The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, December 30, 2012

December 30, 2012

It's our weekly roundup of noteworthy stories from Indian country:

• THE MOVEMENT GOES ON: Idle No More protests continued in Canada, where Natives have been holding demonstrations and round dances in public to support Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who has been on a hunger strike for over two weeks. Spence has resolved not to eat solid food until she gets a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Idle No More has spread to the United States and elsewhere, drawing support from indigenous populations and human rights groups. On Christmas Eve, 76-year-old Clyde Bellecourt, a co-founder of the American Indian Movement, was arrested at an Idle No More rally in Minneapolis.

• NEVER FORGET: On December 26, a memorial was dedicated in Mankato, Minnesota’s Reconciliation Park near a white limestone buffalo that marks the spot where 38 Dakota men were hanged the day after Christmas 150 years ago. “These men fought for the Dakota way of life, trying to hang onto something, to hang onto this land for the future generations of their children and grandchildren,” said Vernell Wabasha, wife of hereditary chief Ernest Wabasha, who led the move for the memorial.

• REALLY?: Major League Baseball introduced its batting-practice caps for the 2013 season, and the design to be worn by the Atlanta Braves features a controversial Indian logo not seen on official gear since 1989. The return of the image, known as the "Screaming Savage" or "Screaming Indian," has prompted criticism from sports bloggers and Natives.

• TIS THE SEASON: On the Navajo Nation, the giving spirit was in full effect. On Monday, President Ben Shelly presented a $300,000 check to Na’Nizhoozhi Center Inc. (NCI), a detox facility that utilizes traditional and Western philosophies to encourage sobriety. A week earlier, Navajo Nation First Lady Martha Shelly had helped make the holiday season special for Tuba City, Arizona youth by helping to deliver more than 8,000 toys.

• YOUNG AGAIN: U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., announced that Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, will continue to chair the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs in the 113th Congress. Young has chaired the Subcommittee during the 112th Congress, directing attention to his desire for increased economic development and self-determination initiatives for tribes.

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