The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, January 13, 2013


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

• PROTESTS CONTINUE: The spirit of the Idle No More movement remained vibrant, with actions all across Turtle Island. Hundreds of Mohawks from both sides of the imposed Canada-United States border that slices through their aboriginal territory marched toward each other, closing the Seaway International Bridge over the St. Lawrence River between Massena, New York, and Cornwall, Ontario, for almost five hours. In Arizona, protesters at Flagstaff City Hall over snowmaking with treated effluent at Arizona Snowbowl, held Idle No More signs. A viral video, "Idle No More -- The Next Generation," set to a tune by Brother Ali, hit Twitter, while a chance meeting on a BC Ferry let to a moment of support from pop singer Nelly Furtado. On Sunday, led by actress and pageant champion Ashley Callingbull, a giant Grand Entrance took place in Edmonton,

• MEETING FIZZLES: Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence, fasting for the past month in demand of a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General David Johnston, drew up a will and signed papers directing non-intervention if her health should deteriorate. On Friday, Spence boycotted a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper; she attended a meeting with Governor General David Johnston, but left early and vowed to continue her hunger strike. Also this week, 24 organizations throughout canada issued a joint statement of support for Chief Spence.

• NEW NAME FOR NAPT: In a marketing and rebranding move, Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT) announced its official new corporate name as Vision Maker Media."A New Year often brings new beginnings, and 2013 is no exception for our organization," said Brian Bull (Nez Perce), chair of the organization, on its website.

• OVER TO YOU, NOTAH: Four-time Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour winner Notah Begay III began his new job at a tournament in Hawaii, interviewing players and reporting on the ground as a full-time member of the broadcast team for NBC Sports and Golf Channel.

• A BETTER TEAM NEEDS A BETTER NAME: In the wake of a playoff loss that ended the Washington Redskins' best season in years, Vincent C. Gray, the Mayor of Washington D.C., joined the chorus of voices that have been calling on the NFL franchise to discard its offensive name.

• COLUMBUS DAY CHALLENGED: California Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, D-West Covina, has introduced legislation that would recognize the second Monday in October as Native American Day, instead of Columbus Day. “Columbus Day is still recognized in California, despite the egregious actions taken against Native American people,” said Hernandez in a statement announcing Assembly Bill 55.