The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country

December 09, 2012

It's our weekly roundup of the biggest stories in Indian country:

• HAIL TO THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE: Hundreds of tribal leaders descended on Washington December 5 to take President Barack Obama up on his invitation to attend the fourth White House Tribal Nations Conference of his administration. The meeting, held at the U.S. Department of the Interior headquarters blocks away from the White House, signified a kept promise by Obama, who told Native Americans when he was first running for president in 2008 that he would regularly meet with them in an effort to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship between tribes and the United States. Obama took a moment to remember the respected and late Crow elder, Hartford “Sonny” Black Eagle, who adopted the then presidential candidate into the Crow Nation during the 2008 democratic primaries.

• HERE'S TO THE NEXT TEN: The Gamma chapter of Alpha Pi Omega, the first Native American sorority, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The sorority was established nationally at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on September 1, 1994 and at OSU in November 2002.

• ART FOR A CAUSE: The American Indian College Fund Flame of Hope Gala, held October 11 in Minneapolis, Minnesota raised more than $650,000 that will benefit Native American students. As part of the entertainment at the event, renowned Pawnee and Yakima artist Bunky Echo-Hawk created a painting live, a portrait of an American Indian man in traditional dress. It was awarded to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) for pledging $50,000 toward the Richard B. Williams-Seventh Generation Leadership Endowment scholarship.

• AND THE NOMINEES ARE: The 2013 Grammy Award nominees were announced, and Native artists stand a better shot at winning a trophy this time around. This year, the Regional Roots category features one album from the Native American genre, and two of Hawaiian music. Radmilla Cody's album Shi Keyah: Songs for the People, made with her uncle Herman Cody and released on the Canyon Records label, received a nomination. The Hawaiian-music albums nominated are Malama Ko Aloha (Keep Your Love), by Keola Beamer, and Pilialoha, by Weldon Kekauoha.

• MR. GOLDEN BOOT HIMSELF: The freshly-minted MLS most valuable player Chris Wondolowski, Kiowa, spoke with ICTMN. "I want to continue fighting for my culture and I want to use this platform that I have to make the most of it."

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