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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, February 23, 2014

A look at the last week's news from Indian country, on topics including the shooting at Cedarville Rancheria, the Winter Olympics, and Keystone XL.
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It's our roundup of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:

FREE PASS FOR PEDOPHILES?: A bill in the South Dakota legislature that appears intended to give several dozen Native American childhood-sexual-abuse plaintiffs their day in court may do just the opposite.

CHICKASAW PITCHER HONORED: A Chickasaw athlete known for feats of brilliance on softball fields throughout Oklahoma and the nation was inducted into the Oklahoma Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame.

ABORIGINALS ON ICE: At the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, one semifinal matchup in the Men's Hockey bracket featured a showdown of two Native stars: American forward T.J. Oshie and Canadian goalie Carey Price. Canada triumphed 1-0, and headed to the finals, where the team defeated Sweden for gold. In the bronze-medal match, the U.S. fell to Finland 5-0.

TRAGIC VIOLENCE: At Cedarville Rancheria tribal headquarters near Altura, California, 44-year-old Cherie Rhoades gunned down her brother, niece and nephew at an eviction hearing. It later came to light that the shooter was being investigated by the FBI for over $50,000 in missing grant money meant for the Cedarville Rancheria Tribe.

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KEYSTONE SETBACK: A judge has ruled that the Nebraska law that enabled the governor to approve a route for the Keystone XL pipeline violates the state constitution, causing potential delays in the project just as President Barack Obama is on the verge of making a decision.

HARPER'S HISTORY: Keith Harper, a presidential nominee to become a human rights ambassador to the United Nations, is being called out by Native American lawyers for alleged intimidation tactics. These lawyers, who have had disagreements with him over the Cobell litigation, say they are speaking out to shed light on his character before the full Senate considers whether to confirm him.

NO MORE CASINOS FOR YOU: On Wednesday the New Mexico Senate rejected the Navajo Nation's proposed gaming contract that would have increased the number of casinos the tribe operates in the state from two to five over 15 years.

REMAINS FOUND: Tribes with ancestral ties to Kentucky have not been consulted about an archaeological site discovered last summer during a survey for a natural gas pipeline.

WHO WATCHES THE WATCHMEN?: A system of conspiracy and bribery comes to a close on the Navajo Nation as former Navajo Nation Public Safety Committee Chairman Raymond Joe pleaded guilty to charges on February 18.