James Abourezk, who was the first Arab American U.S. senator, has died. He was a South Dakota Democrat who grew up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation and was known for his quick wit as he advocated for populist causes. Abourezk’s son, Charles Abourezk, said his father died at his home in Sioux Falls on Friday after going into hospice care earlier this week. Abourezk represented South Dakota for single terms in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate during the 1970s. He was the first chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and authored the Indian Child Welfare Act. After retiring from the Senate, he founded the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. He died on his birthday, at the age of 92.
A grand jury in Nevada has indicted a “Dances With Wolves” actor who is accused of sexually abusing and trafficking Indigenous women and girls in the U.S. and Canada for decades. As of Wednesday, 46-year-old Nathan Chasing Horse faces 19 counts in four jurisdictions, and is scheduled to be arraigned March 1 in Clark County District Court. Police in Las Vegas have described Chasing Horse as a cult leader who used his position as a self-proclaimed medicine man to gain access to Indigenous girls and women. His public defender, Kristy Holton, says the state’s case has holes, and that she’s looking forward to revealing them.
Those are your headlines at this hour. I’m Colette Keith in the KIPI News center.