The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, January 6, 2013


It's our weekly roundup of the biggest stories in Indian country:

• MORE IDLE NO MORE: Idle No More continues to be the biggest story in Indian country, with protests continuing across Canada, in Syracuse, New York, and on the U.S.-Canada border. On Friday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he would meet with First Nations leaders on January 11. On Saturday, a benefit concert organized by blues musician Derek Miller collected donations for Chief Theresa Spence's camp.

• SUPREMES TO LOOK AT BABY VERONICA: On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will review the 'Baby Veronica' adoption case. The custody case pertains to a 3-year-old Cherokee girl born in Oklahoma in 2009 to an unwed couple, the non-Native Christina Maldonado and Dusten Brown, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation.

• JUST CHECKING: Tribal poloce at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation took steps to ensure a peaceful New Year's Eve by setting up a roadblock and searching cars crossing into South Dakota and reservation lands from Whiteclay, Nebraska. The tiny town of Whiteclay sells millions of cans of beer annually, most of it to reservation residents.

• WORDS TO THE WISE: Kevin Gover, a former Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, and the current director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, spoke with ICTMN about his former job -- giving specific advice for the new appointee, Kevin Washburn. "You have to take your opportunities when they arise," Gover says. "The bureau may have very little capacity to create a wave, but we should be able to ride them when we see them."

• HEALERS FOR HEALING: Sanford Health, the country's largest rural, nonprofit hospital system with locations in 126 communities in seven states, announced that it is hiring two traditional Indigenous healers to train the medical staff at its 40 clinics in North and South Dakota and Minnesota.