A recap of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:
CASTING CONTROVERSY: Shock rocker Marilyn Manson portrays a Native American hitman in an upcoming film, and in an interview posted to Rolling Stone he says that he is part Native.
DISASTER: The Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the first to watch a 100-mile-long plume of toxic mining sludge flow through their reservation in the Animas River, has declared a state of local disaster.
HOMES FOR VETS: The recent signing of a memorandum of agreement between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Taos tribal government will allow Native vets to purchase, build or renovate a home on Taos tribal land under the VA’s Native American Direct Home Loan Program.
COLUMBUS DAY NO MORE: On Wednesday, Saint Paul, Minnesota took a big step forward and joined a growing list of metropolitan areas that have renamed Columbus Day to “Indigenous Peoples Day.”
BRINGING SUIT: Twenty-one teen activists, including 15-year-old hip-hop singer and youth advocate Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh Martinez, are suing the U.S. government, all the way up to President Barack Obama’s office, over climate change.
ONE THREE MILLION GALLONS: The Navajo Nation, Colorado and New Mexico declared disaster emergencies on August 10 as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that the spill its workers had triggered last week was not one million gallons of mining wastewater, but three million.
HORRIFIC: The violent murder and horrific dismemberment of Dwayne Beauty on Yavapai-Apache Nation land by a non-Indian has left his family in mourning and searching for justice.
WHAT ABOUT THE MAN CAMPS?: As hearings wound down last week on whether the South Dakota Public Utility Commission (PUC) should re-certify the application by TransCanada to run the Keystone XL pipeline through the state, Yankton Sioux Tribal attorneys cross-examined the company’s witness, Rick Perkins, on how dangers posed by camps of temporary workers near the Yankton Sioux Reservation would be managed.
WAS IT DISCRIMINATION?: Jacquelyn Bolman, who was fired from California’s Humboldt State University last fall, is demanding that a jury determine whether the university discriminated against her because of her race, national origin or affiliation with Native Americans.
FEDS TAKE TRIBE'S SIDE: The United States filed a motion on August 4 to intervene, or become a co-plaintiff, in the Tulalip Tribes’ lawsuit challenging the Washington State and Snohomish County’s authority to tax non-Indian businesses on Indian land.
BRING HIM HOME: Legislation proposed by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) August 6 and supported by the State of Washington will (if passed) return the prehistoric skeleton of the Ancient One, known to non-Natives as Kennewick Man, to his Columbia Basin tribal descendants for reburial.
Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/08/16/week-was-big-stories-indian-country-august-16-2015-161410