The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, January 20, 2013


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

STILL NOT IDLE: Idle No More continued to be the biggest story in Indian country. Fellow chiefs and the head of a major political party urged Theresa Spence to stop her fast in the wake of the January 11 meetings between aboriginal leaders, the Prime Minister and the Governor General. Meanwhile, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo announced that he will step aside temporarily on doctor’s orders due to the strain of the past several weeks. Here at ICTMN.com, Gyasi Ross published "The Idle No More Movement for Dummies (or, 'What The Heck Are All These Indians Acting All Indian-Ey About?')" -- which became the most popular story posted to our site thus far in 2013.

GOT YOUR SHOT?: The Indian Health Service reported that vaccination rates are lower among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) than in the general population, yet AI/ANs are more likely to get seriously ill from the flu, and die at a rate 1.5 to four times that of other races and ethnicities. Influenza is now widespread in 47 states.

GROUNDED: Four bald eagles—three adults and a juvenile—have been found floating in a lake near Granite Falls in Washington State in an apparent cold-blooded killing, authorities say. The Stillaguamish Tribe has contributed copy0,000 to the reward fund for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of those involved.

TIME HAS COME: Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), one of two Natives in Congress, joined the groundswell of support for a new name for Washington, D.C.'s NFL franchise. Comedian Katt Williams indicated he'd like to see the name changed as well.

MAKE IT WORK: Patricia Michaels, Taos Pueblo, has been selected as one of the 16 designers who will compete on the upcoming run of the fashion/reality show Project Runway. Premiering January 24 on the Lifetime Network, the season will be Project Runway's eleventh.