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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country

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It's our weekly Sunday wrap-up of some of the big stories that came out of Indian country this week.

-In perhaps the biggest news to rock Indian country since the $3.4 billion Cobell settlement was announced between the Obama administration and the lead Indian plaintiffs in December 2009, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate citizen Kimberly Craven has decided to file an appeal of the deal with the U.S. Supreme Court. Three other Indian appellants who are landowners impacted by the settlement plan to take the same action. Craven’s writ of certiorari, asking the court to review her case, will be filed on August 20, she told Indian Country Today Media Network. That is the deadline day for her to make the motion.

-Disconcerting news out of Louisiana this week, where Governor Bobby Jindal's voucher program to privatize public education came under fire for spending state tax dollars to teach Bible-based curriculum. One of the "facts" that children would learn under the state's new programs is that "God used the Trail of Tears to bring many Indians to Christ." You read that right.

-As the presidential election heats up, this week was all about Republican nominee Mitt Romney's selection of his running mate, Wisconsin Senator Paul Ryan. Rob Capriccioso took a look at Ryan's American Indian outlook, focusing on Ryan's budget-cutting desires and how they might affect federal Indian programs and tribes.

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-Brian Daffron spoke with Fort Sill Apache Tribal Chairman Jeff Houser this week, looking at the past, and into the future, for the Fort Sill Apache Tribe.

-Winona LaDuke wrote a piece entitled "Black Hills Auction: The Auction of the Sacred," about the upcoming August 25 auction at Rapid City's Ramkota Inn, which is "destined to be diced into a set of 300 acre tracts, proposed for ranchettes, and a possible road through th heart, (and more divisions) of what has been, until now, a relatively un-desecrated sacred site."

-A 17-foot Burmese python holding 87 eggs was captured in Everglades National Park in Florida, where scientists worry that this invasive species is devouring the fragile ecosystem's animals, from raccoons and birds to deer, bobcats, alligators and other creatures.

-Rob Capriccioso's continuing coverage of the Cobell settlement this week covered the news that the U.S. Department of the Interior decision, at the urging from tribal interests, Indian appellants and the U.S. Congress, to waive a controversial lien program that "became part of the Cobell settlement during the U.S. Congress's authorizing process in 2010.