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Onondaga land back victory

On this Tuesday edition of the ICT Newscast, a Forge Fellow looks for clues to health through epidemiology. And redemption for a crime not committed. But first, the Onondaga Nation increased its land base.
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Last week, the Onondaga Nation announced a major land back victory. The nation has recovered more than 1,000 acres of forest lands. The Interior Department says it is on the largest returns of land to an Indigenous nation by a state. The Onondaga Nation’s general counsel Joe Heath gives us the details.

On Dec. 22, 2021, Danny Wilber walked out of prison. He served 18-years for a murder he did not commit. In 2005, Wilber was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide and was sentenced to life in prison. Wilber says he knew he was innocent and spent years proving it. Ultimately, he and a small team worked with forensic experts to prove his innocence. His partner, Lacey Kinnart, joins Danny to talk about the treacherous process.

A slice of our Indigenous world:

  • Epidemiology deals with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health. How does this play out in Indigenous communities? Rainer Posselt wants to know. He received a Forge Project Fellowship to assist in his research. Forge is a Native-led art, culture, and decolonial education initiative in Upstate New York.

  • The Supreme Court ruled that the Clean Air Act does not give the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate planet-warming emissions from power plants. This decision ultimately limits the government's ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. Around the country, environmental advocates and Indigenous leaders said the decision is a step in the wrong direction.

  • On Monday, the Canadian government announced a $15 billion agreement to compensate First Nations children who have been harmed because of chronic underfunding in child welfare. This settlement is the largest in Canadian history, according to government agency Indigenous Services Canada. Data from the 2016 census showed that Indigenous children under age 15 make up less than 8 percent of the population, but make up more than half of the children in foster care. The settlement must be approved by the federal court and the “Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.”
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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.

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

R. Vincent Moniz, Jr., NuÉta, is the senior 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 South Carolina.

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.

Mary Grace Pewewardy, Hopi/Comanche/Kiowa, is an intern at Indian Country Today. On Instagram: @mgpewewardy. Pewewardy is based in Phoenix, and enjoys playing video games.

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