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The Wrap: Lakota language featured in ‘The Avengers’


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Eric Jens Sr. remembers watching the first “Iron Man” movie with his son, immediately feeling captivated by the bold, eccentric character.

“We watched the first one, the second one and the third one,” Jens, a language teacher in South Dakota, said. “Anything that came out (from) Marvel with Iron Man in it, we went to watch it.”

So when Jens, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, was given the opportunity to voice the beloved Marvel hero in “The Avengers” completely in Lakota, he knew he couldn’t turn it down.

“It was like destiny,” Jens said. “We’d watched them all so many times that in English (my son) could repeat every word. Now, hopefully he’ll watch this and be able to repeat every word in Lakota.”

The 2012 superhero film features Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). READ MORELeah Mesquita, ICT

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PINE RIDGE, S.D. – On Saturday an Oglala Lakota veteran walked 22 miles in the summer heat carrying an American flag, a tribal flag and several weights inside a rucksack.

Marcus Palmier has completed this between seven and nine-hour journey once a year every year for the past three years. He walks 22 miles from his home in Batesland to the Pine Ridge Powwow arena to honor the 22 veterans who die by suicide every day. Palmier’s walk runs in conjunction with the annual Oglala Veterans Powwow, which was started in the 1980s as a place to honor Vietnam veterans when they returned home.

“At one point in my life things weren’t going well for me, I was struggling with adjusting to civilian life after living in the army for so long,” Palmier said. “There’s a lot of struggles my family helped me with and I’m grateful for that… they made me see the brighter side of the dark thoughts that I have. I want to be that support for other veterans, to let them know we’re not alone in this hard walk we do every day.”

In 2023, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs began offering suicide prevention services at all VA clinics, which over 50,000 veterans utilized. Unfortunately, for veterans on Pine Ridge the closest VA hospital is in Hot Springs which is 64 miles from the Pine Ridge community and even further for those living on the eastern side of the reservation. READ MOREAmelia Schafer, ICT and Rapid City Journal

HELENA, Mont. — The reported birth of a rare white buffalo in Yellowstone National Park fulfills a Lakota prophecy that portends better times, according to members of the American Indian tribe who cautioned that it’s also a signal that more must be done to protect the earth and its animals.

“The birth of this calf is both a blessing and warning. We must do more,” said Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the spiritual leader of the Lakota, Dakota and the Nakota Oyate in South Dakota, and the 19th keeper of the sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman Pipe and Bundle.

The birth of the sacred calf comes as after a severe winter in 2023 drove thousands of Yellowstone buffalo, also known as bison, to lower elevations. More than 1,500 were killed, sent to slaughter or transferred to tribes seeking to reclaim stewardship over an animal their ancestors lived alongside for millennia.

Erin Braaten of Kalispell took several photos of the calf shortly after it was born on June 4 in the Lamar Valley in the northeastern corner of the park. READ MOREAssociated Press

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Cowlitz youth honor salmon (26:45)

OKLAHOMA CITY — A new institute focused on tribal sovereignty is opening at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, in hopes of training students in not only state and federal but also tribal law.

This institute will function as a library and research center, filled with materials and coursework related to the history of tribal governments.

“We are going to be the only kind of institute in the state and region that is really focusing on tribal sovereignty issues, as well as a place for research and support for sovereignty,” said Jennifer Stevenson, assistant dean at OCU School of Law, in a Tuesday Tulsa World and ICT interview.

The Law Forms Tribal Sovereignty Institute at Oklahoma City University offers courses on tribal sovereignty to Oklahoma City University law students.

“The academic side of the Institute… will be for law students and will be a part of their JD degree program,” said Stevenson. “However, our hope, once an executive director is selected,… the school will develop programs, trainings and scholarships that would be available to tribal leaders, tribal members, judges, lawyers, and other policy makers.” READ MORE Felix Clary, ICT and Tulsa World

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What we’re reading:

  • This Indigenous community created a new blueprint to fight climate change
  • Trans Mountain looking to sell 30% stake to Indigenous groups, Alberta premier says
  • Makah Tribe will again be allowed to hunt gray whales off WA coast

We want your tips, but we also want your feedback. What should we be covering that we’re not? What are we getting wrong? Please let us know. dalton@ictnews.org.





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