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Recapping our Las Vegas adventures

This weekend edition of Indian Country Today includes interviews from our week long coverage in Las Vegas.

Chris James, Eastern Band of Cherokee, is the president and CEO of the National Center for American Indian Economic Development. His organization sponsors the economic summit known as "RES 2021". High vaccination rates in Indian Country gave the organization the courage to go ahead with this first major event since the pandemic shut down.

Abigail Echo-Hawk, Pawnee, is the chief research officer of the Seattle Indian Health Board and director of the Urban Indian Health Institute. Echo-Hawk joins the show to help clear up the confusion and mistrust surrounding coronavirus vaccines.

Ernie Stevens, Jr., Oneida Nation, is the chairman of National Indian Gaming Association. The association's conference was about to start last year when everything began shutting down because of the coronavirus. He joins us today to talk about his organization's big steps forward.

Victor Rocha, Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, is chairman of the tradeshow for the National Indian Gaming Association and also the publisher This week the association's conference launches with a return to a way of normalcy with many people coming together in a really big way.

We're talking about agriculture with Sherry Salway Black, Oglala Lakota, and Porter Holden, Choctaw. Salway Black has worked for more than 40 years in American Indian issues at the American Indian Policy Review Commission; Indian Health Service, First Nations Development Institute, and with the National Congress of American Indians.

Porter, Choctaw, was a lead plaintiff in the Keepseagle v. Vilsack case. That 12 year litigation closed out a landmark racial discrimination case against the federal government. It required the USDA to pay $680 million in damages to thousands of Native American growers.

A slice of our Indigenous world

  • The Native American Rights Fund is filing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of five tribal nations and 18 individual plaintiffs in Montana. 
  • The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is celebrating its casino’s 35th anniversary. 
  • An effort to combat water accessibility on the Navajo Nation is paying off, Aliyah Chavez reports.
  • "Killers of the Flower Moon" is taking over the town of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, Kaitlin Onawa Boysel has all the sights and sounds.

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

Thank you for watching!

Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, is editor of Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @TrahantReports Trahant is based in Phoenix.

Shirley Sneve, Sicangu Lakota, is vice president of broadcasting for Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter @rosebudshirley She’s based in Nebraska and Minnesota.

Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider.

Aliyah Chavez, Kewa Pueblo, is a reporter-producer at Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter: @aliyahjchavez or email her at  

Kaitlin Onawa Boysel, Cherokee, is a producer/reporter for Indian Country Today. On Instagram: @KaitlinBoysel Boysel is based in Wisconsin. 

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