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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, January 19, 2014

A look at the past week's news, topics include Neil Young, the polluted Elk River, and a "Got Land? Thank an Indian" sweatshirt.
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It's our roundup of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:

DEFENDING THE LAND: Assembly of First Nations Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy has called for an immediate blockade of logging operations if the Ontario government’s plan to allow clear-cutting of mature trees within the Grassy Narrows First Nation territory goes forward.

HEART OF GOLD: Neil Young played an anti-tar sands benefit and issued strong words for the Canadian government. "We are killing these people," he said of the First Nations inhabitants of lands that are being ravaged for fossil fuel. "The blood of these people will be on modern Canada's hands."

WEARABLE TRUTH: A hoodie that says "Got Land? Thank an Indian" landed a student in hot water, but after the hubbub died down and her school lifted the ban on the garment, its manufacturer reported a surge in sales.

DON'T DRINK THE WATER: The pollution tainting the water of American Indians and West Virginia residents is nothing new, Native leaders said as the state’s attorney general and other authorities launched probes into a massive chemical spill into the Elk River.

NATIVE ACTORS HONORED: The nominees for the Canadian Screen Awards have been released, and Native films and people are all over the lists. This is most evident in the Best Actress nominations, where two out of five of the candidates are First Nations actresses in Native-themed films.

REDSKIN ON REDSKINS: In an unprecedented move, an active Washington Redskins player said that the team should "probably" change its name. "They probably should," cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. "But they won't for a while at least."

RECOGNITION WITHIN REACH: Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn announced the Pamunkey Indian Tribe is one step closer to becoming the first tribe from Virginia to be federally recognized.

FIND A NEW NAME: Four school mascots—the Indians, Warriors, Rebels and Redskins—have officially been banned by the Houston Independent School District school board.

PARK TALKS: Members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe are meeting with the Badlands National Park to discuss the details of the United States’ first tribal national park.