The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, April 6, 2014


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

WINNERS: At the 2014 Juno Awards ceremonies, the DJ collective A Tribe Called Red was named Breakthrough Group of the Year, and Surrender by singer-songwriter George Leach captured Aboriginal Album of the Year honors.

BIG HIRE: Ted Nolan, Ojibwe, was named head coach of the Buffalo Sabres after serving as the club’s interim head coach since mid-November. He signed a three-year contract extension.

A LOOK BACK: 40 years ago, the rock group Redbone made a run to the top 5 of the U.S. charts. ICTMN spoke with Pat Vegas, the group's bassist.

MUCH ADO: Following a comedy bit on the Colbert Report that was intended to satirize Dan Snyder's Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation, Stephen Colbert became the target of a grassroots Twitter campaign by Asian Americans who objected to his joke. The vehement demands for Colbert's cancellation effectively drowned out the Native outrage over the original story.

BRILLIANT CAREER: Shoni Schimmel, Umatilla, finished her Louisville Cardinals college basketball career with 31 points in a loss to Maryland in the NCAA Tournament.

FESTIVAL BOUND: Drunktown's Finest, a film about Gallup, New Mexico starring such young Native talent as Jeremiah Bitsui, Carmen Moore, Morningstar Angeline and Kiowa Gordon, a Sundance Film Festival standout, and is now finding its way to other film festivals.

SDPI EXTENDED: Native health advocates have been pressing for years for a permanent reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI), but the federal government says tribes and Indians will have to settle for another one-year extension.

CANCEL THIS: The Peruvian TV character known as “Paisana Jacinta” is racist and insulting to indigenous people according to Congresswoman Hilaria Supa, a Quechua leader and human rights activist. Supa publicly called on the Frequencia Latina Channel to remove the “Paisana Jacinta” show from the air.

ARTIFACTS SEIZED: A collection of cultural artifacts that took a 91-year-old Indiana man eight decades to amass was seized by the FBI. There were American Indian items among the collection of Don Miller, who has not been charged or arrested.

SOVEREIGNTY: U.S. Rep. Steve Daines (R-Montana) has introduced a bill that he hopes will correct a federal error that has hurt the Northern Cheyenne Tribe for more than a century. The Northern Cheyenne Lands Act (H.R. 4350) would allow the tribe more control over their lands, minerals and trust funds, while strengthening tribal sovereignty for the tribe and increasing the tribe’s ability to serve its people.

URANIUM CLEANUP: Kerr-McGee Corp. and its parent Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will pay a record $5.15 billion to remediate polluted industrial sites around the U.S., with $1 billion of that going to uranium cleanup on the Navajo Nation, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS: An indigenous student has written an open letter to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign administrators and all indigenous and Native peoples of the world saying she wants to commit suicide. She says she would use a gun on the school’s quad because of the painful burden she experiences in dealing with the Chief Illiniwek mascot.

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