The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, December 14, 2014

News stories of interest to Native Americans, on topics including Johny Hendricks, the Resolution Copper mine, Indian mascots, and grizzly bears.

It's our recap of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:

DID YOU SEE THIS, DAN SNYDER?: The Oklahoma City school board voted 8-0 to change the Capitol Hill High School mascot and team name, which for 88 years has been Redskins.

PROTECT THE BEARS: Citing the importance of the Yellowstone grizzly to traditional culture, ceremony and spirituality, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes are opposing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s plan to take the sacred animal off the endangered species list—especially since the move would make the bears vulnerable to trophy hunting.

TEENAGE SUPERSTAR: At an age when most musicians are starting to get serious about forming a band, 16 year old Gareth Laffely is preparing his second album. His debut, The Journey, released in 2014, won him the Rising Star award from the Native American Music Awards.

GETTING THE SHAFT: The leader of the San Carlos Apache Tribe asked the Senate not to vote on the annual National Defense Authorization Act until a provision that would allow a massive copper mining project on sacred land was removed. His request was not honored, and the bill went through. The Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association and Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians have urged the Senate to reconsider.

UNSEATED: Mixed martial arts fighter Johny Hendricks, Otoe-Missouria, lost a UFC title defense fight to Robbie Lawler, the same fighter he defeated in March to claim the welterweight title.

CHIEF-IN-CHIEF: Newly elected Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde emphasized sovereignty and First Nations consent after being voted in with 63 percent of the ballots on December 10.

EDUCATING THE MASSES: The National Congress of American Indians plan to release a new video condemning the name of the Washington football team during the Super Bowl next year, has created a Kickstarter page asking people to donate to the cause.

TIME-TESTED WISDOM: Many Native American veterans who participated in a university survey about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder say traditional healing therapies are more effective for them than conventional therapies offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

HALT TO THEE, BLYTHE PROJECT: The Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) have filed suit to get approval rescinded for the Blythe Solar project in the Mojave Desert, saying the 4,000-acre project will destroy huge swathes of sacred sites.

BRING THE LEGEND HOME: Former Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell and the National Congress of the American Indians (NCAI) joined the sons of Jim Thorpe and his Sac and Fox Nation in petitioning a Philadelphia court to return the remains of the Olympic athlete to Oklahoma.