The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, August 2, 2015


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

SENSELESS: A beloved Crow couple is dead, their seven children orphaned and a daughter wounded when the three were shot by a stranded motorist they were assisting on the Montana reservation. The killings have rocked the community.

MOOSE MESS: As tribal and environmental authorities race against time to determine why moose are dying by the thousands in Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton has pulled state support from the initiative—claiming that the moose deaths are being caused by the research.

WORST FUN RUN EVER: In celebration of its colonial history, a city in Kentucky announced it would host a the "James Ray 5K Indian Attack" 5K run, where Native American reenactors painted in redface would chase runners into an imitation fort. Seemingly in response to a tidal wave of opposition, county officials in Kentucky on Thursday pulled the controversial element.

NDNs ON THE SET: National Geographic Channel has released the first photos from the set of Saints & Strangers, a film that tells a more accurate version of the Mayflower/Pilgrims story, and Native American actors Kalani Queypo, Raul Trujillo, and Tatanka Means are prominently showcased.

SADISTIC: A homeless Native American man remained in intensive care on Thursday for serious burns he sustained after an Albuquerque, New Mexico, couple allegedly tossed lighted fireworks on him as he slept, setting him ablaze, according to police.

EDUCATION IS KEY: Gyasi Ross continues to make waves in his latest persona -- a rapper and spoken word artist. His newest video finds him much more in the latter category -- "Harvard" is a strongly-worded anecdote about a young person whose dreams are bigger than those of his educational steward.

UNSETTLING IMAGERY: A painting of two First Nations women on a storefront in Bathurst, New Brunswick, has incensed Natives who say that it is insensitive given the crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous Women. The women in the painting are depicted bound and gagged on the deck of a ship, in a scene from a local story, the "Legend of the Phantom Ship."

CRISIS: The death of Sandra Bland, an African American woman who died in a jail cell on July 13 , has the nation abuzz about the ongoing saga of police brutality against people of color. A lesser known story is just as worthy of our attention. On July 6, 24-year-old Lakota woman Sarah Lee Circle Bear of Clairmont, South Dakota, was found unconscious in a holding cell in Brown County Jail in Aberdeen, and later died while still in police custody.

WHO'S RED WOLF?: A comic book news website reports that Marvel Comics is likely to give Red Wolf, a Native American character, his own series as part of the company's "All New, All Different" facelift.

OIL SANDS FAIL: As crews continue scraping up two football fields’ worth of black goo that spilled from a Nexen Energy pipeline into the muskeg of northern Alberta, Canada, First Nations and tribes are upping their opposition to proposed pipeline projects.

CELLMATE CHARGED: Authorities in Philadelphia, Mississippi, have named a suspect in the suspicious death of Native American activist and medicine man Rexdale Henry. Justyn Schlegel, 34, was in the Neshoba County Jail cell with Henry when police found him dead, and is now being charged with Henry’s murder.

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