Monday, February 2, 2015

Last Week in Indian Country

A recap of the news that mattered most in Indian country:

APPROVED, BUT DOOMED?: The Senate voted 62-36 to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, forcing a showdown with President Obama, who has promised to veto the bill.

TOP DOG: University of Albany standout Lyle Thompson was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the Major League Lacrosse Collegiate draft.

GROWING THEIR OWN: The Pinoleville Pomo Nation in northern California's Mendocino County is set to be the first tribe to grow and manufacture medical marijuana on tribal land.

GET THE STORY STRAIGHT: Four books dealing with Native history have been taken off the elementary-school curriculum in Juneau, Alaska, after a number of people in the community said the depiction of events such as boarding schools and the Trail of Tears did not do the tragedies justice.

A GREAT TALENT ACKNOWLEDGED: The late actress Misty Upham, Blackfeet, was included in the "In Memoriam" tribute at the 2015 Screen Actors Guild ceremony that aired Sunday night.

DESPICABLE: Rapid City Police have identified the suspects who hurled racial slurs and beer at a group of Native American children at a hockey game in South Dakota.

ACHIEVEMENT: Red Cloud Indian School senior Jaime Rae Richards has earned the prestigious Horatio Alger Scholarship, which supports deserving young people who have overcome challenges in their lives in order to pursue higher education.

BIG BUCKS: Business and environment will mix to the tune of $500,000 awarded to the Haa AanĂ­ Community Development Fund Inc. by the Nature Conservancy. The new collaboration is an “innovative finance partnership” to support environmentally conscious businesses in Southeast Alaska communities, Sealaska announced.

CRITICS' CHOICE: Animism, the latest album by Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq, was honored in the fall with the Polaris Prize; it's now been nominated for a Juno Award in three categories, including Alternative Album of the Year and Aboriginal Album of the Year. Nominees for the latter category include past winners Crystal Shawanda, Leela Gilday, and Digging Roots.

UNFAIR: Illegal logging is forcing isolated indigenous people out of their territory again in Maranhao province in northern Brazil, renewing concerns of further deaths from assaults and exposure to western diseases among other things according to Survival International (SI) and other advocates.

SEAHAWK STAR: Russell Wilson, quarterback of the Super Bowl-bound team, has said on more than one occasion that he is part Native American.

FOX NEWS: Absent from Yosemite National Park for a hundred years, at least to human eyes, the Sierra Nevada red fox has been caught on camera within park boundaries, to the delight of wildlife observers.

ACCLAIM: Songs My Brothers Taught Me, a film that features a mostly Native cast and many first-time actors from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, premiered Tuesday at the Sundance Film Festival, is reaping mostly-positive reviews.

WILDERNESS PROTECTED: Citing Native subsistence fishing traditions among other considerations, President Barack Obama has designated 12.3 million acres as wilderness in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, putting it off limits to oil and gas drilling in perpetuity.


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