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Put on a happy face

On the Thursday edition of the ICT Newscast, meet Mr. Happy Face, the world’s ugliest dog. Plus, Pyra is a trail-blazing queen. Jason Begay tells us about his plans to start an internship program for future Native journalists
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Diné musician and activist Jeneda Benally wanted something special for her birthday last year. And now, Mr. Happy Face is a star! He was named the World’s Ugliest Dog.

Salt-River Pima Indian drag queen Pyra has been named the Indigenous Fire Queen of Phoenix. She has been performing for over three years in Arizona.

ICT has hired Jason Begay as a national editor and coach. Begay is a veteran journalist and long-time educator. Most recently he’s been the director of Native American Journalism Projects at the University of Montana School of Journalism.

A slice of our Indigenous world:

In Vancouver, a First Nations leader has survived an attempt to remove her from power. In June, the leader of AFN RoseAnne Archibald was suspended by the organization. Those opposed to Archibald defended her suspension, saying it happened because she made a public statement that allegedly attacked the integrity of the body.

Jim Neilson was a Cree hockey player who had a long career in the National Hockey League. Now he is now being recognized by the Canadian Museum of History.

Indigenous people in the East African country of Tanzania are resisting eviction from their lands by the government. Behind the forced removal of Maasai herders is an effort to create a game reserve for trophy hunters in the region. And after the death of a police officer, 20 people from the Indigenous group have been charged with murder. The East African Court of Justice is set to rule on a legal challenge to the eviction of the Maasai from their lands.

The latest summer blockbuster by Indigenous filmmaker Taika Waititi is premiering all over the world. “Thor: Love and Thunder” is the Maori citizen’s second time leading a film in Marvel's cinematic universe.

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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 and managing editor 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? Send it to

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

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.