The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, July 12, 2015


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

GOALS ON FILM: San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski, a member of the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma, is featured in a three-part series that captures his rise to the top in Major League Soccer, and how his Native American roots have influenced his style of play.

APOLOGY NOTED: In a landmark speech, Pope Francis apologized on Thursday for the “grave sins” of colonialism against Indigenous Peoples of America in a speech to grassroots groups in Bolivia.

VANDAL NABBED: A Peebles, Ohio, man who took a thrill ride in a four-wheel-drive truck across Ohio’s sacred Serpent Mound over the July 4th weekend, leaving ugly tread marks across the lush green landscape, was nabbed thanks to video cameras installed at the site.

DOCTORS IN THE HOUSE: The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center recently graduated a record 39 American Indians in the health professions.

BACK OFF: The Tohono O’odham Nation has sued the state of Arizona over a partially-built casino outside of Phoenix, asking that it and gaming department officials be enjoined from trying to prevent the big project from opening.

DESERVED HONOR: Seattle’s newest middle school will be named for the late Robert Eagle Staff, Lakota, principal of American Indian Heritage High School from 1989-1996.

EPA KUDOS: Creative use of storm water and runoff has earned the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians kudos from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the form of a regional 2015 Rain Catcher Award in the Tribal Category for their Native Plant Facility project in western North Carolina.

SACKED FOR A LOSS: On Wednesday, a federal judge in Northern Virginia ordered the cancellation of six of the Washington football team’s seven trademark registrations. The decision comes more than a year after the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board found the name of the team to be “disparaging to Native Americans.”

BRING HIM HOME: The campaign to bring the remains of legendary Native athlete Jim Thorpe home is gathering support after lawyers representing Thorpe’s two remaining sons, Bill and Richard Thorpe, along with the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, filed a writ of certiorari to petition the Court to hear their case after losing in U.S Appeals Court last October.

FORGING AHEAD: The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Mass. (Aquinnah) ignored a cease and desist order from the state Monday telling them to halt their work on converting a 6,200 sq ft. community center into a class II gaming facility on Indian land. The tribe is moving forward with plans to offer electronic bingo in the facility-- not games like blackjack or roulette –- in the fall.

SHERMAN SPEAKS: The June 4 graduation ceremony at Lummi Nation School on the Lummi Nation Reservation new Bellingham, Washington was a treat for students. Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman served as the keynote speaker for the ceremony. He also spoke to students before the ceremony, and signed autographs.

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