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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country

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Our Sunday round-up is here, our weekly glance back at all the big stories in Indian Country.

-Duane Champagne took a look at the term 'Noble Savages' from a 21st century perspective, trying to track this 'patronizing and condescending' term back to its roots to find the (surprising) complex thoughts behind it.

-Anne Minard’s piece on the preemptive genocide that was eugenics takes a look at the recent efforts made by a handful of states to compensate victims of sterilization programs that happened decades ago.

-Gyassi Ross wrote about Tatanka Means, Lakota and Navajo, an actor who is primed to become the next Adam Beach.

-Stephanie Woodard has been covering the Oglala lawsuit that seeks to control alcohol sales on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Her interview with a man who used to frequent Whiteclay beer stores is a must read.

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-Our coverage of Venus’s transit, a once-in-a-century trip of the solar system’s second planet as it crossed between the Earth and the sun drew (almost) as many eyeballs as the planet’s journey did.

-Speaking of planets, ours isn’t in such great shape. We covered a UN report released before the upcoming Rio+20 environmental summit in Brazil (held from June 20-22) describing the irreversible damage to Mother Earth that’s possible if humans don’t curb population, urbanization and consumption.

-Say it ain’t so, Mr. Poe! Timothy Michael Poe appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent and shared a very heartfelt story about the injuries he sustained while serving his country in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, according to an Associated Press article via, Poe’s story might not be true.

-We’ve been covering the heartbreaking story of Vern Traversie since the outset, and it seems now that story has the attention of none other than Attorney General Eric Holder.

-Traversie has alleged that he is the victim of branding while in care of the Rapid City Regional Hospital for open-heart surgery.

-And finally, Anne Minard wrote about Flagstaff residents who have embarked on a hunger strike to oppose snowmaking on San Francisco Peaks. Jessica Beasley, Navajo, and Joseph Sanders are keeping vigil during daylight hours at Flagstaff City Hall.