The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, September 29, 2013


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

SAD FAREWELL: The Cherokee Nation mourned as "Baby Veronica" was returned to her adoptive family

FISH RETURN: Northwest tribes are exultant to see nearly a million fall Chinook salmon returning to the Columbia River this year, nearly 400,000 more than have returned since the Bonneville Dam was built 75 years ago.

PHOSPHORUS VS. THEM: With a $57 million price tag, the EPA’s new plan to cope with pollution at a defunct phosphorus plant on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation would appear to be ambitious. But for many Shoshone-Bannock tribal members living on the reservation, the plan doesn’t go nearly far enough.

SMURF YOU LATER: Paul "Papa Smurf" Karason, the man who turned blue after taking colloidal silver for dermatitis has died, though not from his self-administered medical regimen.

DON'T BET ON IT: The South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Nation wants to build a casino just over the state line in North Carolina, but faces fierce opposition from the North Carolina-based Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who own and operate the successful Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort some 130 miles away.

HARPER'S RIGHTS RECORD: Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) hammered lawyer Keith Harper’s human rights record involving American Indians at a September 24 hearing of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The hearing was part of the Senate confirmation process for Harper to become a U.S. representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Leaders of the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Maine are also questioning Harper’s commitment to human rights given his treatment of the tribe during negotiations of their copy2 million tribal trust settlement with the Obama administration last year.

WINDS OF CHANGE: Three powerful groups have denounced the Washington football team’s use of the name "Redskins," and a new radio advertisement released by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York cites those three reasons for why the slur should not be used.

STILL BOYCOTTING: The Ute Indian Tribe’s (Northern Utes) economic boycott in an adjoining town continues in an effort to halt civil rights offenses the tribe says have occurred over decades despite requests to “treat tribal members with dignity and respect reservation boundaries.”

WHITE AND WRONG: By mid-afternoon on Sunday, September 22, Last Real Indians, reported on its Facebook page, “White supremacists have raised their flag over the town of Leith, ND.” The news came as hundreds of Native Americans and others flocked to the tiny North Dakota town of Leith, population 24, to protest a group of American neo-Nazis who plan to take over the town and make it “an all-white enclave.”


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