The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country
It’s our roundup of all the big news coming out of Indian country:
• SCORE ONE FOR NATIVES USING SOCIAL MEDIA: A furor erupted over a t-shirt being sold at The Gap bearing the words "Manifest Destiny." Outraged Natives took to Facebook, demanding The Gap pull the item, which was produced in a partnership with GQ magazine. Eventually, The Gap announced that it was removing the shirt from its online and brick-and-mortar stores.
• THE RENEGADE REID: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) spoke with ICTMN about a number of subjects, including the current Presidential race, a Carcieri fix, and Indian gaming. “One reason I care so much about Indians is that they remind me of me,” Reid said. “I’m able to talk to Indians about where I was born, what I came from.”
• BABY VERONICA AND ICWA ON TRIAL: On Thursday, on The Dr. Phil Show, Dr. Phil McGraw spoke with Matt and Melanie Capobianco, the non-native adoptive parents of 3-year-old Veronica (Cherokee), who was removed from her home in South Carolina at the age of 2 this past New Year’s Eve to live with her biological father, Dusten Brown, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Many viewers found the show to be a biased attack on the Indian Child Welfare Act, and mounted a Facebook campaign against the program. "Dr Phil showed a complete disrespect for Indian tribes. The only ignorant racists I watched were Dr Phil and his guests," said one commenter.
• SAINT MOHAWK: More than 2,000 Mohawks have journeyed to the Vatican in Rome to witness the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th-century Mohawk woman. Last December, Pope Benedict XVI signed a decree recognizing a miracle performed by Kateri related to the recovery of Lummi youth Jake Finkbonner, who was afflicted with a flesh-eating strep bacterium. Kateri will become the first Native American saint.
• THE PATRIOTISM CARD: U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-California, currently in a dead heat in her race for re-election with Democratic challenger Raul Ruiz, has recently put out a series of ads, statements, a press release, and campaign tweets indicating that Ruiz is anti-American for his past support of causes identified with American Indians. Bono Mack’s new ad asserts that Ruiz is “attacking Thanksgiving and our American values.”