The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, March 24, 2013
It's our weekly roundup of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:
LIGHTNING STRIKES: Los-Angeles based Native hip hop act LightningCloud won the "Battle for the Best" competition, which pitted a group chosen by an L.A. radio station against one from New York. The finale took place by text vote and the result was announced at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.
MINE NOT YOURS: Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Chairman Mike Wiggins has announced a defense fund for his tribe’s legal fight to stop the permitting of the largest iron-ore, open-pit mine in the world slated for the headwaters of the Bad River, six miles from the reservation border in northern Wisconsin ceded territory. Wiggins, other Chippewa tribes in the area, and several environmental groups maintain that the mine's proposed location threatens the Kakagon and Bad River Sloughs, a 16,000-acre wetland complex at the mouths of the two rivers.
WASHINGTON R-WORDS: A new law banning the trademarking of the term “redskins” and other racist language against Native Americans may accomplish what a number of court cases have so far failed to do. The bill, called the Non-Disparagement of Native American Persons or Peoples in Trademark Registration Act of 2013, if passed, would strip the Washington football team of its trademarked name and put a stop to its exclusive profiteering from using the racist slur.
GANG MEMBERS FOUND GUILTY: Indian country in the Upper Midwest can feel a little safer following a March 19 decision that has federal prosecutors saying they’ve weakened a violent American Indian gang. The decision in the case of three members of the Native Mob resulted in a jury finding all men guilty.
WHO'S THE IMMIGRANT?: A remark about immigration by Kansas State Representative Ponka-We Victors, Ponca and Tohono O'odham, at a hearing in the Kansas House of Representatives attracted the attention of major media. Addressing Kris Kobach, Kansas' Secretary of State, Victors said, "I think it’s funny Mr. Kobach, because when you mention illegal immigrant, I think of all of you."
MARCH MADNESS: Paced by the flamboyant and high scoring Marshall Henderson, Choctaw, the Ole Miss Rebels knocked off the Wisconsin Badgers 57-46 in a huge upset in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Henderson, the leading scorer in the Southeastern Conference, overcame a slow start to finish with with 19 points.