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Indian Country's forward thinkers

Coming up on the ICT Newscast's weekend edition, we're highlighting Indigenous leaders striving for a better tomorrow. Plus, a deadly threat to bison herds in the Great Plains. And legendary performer Gary Farmer discusses his latest projects
Red Lake Ojibwe citizen Brendan Strong was just looking for a way to walk off a late-night, unhealthy meal when he began his long distance running. So far Brendan has logged over 91 miles in 3 half marathons … and 2 full marathons.

Brendan Strong | Red Lake Ojibwe

Red Lake Ojibwe citizen Brendan Strong was just looking for a way to walk off a late-night, unhealthy meal when he began his long distance running. So far Brendan has logged over 91 miles in three half marathons and two marathons.

Abigail Echo-Hawk, Pawnee, received one of the two Woman of the Year Awards at the 25th National Indian Women’s “Supporting Each Other” Honoring Lunch in Washington, D.C. She is the Chief Research Officer for the Seattle Indian Health Board. (Photo by Jourdan Bennett-Begaye)

Our health is important to us and our communities and the pandemic has brought challenges to all of us. We asked epidemiologist Abigail Echo-Hawk: how are we doing? She is chief research officer of the Seattle Indian Health Board, and the director of Urban Indian Health Institute, a tribal epidemiology center.

April is Sexual Abuse Awareness Month. One source people can reach out to for help is the Stronghearts Native Helpline. Executive Director Lori Jump joins the show to break down the grim data for the rates Native women experience sexual abuse.

In Rapid City, South Dakota, a memorial planned to honor children who died at an Indian boarding school has raised more than $2 million. Stewart Huntington reports on a tragic aspect to the history of this boarding school.

Mycoplasma bovis. It’s common in cattle, but rarely deadly. For bison, it’s taking a toll. Last month, the New York Times reported on Fred Dubray’s bison herd saying this disease has no cure. Dubray tells us when he first noticed something was wrong on his ranch near Blackfoot, South Dakota.

Gary Farmer | Cayuga Nation

Gary Farmer | Cayuga Nation

Nearly 50 years ago, Gary Farmer started his acting career. In 1983 the Cayuga citizen was cast in his first movie, "Police Academy." Today, a whole new generation of fans can watch him in several TV shows including "Reservation Dogs" and "Resident Alien." Patty Talahongva has this report. 

An all-Indigenous 16-piece big band is making its premiere performance next month in Olympia, Washington. It’s co-directed by Delbert Anderson, Diné on trumpet, who we’ve featured on the ICT Newscast. It is the brainchild of Julia Keefe. She’s from the Nez Perce Nation and a jazz vocalist, actor, activist, and educator. Plus, listen to Julia's song, "If You Go."

  • A new fact sheet highlights the Biden administration’s efforts to advance equity for Indigenous communities. 
  • There are more than a few familiar names for this year’s Native American 40 Under 40 list. 
  • The Winnebago Tribe in Nebraska is taking action to address a marriage controversy. 
  • Indigenous people in western Guatemala are honoring a Mayan deity and folk saint.
  • An Indigenous writer is carrying children home in dreams with her first book “Bedtime in Nunatsiavut.”

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


Today's newscast was created with work 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 Springfield, Illinois.

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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