The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, June 16, 2013

June 16, 2013

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

GRANTLAND WEIGHS IN: The popular sports and pop culture website took a poke at Dan Snyder and the Washington Pigskins regarding their offensive team name. The open letter begins: "Dear Dan Snyder, History tends to be unkind to those who make bold proclamations against change..."

REST IN PEACE: Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly commemorated the passing of two Navajo Code Talkers who were laid to rest this week. In addition, he ordered the Navajo Nation Flag be flown at half-staff from sunrise June 14 through sundown June 18.

TRIBE DENIED: On June 12, the Springdale, Utah town council denied a request by the Pauite Indian Tribe to rezone  178 acres of hillside land from residential to commercial so the Paiutes could build a cultural center. The vote was a unanimous 5-0 against the tribe's proposal.

POPCORN ECONOMY: The Lower Brule Tribe in South Dakota hopes to leverage its popcorn enterprise into a driver of inter-tribal economic development, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has just awarded the tribe a $300,000 Value-Added Producer Grant to help.

EAGLES IN DANGER: According to documents obtained by the Osage Nation, Wind Capital Group, which wants to build a 94-turbine wind farm between Pawhuska and Ponca City, is seeking a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to kill “multiple eagles per year,” up to 120 of them during the life of the project.

TWO BULLS RECOGNIZED: The Associated Press spotlighted one of Indian country's leading satirists -- Marty Two Bulls, cartoonist for ICTMN.

GOODELL DEFENDS NAME: In a letter, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spelled out the NFL's position on the Redskins name: "For the team's millions of fans and customers, who represent one of America's most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect."

THE ROAD: On June 9, Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly broke ground on the Navajo Route 20, during a ceremony held at Tsinaabaas Habitiin Elementary School in Bodaway-Gap, Arizona.

SKYHAWK SPEAKS: In a wide-ranging interview, actor and activist Sonny Skyhawk discussed the controversy surrounding Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto in the upcoming film The Lone Ranger. "To only show the stereotypical is to deprive the American Indian of due process and the pursuit of the America Dream," he said.

HARPER NOMINATED: On Monday, June 10 President Barack Obama announced his nominations for six key administration posts and two appointments. Among the nominations was that of Cherokee Nation citizen Keith M. Harper.


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