The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, September 28, 2014


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

RESTORING BISON: In the first cross-border indigenous treaty in 150 years, several plains tribes in Alberta, Canada and Montana, U.S. have signed a treaty to restore bison to the 6.3 million acres of grassland and prairie land that is under their collective control.

CIVIL RIGHTS: The Oglala Sioux Nation and a nonpartisan civil rights group formed at the request of President John Kennedy have filed a voting-rights lawsuit on behalf of voters from the tribe’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. “Our civil rights are being violated,” said Tom Poor Bear, Oglala Sioux vice president and lead plaintiff.

THE WEAPON OF SATIRE: The Washington Redskins took two hits from Comedy Central this week: First, the franchise and its owner Dan Snyder were mocked remorselessly by South Park, then the Daily Show aired a segment that controversially featured a face-to-face meeting between unwitting Redskins fans and American Indian activists

FIGHTING DISEASE: Twenty-two tribes and indigenous organizations in 15 states will receive a total of $11.3 million in grants from the Centers for Disease Control to combat chronic diseases commonly plaguing Indian country.

GOODBYE COLUMBUS: The City of Seattle is expected to abolish Columbus Day and make the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

INDIGENOUS WIN: Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq won the Polaris Prize, an award given annually to the best album by a Canadian artist, based on polling of Canadian music critics.

TIGER LILY PICKED: An upcoming musical production of Peter Pan, notably featuring Christopher Walken in the role of Captain Hook, has picked actress Alanna Saunders to play Tiger Lily. The show will be televised nationally on NBC on Thursday, December 4, as Peter Pan Live!.

CREATOR'S GAME STAR: The 27-year-old Mohawk lacrosse player Cody Jamieson, who lives in the Six Nations community of Ohsweken, was chosen as the National Lacrosse League's Most Valuable Player.

BIG MARCH: More than 400,000 like-minded people, among them political leaders, movie stars and Native activists, thronged the streets of New York City in the People's Climate March on Sunday. Just 48 later, actor and anti-Tar Sands activist Leonardo DiCaprio told the attendees of the United Nations Climate Summit that “I believe that mankind has looked at climate change ... as if it were a fiction."

NOT YOUR FATHER'S HISTORY CLASS: The new exam for high school Advanced Placement U.S. History students has raised an outcry among conservatives from Texas to Georgia.

ON STAGE WITH LEGENDS: The 25-year-old Native hip hop star Frank Waln performed at "Harvest the Hope,” a Keystone XL oil pipeline protest concert, with Willie Nelson and Neil Young.


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