The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, August 18, 2013

ICTMN Staff
8/18/13

It's our weekly roundup of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:

BABY VERONICA SAGA CONTINUES: Oklahoma State authorities arrested Dusten Brown, birth father of Baby Veronica, on a "custodial interference" charge filed by the pre-adoptive couple, Matt and Melanie Capobianco in South Carolina, in connection with his failure to appear in a South Carolina courtroom August 4 for a scheduled four-hour visitation to begin his daughter Veronica's transition to the Capobianco family. Days later, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin issued a threat to Brown in signing an extradition warrant from South Carolina unless Brown "cooperated" with the Capobiancos. 

ANTI-COAL: The Quinault Indian Business Committee has passed a resolution opposing proposals to export coal from the Pacific Northwest.

INDIAN MARKET WEEK: The Santa Fe Indian Market took place on August 17-18, with associated events happening during the days leading up. It's the first Indian Market under SWAIA head John Torres-Nez, who spoke to ICTMN of a "leaner, meaner, hipper, cooler Indian Market."

THREATS OVER WOUNDED KNEE: James Czywczynski, the current owner of the Wounded Knee site has told the Oglala Sioux Tribe they have until September 2 to purchase the land. If no one steps forward to purchase the land for the tribe, Czywczynski says he will hold a public auction for the land.

BOOZE ON PINE RIDGE: In a public referendum vote on Wednesday, August 14, tribal members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation voted to overturn the ban of alcohol with a vote of 1,843 in favor and 1,678 against.

CASINO CHALLENGED: Opponents of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's proposed resort casino in Taunton, Massachusetts, have latched onto the Supreme Court's 2009 Carcieri decision as a means of derailing the project. The opposition group Preserving Taunton's Future announced in July that the Bureau of Indian Affairs had said it would consider documents purporting to show the tribe was not under federal jurisdiction in 1934.

VOTING RIGHTS SUIT: Plaintiffs and defendants both claimed victory on August 6, when U.S. District Court Judge Karen Schreier dismissed the Native voting-rights lawsuit Brooks v. Gant. Oglala Sioux Tribe members had sued South Dakota state and county officials, seeking a satellite early-voting and registration office that would give them elections in their own county and equal to those other South Dakotans enjoy.

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