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This weekend and next week in Indian Country, the Indigenous animals and people of the Plains get their due at the zoo, Muscogee Nation hosts a hot premiere, and a boundlessly talented Tlingit weaver makes waves at a spirited art show. 

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Most of my art viewing is on purpose. I hear about something new or intriguing and seek it out. So it’s a joy for me to discover art where I’m not expecting it — art I know nothing about in advance. That happened last weekend when I took a road trip to Deception Pass State Park, which spans Fidalgo and Whidbey islands.

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DEADWOOD, S.D. — The annual Days of ’76 Parade and Rodeo in Deadwood, S.D. started earlier this week with days of celebrations that includes an award-winning rodeo, a beauty pageant, parades, and a curated live performance showcasing Lakota and Native culture. Highlights of each day, including a curated Native Lakota production, will be broadcasted nationally on The Cowboy Channel this Friday, July 30 and Saturday, July 31.

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The release of the soaring Raven stamp, a fresh Indigenous performance art series, and an exciting, enriching event for elders are all on the agenda this weekend and next week in Indian Country.

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This weekend and next week, Indian Country is brimming with art, culture and style, from mind-blowing Mohawk baskets, to a grand cultural center debut for the Choctaw Nation, to a stunning and strong fashion statement by a barrier-breaking Indigenous politician.   

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CHICAGO —The “Windy City” is undergoing a cultural reckoning, especially within the public art scene, and Native people are making their presence known. Just below the city’s ever-changing skyline is its RiverWalk that caters to tourists by offering architectural boat tours and restaurants/bars along the southside of the Chicago River. Above the ticket stands is a mural with an eloquent reminder, “Bodéwadmikik ėthë yéyék/You are on Potawatomi Land.” 

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Summer was one of my favorite times of the year as a child, not just for summer vacation from school, but for me it meant that the fair was coming to the Choctaw Reservation. Our fair, in Neshoba County, means different things to each of us, but collectively, it is a time to get together as a tribe and showcase our rich culture and openly invite the public to visit us and learn about us in our homeland that my ancestors refused to leave during the removal period of the 1820s and 1830s. 

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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Artwork is now being accepted for the 26th annual Cherokee Homecoming Art Show & Sale, which is being held in coordination with the 69th annual Cherokee National Holiday, scheduled for Aug. 27 – Sept. 25 at the Cherokee National Research Center. Due to continued concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic, the show is being offered both virtually and in person.

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This weekend and next week, Indian Country is hopping with shopping opportunities, community Powwows, and traveling totem poles.

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This week in Indian Country, Indigenous artists, dancers, and others are sharing their history with the public—and in some cases, confronting injustice.