The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, March 2, 2014

ICTMN Staff
3/2/14

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

BODY FOUND: The body of Loretta Saunders, an Inuit woman who researching the plight of missing and murdered indigenous women in New Brunswick, was found just days after her tenants were arrested with her car hundreds of miles away. Saunders, 26, was last seen alive on February 13.

EAGLE KILLED: Authorities in Iowa are seeking the killer or killers of a golden eagle that was found shot in the northwestern part of the state late last week. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said the eagle was killed either on Tuesday February 18 or early on Wednesday the 19th.

MINING PROJECT REJECTED: First Nations across Canada on February 27 were lauding the federal government’s final rejection of a mining proposal that would have destroyed Tsilhquot’in sacred lands and caused untold environmental damage. “We are celebrating this decision to reject once again this terrible project, which threatened our pristine waters, fish and aboriginal rights,” said Chief Joe Alphonse, tribal chair for the Tsilhqot’in National Government.

GOING OUT WITH A BANG: Tickets sales are spiking for the March 3 matchup women's college basketball matchup between the Louisville Cardinals and the University of Connecticut Huskies. The game will be the last home appearance by Shoni Schimmel in a Louisville uniform, and Native Americans have been responsible for a good deal of ticket sales.

HUMETEWA CLEARS HURDLE: On February 27, the Senate Judiciary approved by a voice vote the nomination of Hopi citizen Diane Humetewa to become a judge for the U.S. District Court for Arizona. She now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

FAIR PAY: Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker signed an executive order on February 21 raising the Cherokee Nation’s minimum wage to $9.50 over the next two years. The current Cherokee Nation minimum wage stands at $9 per hour, already well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

NATIVES ON TV: The Red Road, a fictional drama revolving around the Ramapough Lenape tribal community in the New Jersey mountains, premiered on Sundance TV. The show stars Native Hawaiian actor Jason Momoa, last seen on TV in Game of Thrones.

CHOOSING SIDES: Some Natives have expressed concern over the nomination of Keith Harper to serve as a United Nations ambassador for human rights. Others, including a prominent group of Native women, continue to show support.

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