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Bringing balance to justice

Native COVID-19 deaths top 10,000. And more on tracking economic data in rural tribal territories. Plus, recognizing an Alaska Native civil rights activist, Valentine’s Day, and elders seeking to help balance the justice system
Dean S. Seneca receives his 1st dose of the Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. (Courtesy image)

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the total deaths for American Indian and Alaska Natives has reached 10,000. Joining us is Seneca citizen and epidemiologist Dean Seneca, with a break down of COVID-19 efforts.

Judge Deborah Ann Begay officiates weddings as part of her work as Justice of the Peace in Moon Valley, Arizona. (Photo courtesy of Begay)

Many celebrated Valentine's Day this week, including justice of the peace Deborah Ann Begay. As part of her work, she officiates the weddings of couples from many backgrounds. She is sharing some stories of love.

Becoming Miss Navajo, author, Jolyana Begay Kroupa

Becoming Miss Navajo, author, Jolyana Begay Kroupa

When Jolyana Begay Kroupa, author a children's book that follows her journey to compete for the title of Miss Navajo. As Patty Talahongva reports, her book, written in both English and Navajo, was recently honored by The American Library Association.

Anathea Chino, Acoma Pueblo

Anathea Chino, Acoma Pueblo

All across Indian Country, Native people are announcing their candidacy for various seats. Acoma Pueblo citizen Anathea Chino is co-founder and executive director of Advance Native Political Leadership and she has more on what it takes to run for office.

A sign for the Justice Center For The People, a tribal public safety center, is pictured on July 22, 2021, near a southern entrance to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Experts say tribes need more consistent federal funding for their justice systems. (Isaac Stone Simonelli / Howard Center for Investigative Journalism)

In Rapid City, South Dakota, Natives make up a fraction of the city’s residents but are more than half the jail population. A circle of elders is playing a direct role in trying to change that. Stewart Huntington has more.

Casey Lozar, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Casey Lozar, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Public and private sectors rely on good data to make decisions and tribal nations are no different. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis wants to help with its Center for Indian Country Development. Confederated Salish and Kootenai citizen Casey Lozar of the Center for Indian Country Development joins us with more on the data collection effort.

Elizabeth Peratrovitch episode of Molly of Denali COURTESY Molly of Denali

Elizabeth Peratrovitch episode of Molly of Denali

Another important event this week celebrated the work of Elizabeth Peratrovitch, an Alaska Native woman who fought for civil rights. The PBS Kids show, Molly of Denali recognized her. Creative Producer Yatibaey Evans talks more about the season’s first show.

  • The United Nations is finalizing a report on how hard climate change is hitting the globe.
  • The Department of Agriculture is announcing a new equity commission which will include at least one Native member. 
  • Indigenous women earned Olympic gold during a much discussed Team Canada versus Team USA hockey game.
  • In Alaska, traditional sewn fur clothing is an art that continues to be carried on, ICT correspondent Joaqlin Estus has more.

Find more details on these stories at the top of today's show.


Today's newscast was created with help from:

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

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.

R. Vincent Moniz, Jr., NuÉta, is a producer for the ICT newscast. Have a great story you've just got to share? Pitch it to

Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is senior correspondent for Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider.

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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