Sunday, February 8, 2015

Last Week's Big Stories in Indian Country

Here's a recap of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:

DR. ASTRONAUT: Commander John B. Herrington, the world’s first indigenous astronaut, has added a new title to his name—Doctor of Philosophy. He graduated in December from the University of Idaho with a doctorate in Education.

SUNDANCE SHORT: The short film "Isabelle's Garden," one of nine winners of the Sundance Institute Short Film Challenge, premiered online at It's about a young girl doing what she can to fight poverty and hunger in a Native community in southeastern Oklahoma.

FEATHERS WILL FLY: After conversations with the Native American Parent Committee, a more than 20-year-old policy at Grand Forks Public Schools is changing and Native American students will be allowed to wear eagle feathers on their graduation tassels.

BILLION, WITH A B: President Barack Obama’s 2016 budget request includes copy billion to transform American Indian education, a copy38 million increase from the current funding level.

HIGHLY UNLIKELY: An Islamic State fighter has raised eyebrows with his statement that even Native Americans "will have to live under Shari'a. ... we will build mosques for them, and we will live with them according to the laws of Allah."

MONSTER SENTENCED: So-called "Pedophile Priest" Eric Dejaeger has been sentenced to 19 years, minus eight years for time served, for the sexual abuse of more than two dozen Inuit children during the 1970s and ’80s.

LEADERSHIP ON AND OFF THE COURT: University of Wisconsin point guard Bronson Koenig, who recently stepped into the starting role, is getting press for his steady guidance of the team—and now, his statements regarding Native American mascots.

TAG, YOU'RE IT: Citizens of the Chickasaw Nation can now drive away with a piece of history on or above their bumpers. Last year, the Nation signed a compact with Oklahoma state to sell its first tribal license plates. And on Monday, tribal members stood in line to buy them.

RESPECTFUL: Traverse City, Michigan has never officially recognized Columbus Day, but now the city will celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day. The day will be celebrated on the second Monday in October, the same day as Columbus Day, a federal holiday.

NOT YOUR REDMAN: T-shirts bearing an altered version of a rival team's Native-mascot logo seem to have led to a restroom skirmish at an eighth-grade girls' basketball game in Sisseton, South Dakota. The game was a contest between the Sisseton Redmen and the Tiospa Zina Wambdi.

CANCELED: Julyamsh, billed as the northwest’s largest outdoor pow wow is canceled for 2015. The pow wow has been held at Greyhound Park in Post Falls, Idaho, for the past 17 years, but was canceled due to a dispute between the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the park over the use of instant horse racing machines.

ART STASH: Seventy-two prints by the late Kiowa artist Al Momaday have turned up in a condemned apartment building in Albuquerque's Northeast Heights.


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