The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, August 10, 2014
It's our recap of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:
TEAM BUILDING: As part of its ongoing push for portfolio diversification, the Mohegan Tribal Nation announced the purchase of the Philadelphia Wings Lacrosse Team on Thursday, August 6. Mitchell Etess, Mohegan Sun’s chief executive officer, Mohegan Gaming Authority, said the authority has purchased one-half of the team, which is being moved to Connecticut to play at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
CAVEAT VENDOR: Zuni Pueblo notified artists that they'd be able to sell Redskins-branded art to team representatives who will be visiting on Monday. The announcement also advised artists to "be respectful when you arrive. Do not smell of alcohol, marijuana, or be under the influence."
ANOTHER EXXON VALDEZ: A tailings pond breach has sent rivers of toxic slurry cascading into three lakes in British Columbia, contaminating drinking water, endangering major salmon runs and prompting a fishing ban. A local state of emergency has been declared, and First Nations are furious.
SOVEREIGN SECURITY: On Friday, August 1, 27 members of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Police received the power to arrest non-Natives on tribal land. “Up until now they could only hold and detain non-tribal members until the state police could come and make the arrest,” William Satti, director of public affairs for the Mashantucket Pequot Nation, said.
BIG STINK: AIM activists protested Ted Nugent in Sturgis, South Dakota on Wednesday; following the action, Nugent described them on his Facebook page as "stinkyass unclean dipshit protestors."
OLD AS THE HILLS: Estimates of the age of Serpent Mound in rural Adams County, Ohio, have been radically revised as the result of a new radiocarbon analysis, suggesting that the mound is about 1,400 years older than conventionally thought.
DEATH THREATS: Federal Police in Brazil will investigate a series of death threats made against the internationally respected Yanomami leader Davi Kopenawa. Along with indigenous leaders and advocates such as Survival International, Kopanewa has been lobbying for official protection since May after he started to receive death threats from gold miners operating illegally on Yanomami territory in the Brazilian state of Roraima.
RIVER RIGHTS: A Navajo lawsuit to force the federal government to honor tribal claims to the Colorado River was dismissed on procedural grounds in federal court earlier this month. On the one hand, the lawsuit’s fate doesn’t have a direct bearing on Navajos’ rights to water from Colorado River. On the other, it casts doubt on whether those rights will ever actually be quantified.
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