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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, June 1, 2014

Native American news stories on topics including Kevin Washburn, Save Hickory Ground, Barack Obama, and the Washington Redskins
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It's our recap of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:

LAX STARS: Lacrosse stars and brothers Lyle and Miles Thompson, UAlbany attackmen and two-thirds of the "Thompson Trio," were honored with the Tewaaraton Award

REMAINS STOLEN: Federal officials are deciding whether to pursue charges against a former superintendent of Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa who confessed to having removed Native American remains from the site and storing them in his garage.

(MORE) RACISM ON TAPE: Reaction has been strong to a voicemail full of racist slurs that Donald Seal, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Planning Engineer, reportedly received from Kirk Shewchuck, CFO of, a telecommunications firm in Lansing, Michigan.

ANOTHER FUMBLE: The habitually inept public relations department of the Washington Redskins launched yet another flop of a campaign, courting support with a "RedskinsPride" Twitter hashtag that was used by anti-Redskins activists.

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RALLY REBUFFED: Save Hickory Ground activists tried to hold a rally on the sidewalk outside the San Diego Convention Center during the National Indian Gaming Association’s Annual Tradeshow & Conference, but security guards quickly ran them off the public space, and it’s not clear who ordered their removal.

FACILITY PLANNED: The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Utah, has announced its plan to undertake the development of a 1,000-megawatt natural gas-fired generation facility on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation.

POTUS COMETH: President Barack Obama is reportedly making good on his promise to visit Indian country in 2014.

WASHBURN SPEAKS: Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn spoke with ICTMN about proposed reforms to the 35-year-old process by which the federal government acknowledges Indian tribes and enters into a nation-to-nation relationship with them.

LAWSUIT: In the fall of 2013, Jeanne Eagle Bull Oxendine and her husband James Oxendine conducted a series of media interviews about their stand against the culturally insensitive Thanksgiving curriculum at their children’s school. Now officials from Maria Montessori School in San Diego, which gave scholarships to two of the Oxendines’ children in part because of their Native heritage, have filed a $20,000 defamation lawsuit against the Oxendines.

KIMMERER WINS: The Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin announced recently that Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants is the winner of its 2014 nature writing award.