The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, July 27, 2014


It's our recap of the biggest stories in Indian country:

BRUTAL MURDER: The bodies of two homeless Navajo men, beaten to death with a cinder block and other objects, were found in an open field in northwest Albuquerque. Three teenagers are each being charged with two open counts of murder, tampering with evidence, three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and robbery. Navajo President Ben Shelly is calling for answers.

DESTINATION UNKNOWN: An appellate court in Los Angeles is reviewing whether or not Baby A should be placed with relatives under the "preferred placement preferences" of both state and federal Indian Child Welfare statutes, or remain with a foster couple who are claiming "de facto parent" status, with the same rights as biological parents.

SHOWTIME: At the WNBA All-Star Game, Umatilla rookie Shoni Schimmel, who plays for the Atlanta Dream but does not start, poured in an unprecedented 29 points to lead her East All-Stars team to a one-point overtime win.

NDNS ON TV: Model and actor Rick Mora is seeking backing for a documentary TV series to be called Native America. "We want to feature the beauty, politics and roles various tribes played in the development of the United States," Mora says.

MY BROTHER'S KEEPER: President Barack Obama announced July 21 that the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has committed to lead a Native American Task Force to advance the important work of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.

NUGE NIXED: Ted Nugent was booked to play a concert at the Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort Hotel in Worley, Idaho, on August 4 -- but the show has been canceled due to concern over what the tribe called the rocker's "racist and hate-filled remarks."

MEMORIAL VANDALIZED: RCMP investigators in Port Alberni, British Columbia are looking for whoever vandalized a memorial commemorating survivors who went to the Alberni Indian Residential School. The vandalism occurred on June 27.

GRACIOUS VICTORS: Germany’s championship World Cup soccer team showed gratitude and respect to the Pataxo indigenous Brazilian community in July first with a monetary gift and then an invitation to come back to Germany to discuss issues of demarcation of land with their government and Brazil’s.

HIPSTER HEADDRESSES GO HOME: The Bass Coast Electronic Music and Arts Festival, which takes place August 1-4 in Merritt, British Columbia, has taken the unprecedented step of banning feather headdresses (or "warbonnets") at the event.

THIS ONE'S OK: Members of the Ramapough Lenape Nation in southern New York and in parts of northern New Jersey say that the image of a Native American on the city’s letterhead, business cards and web site is not disparaging or derogatory, unlike the Redskins trademark.

NATIONALS GO BRONZE: The Iroquois Nationals secured their first-ever medal in the World Lacrosse Championships finals on Saturday, July 19 beating Australia 16-5 for the the bronze medal.

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