's governor. The poet laureate is tasked with championing poetry and spoken word across the state. She joins ICT's newscast — and she even gifts us a piece of poetry called "Breathe Deep and Sing." 

Eight members of the Chief Plenty Coups Honor Guard from Pryor, Montana placed flowers in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Tuesday.  It’s the first time in 96 years the public and visitors were allowed to approach the Tomb in the plaza at Arlington National Cemetery. The flower ceremony kicked off a two-day event of the centennial commemoration.

Chief Plenty Coups Honor Guard, all descendants of Chief Plenty Coups, waiting for smudging and the public flower ceremonies to begin at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration in Arlington, Virginia, on November 9, 2021. (Photo by Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Indian Country Today)

John Tahsuda III, Kiowa, is a regular contributor to Indian Country Today’s newscast. In 2002, he worked as the staff director for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. He also is a former principal deputy assistant secretary for Indian Affairs and served in that position from 2017 to 2020. Currently, he is a partner at Navigators Global, a company that provides political services to several industries including tribes. Today he talks infrastructure and how the new bill in Congress would affect Indian Country. 

  • The deadline to sign up for the Child Tax Credit is November 15th. 
  • In Texas, the Lipan Apache Tribe received a donation from the City of Presidio for a parcel of sacred land back.

  • A new class of outstanding Indigenous people was inducted into the Native American Hall of Fame over the weekend.

  • The Tribal Adaptive Student-Athlete of the Year Award goes to Alicia Guerrero and Caiden Baxter.

  • Two young kids, Zoey and Zander, from the Potawatomi Nation in Wisconsin started a lawn business to give back to their community.

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Wednesday's newscast was made with help from: 

Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, is editor of Indian Country Today.


Trahant is based in Phoenix. 

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Aliyah Chavez, Kewa Pueblo, is an anchor for Indian Country Today’s newscast. On Twitter:


Maxwell Montour, Pottawatomi, is a newscast editor for Indian Country Today. On Instagram:


Montour is based in Phoenix.