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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, July 26, 2015

News stories relevant to Native Americans, on topics including NASCAR, sacred remains, Fort Wingate, and the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team.

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

BRING THEM HOME: Remains of more than 300 ancestors could soon return home, thanks to $1.5 million in grants awarded to 15 tribes and 16 museums under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).

WHO WANTS THE FORT?: Two congressmen want to return Fort Wingate, a defunct New Mexico Army depot, to the Navajo Nation and the Pueblo of Zuni. The Pueblo is on board, but the Navajo Nation is opposed.

GROUNDED: For the second time in a five-year period, a Native American lacrosse team has withdrawn from the 2015 Federation of International Lacrosse U19 World Championship. Last week, officials from the Haudenosaunee Nation Women’s Lacrosse Board announced that its under-19 squad would not be competing at its world tournament, scheduled to begin July 23 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

WATER WORKS: The Pueblo of Santa Ana’s water-quality programs are now federally certified, meaning the tribe can administer them autonomously under the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced.

WORLD'S FASTEST INDIAN: Derek White was not among the top finishers at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, but the 44-year-old Mohawk, who lives in Kahnawake near Montreal, became the first Native American to ever compete in a NASCAR race.

TRUST ISSUE: Legislation to save an Apache sacred site from destruction by an international mining company got a helping hand recently when the National Trust for Historic Preservation included the land on its 2015 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Almost all of the places that make it onto the list are preserved.

PROTESTS: Indigenous voices may have been largely quelched in the hearing room, but they will be vociferous outside it when evidentiary proceedings begin on July 27 in South Dakota over TransCanada’s application to route the Keystone XL pipeline through the state.

VALIDATION: Indigenous and human rights leaders in Canada welcomed the validation contained in the latest report from the United Nations Human Rights Committee as it addressed the prevalence of violence against aboriginal women, the uneven resources devoted to children in the social welfare system, and excessive uses of force in land disputes, among other issues of major concern.