The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, February 22, 2015


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

SUSPICIOUS RESEMBLANCE: On Tuesday, Crow/Northern Cheyenne designer Bethany Yellowtail saw a dress based on traditional Crow aesthetics on the runway at Fashion Week in New York City. Unfortunately, despite a clear similarity, it wasn't a B.Yellowtail design—it was a creation of the London-based label Kokon to Zai (KTZ).

PREVENTABLE TRAGEDY: Two toddlers died in a First Nation reserve fire in the wee hours of Tuesday February 17, as firefighters slept in the neighboring village—unsummoned because there was no longer a contract, officials said the next day.

PUT IT TO A VOTE: The Navajo Nation Supreme Court on Friday ordered an election to take place “as soon as possible and without further delay” and for only two candidates – Joe Shirley Jr. and Russell Begaye – to be on the ballots. The court’s opinion struck down legislation that would have allowed a repeat of last year’s primary election with all 17 original candidates competing again for the Nation’s highest elected position.

MAKING MOVIES: Award-winning actress Irene Bedard (Inupiat/Yup'ik/Cree)  has announced that she plans to make a film version of the 1993 novel Two Old Women through her production company Sleeping Lady Films Waking Giants Productions.

UNLIKELY IMAGE: Once again, the debate over the alleged tintype photo of Crazy Horse has surfaced. True West magazine in its January 2015 issue features "100 Best Historical Photos of the American Indian," and photo number 97 includes the tantalizing caption, "Is This Crazy Horse?"

WOLVES SAVED AGAIN: In Wyoming and the Great Lakes states, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service once again accorded gray wolves endangered species protection. This means that in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and surrounding states, wolves cannot be hunted or trapped.

SUICIDE CRISIS: Since mid-December, five Oglala Sioux youths between the ages of 12 and 15 have committed suicide on the 3,500-square-mile Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. That includes three deaths since January 31, and officials are reporting additional suicide attempts.

THREATENED VILLAGES: Kivalina, Alaska and other Native villages affected by climate change were on the radar of U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell this week as she toured and promised aid.

WHO'S THE SAVAGE?: Seminal Native American rock group XIT, dubbed the Beatles of Indian country for the popularity of their early-70s albums Plight of the Redman (1972) and Silent Warrior (1973), have recorded a song protesting the Washington Redskins team name and mascot, as well as stereotypes in general.

FIGHTING CHANCE: Tat Romero, a welterweight who has Metis Michif/Apache ancestry, has a 24-5 professional record. And he's on a six-fight winning streak. The 34-year-old will step back into the ring on Mar. 6 to battle Benjamin Smith in the main event of a Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) card at the Mystic Casino in Prior Lake, MN.

YOUNG WARRIORS: Photographer Tailinh Agoyo has a vision of a younger Indigenous generation saving the Earth—not just a younger generation, but the youngest generation. Agoyo has launched The Warrior Project: Indigenous Children Defend the Planet to capture images of and wisdom from children who are concerned about the environment.

TALENT ON DISPLAY: 28-year-old Jolonzo Guy Goldtooth, Navajo, showed creations from his JG Indie label at the PLITZS Designer Showcase at New York Fashion Week 2015.


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