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The Wrap: ‘Honoring the salmon’

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Rain poured down from the cloudy gray skies above as community from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe gathered at the tribe’s property on the Cowlitz River. The smell of fire smoke wafted through the air, mingling with the delighted screams and laughter of young children.

Welcome to the First Salmon Ceremony, an important and long-standing tradition for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe – one that took on added significance after the tribe regained federal recognition as a sovereign nation in 2002.

“It has been happening for eons,” said Bill Iyall, recently elected for his second stint as chairman of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. “After recognition, we decided this is a critical element of our culture to return.”

On June 2, over a hundred people, mostly Cowlitz tribal citizens, gathered at Cowlitz Landing in Toledo, Washington. They came together at the tribe’s 32-acre property despite the dreary weather to share laughter, food and ceremony, and to thank the salmon for feeding their community since time immemorial. This year, Cowlitz youth played a central role in preparing and cooking the salmon to feed their community. READ MORE. Nika Bartoo-Smith, Underscore News + ICT


A Connecticut city on Sunday dedicated a new monument to immigrants to replace a statue of Christopher Columbus that was removed in 2020 amid nationwide criticism of the European explorer’s role in enslaving and killing Native Americans.

The statue in New Haven’s heavily Italian neighborhood of Wooster Square depicts a young immigrant family as they arrive in America with just a handful of suitcases.

The statue was made by local artist Marc-Anthony Massaro and is called “Indicando la Via al Futuro,” or “Pointing the way to the future.”

The 1,400-pound bronze sculpture depicts a father holding a suitcase in one hand and his son in his other. The son is pointing his finger to something in the distance while his mother stands behind his sister, who is clutching a book.

The Columbus statue had stood in the park for more than a century but was taken down by the city after a local high school student organized a petition seeking its removal. — Associated Press

Federal prosecutors have accused a Fairbanks woman for stealing from an Alaska Native tribe after she allegedly took money from a tribally owned bingo parlor while working there.

Mesepa Tagovailoa has agreed to plead guilty, according to documents filed Wednesday with the U.S. District Court for Alaska.

According to prosecutors, Tagovailoa improperly took more than $4,000 belonging to Chena Bingo while working as a manager there.

While the alleged crime involved a relatively small amount of money, Chena Bingo is co-owned by the Tanana Chiefs Conference, the Village of Grayling (a federally recognized tribe), the Fairbanks Native Association and the Athabascan Fiddlers Association.

A hearing has been scheduled for July 11. — Alaska Beacon

A Guatemalan lawyer who worked closely with organizations representing farmworkers and Indigenous groups was killed in an apparent ambush, human rights organizations said Thursday.

José Domingo was with two members of the United Farmworkers Committee when they were shot by a group of men Wednesday south of the capital, said Daniel Pascual, a leader of that organization.

Guatemalan authorities had not commented on the attack. The other two men were wounded, one seriously, Pascual said.

Domingo was helping to legalize a land title in the area, Pascual said. Land ownership issues are often contentious in rural Guatemala where Indigenous peoples and farmworkers struggle to obtain title to the land they live on and frequently face illegal evictions.

“It was an ambush, the crime was planned and premeditated,” Pascual said. “Common criminals don’t act that way.”

Domingo had defended the farmworker organization in a number of cases, as well as other Indigenous groups. — Associated Press

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On Monday’s ICT Newscast, a new CDC report shows concerning data for pregnant people and COVID-19 infections. Rapid City invests in brick and mortar for Native Americans. For Pride Month, a Two-Spirit powwow in San Francisco.


06-10-24 Newscast (26:46)

A large chunk of a twisting mountain pass road collapsed in Wyoming, authorities said Saturday, leaving a gaping chasm in the highway and severing a well-traveled commuter link between small towns in eastern Idaho and the tourist destination of Jackson.

Aerial photos and drone video of the collapse show the Teton Pass road riven with deep cracks, and a big section of the pavement disappeared altogether. Part of the guardrail dangled into the void, and orange traffic drums marked off the danger area. The road was closed at the time of the collapse.

The section that failed first drew attention Thursday when a crack and drop in the road contributed to the crash of a motorcycle.

Geologists and engineers who were sent to the area that day noticed “that crack and that drop started to move a lot,” said Stephanie Harsha, a spokesperson for District 3 of the Wyoming Department of Transportation. A paving crew temporarily patched the road, and traffic began moving again that night.

But that was short-lived as maintenance crews were sent to respond to a mudslide a couple of miles away in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, prompting the road to be closed once again. — Associated Press


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