The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, September 7, 2014


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

PANEL RETURNED: A major American foundation that anonymously purchased sacred objects during a fiercely contested auction in Paris last year has returned one of the pieces to Southeast Alaska Natives. The Annenberg Foundation is donating a Native panel to Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) that appears to be part of an old Tlingit bentwood box with a painted Chilkat design.

REPPING DOWN UNDER: Cher Thomas (Pima/Cocopah) was the sole Native American fashion designer at ‘The Indigenous Fashion Runway’ as part of Virgin Mobile Melbourne Spring Fashion Week in Melbourne, Australia.

CHANGE IN PLANS?: Faced with growing citizen opposition, Gogebic Taconite may be wavering in its plans to build one of the world’s biggest open pit iron ore mines in the pristine Penokee Mountains in Northern Wisconsin.

THINK OF THE CHILDREN: The Lifetime TV series Dance Moms did a full-on parody of Native culture on Tuesday night when five girls in the Abby Lee Dance Company competed for their instructor's approval in a number called "Tribal Council."

ON A ROLL: A federal court in Anchorage has sided with Alaska Natives who demanded that Alaska provide language assistance to non-English-proficient voters.

ANOTHER OUTLET TAKES A STAND: The New York Daily News pledged that it "will no longer refer to the Washington professional football team by its unacceptable nickname."

BIG NUMBER: New Mexico this fiscal year has passed the $100 million mark in mortgages to American Indian residents of the state through the HUD 184 loan program.

ANGELS: LightningCloud, the hip hop duo of MC Redcloud and his partner in crime (and life), Crystle Lightning, put on an event called Indigenous Angels, a benefit concert and auction for children fleeing the violence in Central America.

PARTIAL SUCCESS: A California high school has decided to drop its offensive mascot, a hooked-nose Arab with a thick beard and a large grin, after 83 years. The district and members of the Arab community are still in negotiations about what the new logo will look like; and at least for now, the school will hold on to its nickname, Arabs.

PRESERVATION CONTROVERSY: A historical preservationist has made it her personal mission to preserve the Winslow Indian Cemetery in Winslow, Arizona, but doing so may not be in line with traditional Navajo and Hopi beliefs.


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