The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, May 5, 2013
It's our weekly roundup of the stories that mattered most in Indian Country:
DJ'S BAD EP: London-born, Germany-based DJ TAI ran into a firestorm of controversy with his "Indian Kill EP," released on the Dim Mak label owned by Steve Aoki, but issued an apology almost immediately.
BOLIVIAN MARCHING PAPERS: For the second time since 2008, Bolivian President Evo Morales has said he would expel the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), charging the agency with “political interference” with peasant unions and social organizations and of conspiring against his leftist government.
GOOGLE DOODLER: Jenna Hooper, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, was chosen as the Oklahoma state winner in the Doodle 4 Google contest. She’s now eligible for a chance to win $30,000 in the national competition. Not only that, but she and her dad, Kevin Hooper, will be flown to New York City for an awards banquet on May 22.
ASSESSMENT LACKING: Noting a lack of “critical information” about potential impacts to water supply, sacred sites and other aspects of tribal life governed by treaty and environmental stewardship, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has urged the U.S. government to either fill the gaps in its environmental assessment of the Keystone XL pipeline or reject it entirely.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU: On Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, casting for the Navajo-dubbed version of Star Wars took place at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona.
WOUNDED KNEE FOR SALE: The May 1 deadline came and went without a word from the Oglala Sioux Tribe, so James Czywczynski, who owns the site of the Wounded Knee massacre, has put the land on the open market.
THIS IS A RAID: The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the Shinnecock Indian Nation reservation on May 1 and conducted a search of the tribal Gaming Authority’s offices and the home of a member of the Gaming Authority.
WASHINGTON TYRANT: RG3, perhaps better known as Robert Griffin III, the star quarterback of the Washington Redskins took to Twitter to air his views about the D.C. NFL club's controversial name, considered racist by many Native Americans. “In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness,” RG3 tweeted on his official Twitter account.
NGS LEASE RENEWED, FOR NOW: The Navajo Nation Council has approved a controversial renewal to the tribe’s lease with the Navajo Generating Station – but with 15 amendments that could break the deal.
SNOW BOWL HEADWAY: The Hopi Tribe may have hit on a successful strategy to oppose snowmaking with reclaimed sewage on the sacred San Francisco Peaks, near Flagstaff, Arizona. The Hopi Tribe had originally filed suit in Coconino County Superior Court, in Flagstaff, in February of 2011. Among other claims, they said Flagstaff’s contract to sell reclaimed water to Arizona Snowbowl, the ski resort, for snowmaking equates to a “public nuisance.”
POET LAUREATE NAMED: Elmer Guy, president of Navajo Technical College, announced the appointment of Luci Tapahonso as the Navajo Nation’s first Poet Laureate. Tapahonso will officially assume her role for the two-year position at the college’s commencement ceremonies on May 17, Guy said in revealing the award.
REVISIONIST HISTORY: Billboards in Greeley, Colorado featuring American Indians have created quite a stir with their message. The billboards feature an image of what appears to be three American Indians in traditional attire with the words “Turn in your arms. The government will take care of you.”