The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, April 5, 2015


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

CLEARLY WRONG: No fewer than 16 groups have come out against the Ontario provincial government for the resumption of clear-cutting on Grassy Narrows First Nation territory.

TRAGEDY: When Shane Riley brought his wife Jeanetta to the hospital because she was threatening self-harm, he was trying to save her life. But 15 seconds after the mentally ill, pregnant 36-year-old Native woman arrived, she was dead—shot by police while wielding a knife.

PRESTIGIOUS PROJECT: Shaun Peterson, Puyallup, has been selected for a commission on the Seattle Waterfront. Peterson's art is a showcase of Coast Salish traditions for the modern world, and he's experienced in creating public installations.

MEETING THE PEOPLE: United States Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), vice chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, visited the Snoqualmie Falls with members of the Snoqualmie Tribal Council.

NOT FOR SALE: The Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah has removed its tribal chairwoman for receiving extravagant gifts from the Washington Football team’s Original Americans Foundation. Tribal Chairwoman Gari Pikyavit Lafferty has been accused of going on an all-expenses-paid VIP trip to Washington, D.C., where she and family attended a Washington football team game in September of last year.

ICWA VICTORY: On Monday, a federal judge issued a landmark decision affirming that officials in South Dakota violated numerous provisions in the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and denied Indian parents their rights under the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.

INDIANA BOYCOTT: Author Sherman Alexie has canceled two appearances in the state of Indiana, joining a rising tide of groups and individuals who are boycotting the state to protest the Religious Freedom Restoration Act law that was signed into law by Governor Mike Pence.

NECESSARY MOVE: More than a century of change on the Sauk River—glacial retreat, logging in the watershed, and alterations downstream—is forcing the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe to move homes, administrative offices, and a longhouse farther upland and away from the river.

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