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The Wrap: A look at the 2024 election

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LAS VEGAS — A decade ago, ICT editor-at-large Mark Trahant asked a simple question to the National Council of State Legislatures: How many Native Americans are serving in state legislatures?

They didn’t know the answer.

“At that point, I realized we needed to start measuring where people were, and what they were doing, and then use that as a base to measure what success looks like,” Trahant said during ICT’s Native Vote 2024 panel at this year’s Reservation Economic Summit.

So Trahant started a database to track Native Americans and Alaska Natives who held local, state and federal seats. READ MOREPauly Denetclaw, ICT


Around the World: Bowel cancer risk surges among younger Māori, Sichuan schools prohibit students from speaking Tibetan, Métis beadworker Jennine Krauchi receives prestigious award, and Sámi museum wins 2024 European Museum of the Year Award.

NEW ZEALAND: Bowel cancer risk surges

Recent studies from the University of Otago, Christchurch, indicate a troubling increase in colorectal cancer among young New Zealanders, with Māori facing an even higher risk, Te Ao Maori News reported on May 9.

Study lead author Dr. Oliver Waddell noted that while the overall rate of bowel cancer among Māori is lower than in the general population, the incidence in Māori under 50 is climbing more rapidly than in other groups.

“If these increases continue unchecked, Māori colorectal cancer rates could surpass those of the general population,” Waddell said. READ MOREDeusdedit Ruhangariyo, Special to ICT

Leta Killer arrived with a purpose in attending the Faceless Doll Project. The event in Bismarck, N.D. marked the National Day of Awareness for Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons. For the first time in her life, she would share her family’s story about the crisis of violence and lost relatives in Indian Country.

The Faceless Doll Project organizers Melanie Moniz and Agnes Yellow Bear held the gathering and community art workshop with just that kind of sharing in mind. In contrast to advocacy and demonstrations typical of the national May 5 MMIPcommemoration – held annually since 2017 – they said this occasion was for grieving and healing in peace.

“I think that sometimes we focus so much on awareness and the pursuit of justice, that we forget about creating the spaces that allow family members to just exist,” Yellow Bear told Buffalo’s Fire.

Dolls without facial features are symbolic in many cultures, including Indigenous tribes. The Faceless Doll Project will create a collection of felt dolls representing the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives of Native families. READ MORE Buffalo’s Fire

LEUPP, Ariz. — A proposed water rights settlement for three tribes that carries a price tag larger than any such agreement enacted by Congress has taken a major step forward with its introduction to the Navajo Nation Council.

The Navajo Nation has one of the largest single outstanding claims in the Colorado River basin and will vote soon on the measure in a special session. It’s the first of many approvals — ending with Congress — that’s needed to finalize the deal presented on Monday.

Climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and demands on the river like those that have allowed Phoenix, Las Vegas and other desert cities to thrive pushed the tribes into settlement talks. The Navajo, Hopi and San Juan Southern Paiute tribes are hoping to close the deal quickly under a Democratic administration in Arizona and with Joe Biden as president.

A landmark 1922 agreement divided the Colorado River basin water among seven Western states but left out tribes. The tribes are seeking water from a mix of sources: the Colorado River, the Little Colorado River, aquifers and washes on tribal lands in northeastern Arizona. READ MORE Associated Press

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When Christina Haswood was first elected in 2020 she was the youngest state legislature in the country. She was reelected to the Kansas State House in 2022 where she represented District 10. Now, she’s hoping to switch chambers and is running to represent Senate District Two. ICT political correspondent Pauly Denetclaw has this interview.

The U.S. Army has just responded to a lawsuit brought by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. The suit challenges the way the U.S. Army handles the repatriation of remains from the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. ICT national correspondent Mary Annette Pember has covered federal Indian boarding school stories for years.

A community housing organization might seem like unlikely partners for arts funding, but that’s exactly what Duluth’s American Indian Community Housing Organization has done. The McKnight Foundation has this story.

A pilot program to address the challenges of addiction and homelessness has launched on Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes land in Montana. People committed to recovery will be offered housing and support services. Liz Dempsey reports how the program is already making a difference.


Winnebago challenges Army over remains (26:45)

Alaska lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to support a federal proposal that would investigate and document the forced assimilation of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian children in government-funded boarding schools.

House Joint Resolution 17 acknowledges the trauma Indian boarding schools inflicted on Indigenous communities in Alaska and across the country, said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. CJ McCormick, D-Bethel. There were more than 100 government-funded, church-run Alaska Native boarding schools in Alaska from the late 1800s through the 1960s, according to research presented by his office and the Alaska Native Heritage Center. They separated young children from their families and forcibly immersed them in Euro-American traditions and the English language.

McCormick said the legacy of abuse and intergenerational trauma continues to haunt Alaskans and requires acknowledgement.

“I think a lot of my colleagues were honestly kind of taken aback by the extent of these atrocities,” he said and described how research and testimony changed their minds. READ MOREAlaska Beacon


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