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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, February 10, 2013


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

• PASS THIS BILL: U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act bill introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on January 22, 2013 spoke on the Senate floor on February 7, during the Senate hearing on VAWA where she urged swift passage of S.47 with strong tribal provisions.

• NO THANKS: Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy, like Anishinabek Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee a few weeks ago, declined a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, citing the policies of the Crown and the Canadian government toward aboriginals.

• ARROWS ON THE WAY: After nearly two years of construction activity, the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort—designed as the tribe’s flagship gaming facility—is expected to open in mid-May. While the Navajo Nation operates three casinos in New Mexico, this will be the first gaming site on the Arizona portion of the sprawling reservation.

• ASKING FOR HELP: Overwhelmed with damage to water systems in brutally freezing temperatures, Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly is asking for volunteers to help with repairs and is seeking up to $2.8 million in funding from various government agencies.

• SPORTS TALK: On Thursday, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC hosted "Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports", a symposium at which Suzan Shown Harjo, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, sportswriters and members of academia discussed topics including -- obviously -- the Washington Redskins.

• ON HER WAY: Navajo recording artist Radmilla Cody, a former Miss Navajo Nation, traveled to Los Angeles to attend the Grammy Awards. She was nominated for an award in the Regional Roots Album category for Shi Kéyah — Songs For The People, and was also selected to be a presenter at the Pre-Telecast Ceremony.